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Saturday, March 10, 2012
A Preparation Guide Before Traveling Overseas
Security For each of the world's over two hundred nations, the Department of State has Country Specific Information. The plethora of available information encompasses entry requirements, exchange rates and currency, peculiar health bulletins, crime rates, security and safety, possibility of government instability or political trouble and special information on the country's rules and regulations of the road. In addition, travelers can be furnished with addresses and phone numbers for U.S. embassies and consulates. Country Specific Information is considered general information. Instead, they describe conditions so travelers can make informed decisions about their trips.
Country Specific Information is not the only information furnished by the Department of State--some countries may merit a Travel Warning as well. The Travel Warning may recommend that Americans defer travel to that country because of a dangerous situation there.
As for Travel Alerts, this is a form of information dissemination designed around conditions perceived to be temporary, but nevertheless risky to American tourists. Even if Americans are not the target of such potential threats, these Alerts are disseminated with the best interests of safety and security in mind. Travel Alerts are generally issued in the event of a coup d'etat, election-related violence or terrorist-related violence, may it be at random or in celebration of a noted terrorist attack's anniversary.
You can access Country Specific Information, Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts 24-hours a day in several ways.
Internet The most convenient source of information about travel and consular services is the Consular Affairs home page.
Telephone The people at Overseas Citizens Services will be more than happy to answer general queries on country-specific safety and security. Their hours of operation are from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Mondays through Fridays, with the exception of U.S. Federal holidays.
In Person Country Specific Information, Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts are available at any of the regional passport agencies and U.S. embassies and consulates abroad.
Local Laws, Statutes and Ordinances You are no longer subject to U.S. legislation once the plane has landed and you are now officially on foreign soil. Hence, it is imperative that you do your share of research regarding local policies and laws that need to be followed. For the gospel truth we do not recommend the Internet -- best resources are books, or by talking to a travel agent, embassy or consulate and asking general information questions. You also want to be frequently updated about recent updates on these laws, or any other pertinent news about the countries you plan to fly to.
The Internet and newspapers can also keep you updated on the countries you will visit, so there is simply no excuse to be caught unawares by a sudden development. With that, we wish you safe and happy travels.
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Posted by Staff at 8:34:00 AM