International Travel: 5 Things to Know Before You Go


After you have chosen your travel destination, whether it’s a beach paradise or an urban oasis, there are things that you should know before you go. Being an informed traveler not only keeps you safe, it actually enhances your experience. By being prepared, less trials and tribulations will spring up along your trip. To make the most of your travel destination, consider these 5 questions to ask before you leave town.

1. Are there any travel warnings for your destination? The U.S. State Department issues travel warnings for countries or regions where long-term activity has created travel risks for tourists. The cause of the warnings can range from civil unrest to weather conditions, but in all cases the ability of the embassies to assist citizens in an emergency is severely affected.

2. Are there any location-specific diseases or health risks? Depending on where you are going and the type of trip, you may be at a greater risk to contract a disease or other health risks. In some cases, vaccinations are even required. To learn about health concerns in a particular location, visit the Traveler’s Health website operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

3. Where is the closest U.S. embassy? In case of an emergency, you may require the assistance of U.S. Embassy or Consulate located in your destination country. It is best to know the address and have the phone number handy in the event of an emergency. To find more information about a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in a particular website, visit the State Department’s Embassy Directory.

4. Do you have contact information for and directions to your accommodations? This may seem like a basic concept, but you need to make sure that the information you’ve gathered is comprehensive. Write down everything you can about your accommodation and know how to get there from the airport or train station before you arrive. Also, make sure to have a backup plan or two in case you can’t reach your accommodation as you had planned. 

5. Are there any travel products to make the trip go more smoothly? To alleviate the frustrations, risks and stress that often come with travel, there are many products to consider that will make the trip flow much better and avoid any hiccups due to a stolen wallet. In some places pickpocketing is more rampant than others, but clothing with a zippered pocket to protect your valuables could make the difference. Think about which products work best with your destination.  

What are your, before you go, travel tips?

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