Monday, April 4, 2016

A little caution, please, when going abroad

Even after Paris and Brussels, many people are pretty casual about flitting to Europe and traveling overseas.

Karen Workman, New York Times, March 30, 2016, says the State Dept does suggest a few precautions.

The federal Office of Overseas Citizens Services says the State Dept is not saying don't travel, but it is saying be careful if you do.

--Log in with the State Dept. Google the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program--you will get travel alerts about your intended destination.

--Know how to contact the American Embassy wherever you go. You can get embassy info on the State Dept website.

--Find out how to contact local authorities. You can get each country's version of "911" on the website. Look under Safety and Security on the pulldown menu.  In Britain, it's 999, in France 112.

--Those numbers are only good if your phone plan works overseas. You should probably get an International Sim Card--and this may involve getting your carrier to unlock your phone. Or you could rent a phone.

--Be watchful in public places. Always see where the exits are.

--Give a copy of your itinerary to family and friends.

--If you get a travel health policy, know what it covers. Ask if you are covered for force majeure--things that cannot be planned. That may involve a terrorist action.

I always carry a few American hundred dollar bills. They are accepted everyplace and quite eagerly I might add.

This website should start you off in preparing...  https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/emergencies.html

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