State Department Shares Tips for Safe Travel Abroad Ahead of Spring Break

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Around his time of year, spring breakers might stay home for their time off. But for others, they might’ve booked a ticket to go abroad. The State Department said before you take your trip or just any trip in general, there’s a few things you should know before you go. 

“Number one is don’t book unless your passport is valid,” said Asst. Secretary of State with the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Rena Bitter. “Number two is visit the State Department website. There’s information about crime, there’s information about the healthcare system at the destination, information about all kinds of risks you may want to be aware of before you travel and then number three is while you’re on the State Department website, sign up for our smart traveler enrollment program (STEP). You’re able to get security information and all kinds of updates the embassy might be putting out about your destination while you’re in your destination and it will also help the embassy in case there’s some kind of emergency, it will help the embassy find and help you.” 

Bitter adds the State Department also has a travel advisory level for each country. It’s a scale that ranges from taking normal precautions to do not travel. 

“So we would hope people would not be booking vacations to places like that because the reason the places are level four for us is because the risks are very high for American citizens traveling there and it might be our ability to help people when they do get in trouble in places like that is limited,” said Bitter. “So we do want people to be very aware of the level of the country they’re booking travel to and if its level four please don’t go.” 

The State Department also wants you to share your biggest travel mistakes you’ve made. Your experience could help others from making the same mistake and possibly find some humor in it, too. You can visit their website if you want to share your travel mistakes.