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General Tips for Traveling Abroad

If you are considering a trip abroad, here are some general tips for your health and safety.

Before you leave

Take the time to research your destination before leaving your home country. Check to see if your country has an embassy or consulate in your chosen location and if so, locate it.

Do some research

Go to the US Department of State’s official website, Travel.State.Gov You will be able to find travel advisory information for every country of the world and contact information for the closest US embassy and/or consulate. There will also be information about visa requirements, safety and security conditions, crime, health, and medical considerations, local laws, areas to avoid, and more.

Most foreign countries require a valid passport to enter and leave. In some countries, women must have a male escort to leave a country.

Pack Accordingly

Be aware of the various local clothing and appearance laws and customs. What you wear in a mall in Mexico, for example, might not be appropriate in a mall in the United Arab Emirates.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Pay attention to local laws and customs because they can be quite different from the United States, especially if you intend to travel alone. Avoid dark, isolated areas at night.

Also, public transportation, as well as safety measures, differ from country to country. Informal taxis or minibuses are particularly dangerous in many places for people who are unfamiliar with the local conditions, especially women traveling alone.

You should try to find out what is and what isn’t safe from reliable sources, such as local authorities or tourism officials.

Create Safe-Zone Boundaries

You DO NOT have to be overly polite if you are bothered by someone.  You DO NEED to be cautious when sharing information about your plans and itinerary with strangers.  While it may seem rude to be unfriendly to a stranger, creating boundaries to protect yourself is important.

You SHOULD use your facial expressions, body language, and a firm voice to fend off unwanted attention.

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