Know Before You Go

The US Department of State sets the standard for regularly updated travel information on every country in the world. They offer many valuable resources to United States citizens traveling or residing abroad, including emergency assistance. Below are some key resources that are available to you to help you prepare for your travel abroad.

 

Traveler's Checklist

This checklist is an excellent resource to help you start planning for your international travel.  You will find US Department of State Travel Warnings and Alerts; links and resources for necessary travel documents, such as passports and required visas; Country Specific Information on crime, safety, health, and culture; US embassy and the Office of Overseas Citizens Services emergency contact information; how to handle finances abroad; important medical and health resources; and even some packing tips. View the checklist here.

Country Information

The Department of State provides Country Specific Information pages for every country in the world. The information contained on these pages is invaluable, including information on Embassies and Consulates, country descriptions, travel alerts and warnings, visa requirements, safety and security concerns, health, transportation, and important local laws that foreigners should be aware of. Find information about your destination here.

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

STEP is a free travel registration service provided by the Department of State that allows US citizens to enroll their foreign travel with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. Enrolling in STEP will allow you to receive current travel warnings, alerts and special advisories directly from the US embassy while you are in-country. By registering with STEP, the US embassy in your destination will know how to get a hold of you in case of an emergency , such as a natural disaster, civil unrest, or a family emergency back home. You can enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program here.

Overseas Security Advisory Council

The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) is an organization that helps bridge security and safety information between the US Department of State and US citizen constituents/expats abroad. The OSAC website publishes detailed Crime and Safety Reports written by US Embassy and Consular staff around the world. The reports include valuable country-specific information on local crime trends, domestic issues, environmental concerns, hazards, and safety tips that US citizens should be aware of prior and during travel. The OSAC website also contains a wealth of other key international travel information, such as daily news and situational security reports regarding your travel destination. View the full list of Crime and Safety Reports here

 

Students Abroad

Specially designed for students studying abroad, this Department of State website helps you get ready to travel abroad. Information featured includes Travel Docs, Health, Emergencies, Embassies, Smart Travel, Spring Break, To Go, Voting, and News & Alerts. You can visit this website here.

The ABCs

Similar to the U.S. Department of State, the Australian, British, and Canadian Foreign Affairs Offices (the ABC’s of safety and security) provide specific travel advice by destination.  These excellent reports give travel advice on security, safety, health, medical, local laws, customs, and culture. 
A. Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade  
B. British Foreign and Commonwealth Office  
C. Canada Foreign Affairs