KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Travel advisories: Is it really that bad or just over exaggerated journalism?
Quick guide on understanding and applying travel advisories
Travel advisories are official warnings issued by governments or international organizations to advise travelers of potential safety or security risks in a specific country or region. These advisories are important sources of information for travelers as they provide up-to-date information on security risks, natural disasters, health issues, and other potential hazards that may affect travelers.
Travel advisories may recommend that travelers avoid all non-essential travel to a particular country or region or take extra precautions while visiting. They may also provide information on local laws and customs, entry and exit requirements, and emergency contacts. It's important to utilize this information along with reliable reports and professional recommendations to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience.
What About News Stories?
Major news story start by stating a over dramatic headline to get your attention. It is a
business that relies on viewers or readers, just like this blog you're reading now. The point is to get you to read the story. But often when the information is not clear or tries to associate an entire country with one incident, it incites fear to travel to that destination. Take into considerations a few details that might help in making a thought out decision on when to travel to a destination that might seem unsafe:
Definitely rely on proven sources for information on travel advisories.
Exam the threat. Is it in a tourist area, within an excursion or area that would be frequented by tourist?
Was the threat a cause of improper behavior or actions?
Minimize public opinion. It is often miscommunicated and distorted.
Already Booked, What Now?
What if you have already booked your vacations and an advisory or major news story for that area is published?
First of all, don't panic.
If you feel really unnerved by the news, then don't go. Cancel or reschedule. Your peace of mind is more important. Plus your going to worry the whole time on vacation and won't enjoy anything.
Still want to follow through with your trip? Consider the following
Register with the U.S. Embassy through the S.T.E.P. program. S mart T raveler E nrollment P rogram at https://step.state.gov/step/ This is a free service that allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. It will text or email if there is a threat, connect with the embassy which can get you out of a country in an emergency or contact love ones and get you medical attention.
Follow the rules. When traveling outside of your native country don't assume laws and regulations are the same. This can vary drastically between countries and providences. Don't assume, find out and know
Stick with tourist areas and locations built for tourist. This is not your home. Just like where you live, there are places you don't go because you're not welcome. So don't. You can still have a very unique, adventurous getaway by picking tourist activities that fit your style. There is something for everyone.
Don't get lost in the idea that your location is overly safe for you to do .. whatever you want. Many people assume because they are staying in a luxury resort that they can venture any where or do anything with no consequence. Respect the staff and the property. There is no reason to be on a beach in the middle of the night. There are no lights and nothing you can do or see for that matter.
Know your limits. Don't over consume alcohol or recreational drugs especially in public places. You have to get back to your room, remember that.
In full, travel advisories are real and to be taken seriously. In this digital age, it is a must that you insure that your sources for information are legit. Follow your gut and make a decision based on facts and your peace of mind.
To find the latest updates on travel advisories go to https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/