Tips for Traveling Safely
My family and I recently went on a cruise to three Caribbean countries....and yes we had a blast! We are not at all new to the Caribbean, cruising, or international travel so we already knew about some of the common practices that we needed to use to protect ourselves.
I thought it would be nice to share some of our past experiences over the last few years, how we dealt with those experiences at the time, and now how we proactively protect ourselves now. I hope to spare those of you new to travel from the headaches many of us have dealt with while traveling internationally.
Before you go........
So I ALWAYS check out the U.S. State Department website and look for travel advisories months before I travel and up until I travel. I want to keep a thumb on the pulse to see if there is any unrest occurring that might make me reconsider travel dates.
You can search by region if you are planning a multi-destination trip or you can search by specific country. From there you can go to country information such as visa requirements, vaccination requirements, currency restrictions, and safety and security.
The safety and security section will tell you about crime activity that commonly occurs, how to report criminal activity, and contact information for the nearest Embassy. I always make sure I know where the nearest embassy is to my hotel, resort, or Airbnb just in case something happens. Thankfully, I have never needed the Embassy so far.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
Anytime a friend of mine talks about traveling internationally, I always recommend this program. The STEP program is a service, free of charge, for U.S. citizens (and nationals) that travel or live abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
The intent of this program is to
get information about safety conditions in your destination country;
assists the U.S. Embassy in contacting you in an emergency; and
assists family and friends find you and get in touch with you in the case of an emergency.