Believe it or not, summer is just around the corner and with that comes the annual family vacation. You may be staying local, traveling somewhere in the United States, or traveling abroad. Traveling to other countries is not only exciting but offers a great cultural experience for you and your family. However, we live in a time where we have to be extra careful when traveling overseas. While the threat of terror attacks is real, it shouldn’t prevent us from living our lives and doing the things we enjoy doing. At the same time, it is important to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions when traveling abroad.
In light of the tragic events that Europe has experienced this year, the U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert to U.S. citizens traveling to Europe from May 1st to Sept. 1st, 2017. Their website provides the following suggestions if you are planning to travel to Europe:
If you are traveling between countries in Europe, please check the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate in your destination city for any recent security messages. Review security information from local officials, who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country. U.S. citizens should also:
- Follow the instructions of local authorities. Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
- Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
- Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
- Have an emergency plan of action ready.
- Here is an example of a Personal Emergency Action Plan template developed by StudentsAbroad.com which you can use to develop your own Emergency Plan. http://www.studentsabroad.com/handbook/personal-emergency-action-plan.php?country=General
- Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). https://step.state.gov/step/
- By enrolling in this program, you will receive security messages and will make it easier for the U.S. State Dept. to locate you in the event of an emergency.