Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tips for Traveling Abroad

Register so the State Department can better assist you in an emergency: Register your travel plans with the State Department through a free online service at This will help us contact you if there is a family emergency in the U.S., or if there is a crisis where you are traveling. In accordance with the Privacy Act, information on your welfare and whereabouts will not be released to others without your express authorization.

Sign passport, and fill in the emergency information: Make sure you have a signed, valid passport, and a visa, if required, and fill in the emergency information page of your passport.

Leave copies of itinerary and passport data page: Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page and visas with family or friends, so you can be contacted in case of an emergency.

Check your overseas medical insurance coverage: Ask your medical insurance company if your policy applies overseas, and if it covers emergency expenses such as medical evacuation. If it does not, consider supplemental insurance.

Familiarize yourself with local conditions and laws: While in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws. The State Department web site at has useful safety and other information about the countries you will visit.

Take precautions to avoid being a target of crime: To avoid being a target of crime, do not wear conspicuous clothing or jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money. Also, do not leave unattended luggage in public areas and do not accept packages from strangers.

Contact us in an emergency: Consular personnel at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad and in the U.S. are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens. Contact information for U.S. Embassies and Consulates appears on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at Also note that the Office of Overseas Citizen Services in the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs may be reached for assistance with emergencies at 1-888-407-4747, if calling from the U.S. or Canada, or 202-501-4444, if calling from overseas.

How to Have a Safe Trip

Register Your Travel So We Can Contact You in an Emergency

Why It’s Important
How to Register (It’s Easy)
Planning Your Trip: Know Before You Go!

Information Resources
The Consular Information Program
How to Obtain Country Specific Information, Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts
Background Notes .

Other Resources
Customs and Import Restrictions .
Customs Restrictions of Foreign Destinations – What You Cannot Take to Other Countries .
U.S. Customs Restrictions – What You Cannot Bring Back With You
Taking a Pet Overseas .
Places to Receive Mail.

Health: What You Need to Know in Advance of Travel
Vaccination, Infectious Diseases, Pandemic Influenza, Foot & Mouth Disease, Chemical/Biological/Nuclear Incidents
Insurance, Medicare & Medicaid, Medical Evacuation
Bringing Medications or Filling Prescriptions Abroad
Doctors and Hospitals
Special Planning Considerations
Student Travelers
Senior Travelers
Traveling With Disabilities
Required Travel Documents and Other Important Documentation.

Passport Requirements & How to Apply for a Passport
How to Apply for a U.S. Passport

If You Need to Obtain a New Passport While Abroad
Adoption Abroad .
Entry Requirements of Foreign Countries.
Work Authorization, Residence Permits .
Additional Fees .
What to Take With You on the Trip, and What to Leave Behind.

Leave Copies of Documents and Itinerary With Relatives in the U.S.
Plan for the Unexpected.
Emergencies: Consular Assistance and Crises Abroad.

Assistance from American Consuls .
How to Contact the Embassy or the State Department in an Emergency
What You Should Know If You Are a Victim of Crime.

Passport Fraud

International Child Custody Disputes .
Arrests Abroad .
Special Warning About Drug Offenses Abroad .
Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad .

Hijacking/Hostage Situations.
How to Access Funds in the U.S.
How to Get Your Passport Replaced .
What You Should Know If You Are Residing Abroad or Are Planning to Reside Abroad.

Marriage, Birth, Divorce and Death Abroad
Marriage Abroad
Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen
Divorce Abroad
Death Abroad
Federal Benefits Services Abroad .

Driver’s License
Absentee Voting in U.S. Elections .
Selective Service Registration .
Be Prepared for Emergencies .

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