Safety

Destination Information 

Research entry/exit requirements, visas, laws, customs, medical care, road safety, etc. in the countries you will be visiting at travel.state.gov/destination. Write down contact details for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to carry with you in case of emergency while traveling.

Assess the risks of traveling abroad. Read Travel Alerts for your destination and check the U.S. embassy or consulate website for the latest security messages. 

International Driving Permits

It is illegal to drive without a valid license and insurance in most countries. You should check with the embassy of the country you plan to visit or live in to find specific driver's license requirements. Many countries do not recognize a U.S. driver's license, but most accept an International Driving Permit (IDP). IDPs may not be valid the whole time you stay abroad and may only be valid with a U.S. or local license.

You can get an IDP before you leave through these automobile associations:

Airport Tips:

  •  Allow extra time for check-in and/or to get through airport security
  •  Security: Be familiar with what’s allowed and prohibited to store in your carry-on bag
  •  Bring proper D. for use during check-in, as well as have all necessary boarding passes/ID ready to go for boarding times
  •  Only bring enough items/bags that you can handle by yourself
  •  DO NOT bring anything onboard for another person, especially if you DO NOT know this person
  •  Report any unattended items in the airport or aircraft to the nearest airport or airline personnel
  •  Remember the 3-1-1 Rule for Carry-On bags. All liquid items must be no larger than 3.4 ounces (by volume). All liquid containers must fit in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, resealable bag. Each passenger is permitted 1 quart-sized bag for all carry- on liquids.
  • Consolidate bottles into one bag and X-ray separately to speed screening
  • Be Prepared. Each time TSA searches a carry-on, it slows down the line. Practicing 3-1-1 will ensure a faster, easier checkpoint experience
  • 3-1-1 is for SHORTER trips. If in doubt, put your liquids in your checked
  • Declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in a re-sealable Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint.
  • Come early and be Heavy travel volumes and the enhanced security process may mean longer lines at security checkpoints.
  • TSA working with our TSA works with airlines and airports to anticipate peak traffic and be ready for the traveling public.

Crisis Planning

Read What Can You Do in a Crisis Abroad and What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis. Make an evacuation plan that does not rely on the U.S. government, and consider purchasing emergency evacuation insurance.

Enroll Smart Traveler Enrollment Program for free at STEP.state.gov to receive travel and security updates about your destination, and to help us reach you in an emergency. Groups or organizations can create an account and upload a spreadsheet with contact details for multiple travelers.

Disease Precautions 

Read Your Health Abroad and check out recommendations for vaccinations and other health considerations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO)

 

For more safety and security information, visit travel.state.gov