A Safe Trip Abroad

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

The U.S. Department of State offers the following tips for safe travel abroad:

  • Dress conservatively. Thieves often target tourists, so avoid wearing anything that will make you stand out, and leave your expensive jewelry at home.
  • Travel light. You will be able to move more quickly and will be more likely to have a free hand. Also, you will be less tired and less likely to set your luggage down and leave it unattended.
  • Conceal your valuables. Leave your passport, cash, and credit cards locked in a hotel safe if possible. When you carry them on you, conceal them in several different places rather than all in one wallet, pocket, or bag. Avoid using handbags, fanny packs, and outside pockets that are easy targets for thieves.
  • If you wear glasses, pack an extra pair. Pack your glasses and any medicines you need in your carry-on luggage.
  • Keep medicines in their original labeled containers. This will help you to avoid problems when passing through customs. Bring copies of your prescriptions and the generic names for the drugs. If a medication contains narcotics, carry a letter from your doctor attesting to your need to take the drug. If you have any doubt about the legality of carrying a certain drug into a foreign country, consult the embassy or consulate of that country first.
  • Bring travelers' checks and a major credit card instead of cash.
  • Leave a copy of the serial numbers of your travelers' checks with a friend or relative at home. Carry your copy with you in a separate place, and as you cash the checks, cross them off the list.
  • Bring an extra set of passport photos and a photocopy of your passport information page. This will make it easier to get a replacement if your passport is lost or stolen.
  • Put your name, address, and telephone number inside each piece of luggage. Use covered luggage tags to avoid casual observation of your name, address, and nationality. Always lock your luggage.
  • Consider getting a telephone calling card that can be used from overseas locations. Access numbers to U.S. operators are published in many international papers, but find out your access number before you go.
Source: U.S. Dept. of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs. Web: http://travel.state.gov .

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