Before Traveling Abroad

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Here are five things to consider before you travel abroad.

1 Read the state department’s traveler’s checklist

Find out how to plan a safe trip, what documents you need, how to handle money overseas and more (travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/go/checklist.html).

2 Stay connected with the state department

Follow the state department’s “TravelGov” Facebook and Twitter accounts to get safety and security information, especially during a crisis overseas. You can also sign up for security updates through the department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP.state.gov). Giving your contact details will help expedite emergency outreach. In case you need help, like if your passport is lost or stolen, always carry the address and phone number of the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate, in English and the local language.

3 …and with those back home

Agree on regular times to check in with family and friends to let them know you are okay. Will you do it via text, email, social media or phone? Check into an international cell phone plan or buying SIM cards with minutes/data in the countries where you’ll be. Cafes, museums and libraries are places that often have free WiFi to connect your device.

4 Have a plan for emergencies

Think about what you would do if there were an emergency or crisis when you’re abroad. Check social media, TV and radio to hear what local authorities are advising.

5 Make sure you have insurance for unexpected travel, medical, and evacuation expenses

These can cost thousands of dollars and cut short your trip. Think about buying additional insurance coverage.

—Provided by the U.S. Department of State

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