Safe Travels! Travel Advisories and Warnings for Americans and Aussies

Health & Safety, Passports & Visas — By on October 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm

by Paige Green
Special to Lost Girls World

Shoes off at security check points, no liquids over 3 oz. on board, naked airport scanners – the international travel experience has certainly changed over recent years. Today, most of us can’t help but think about safety concerns and terror threats as we make plans and arrange our travel itineraries. Especially this week, as the government issues a vague but stern-s0unding warning about potential terrorist activity in Europe. So, besides canceling your trip, what can you do to stay safe?

Well, there are plenty of precautions that you can take to help put your mind at ease. First and foremost, find out as much information as you can about your destination before you travel and while you’re on your trip….and consider these five suggestions for safe travel:

1.  Check travel warnings – Monitor travel advice and bulletins for the most recent updates on travel warnings abroad. In addition to our own U.S. state department website, the Australian Government’s travel advisory and consular information service, www.smartraveller.gov.au, gives the latest information for travelers on a country by country basis. For example, those with cheap flights to India for October’s games can keep an eye on the latest alerts and monitor updates in the special section for the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

2.  Register online – If you’re an American, you can can register their vacation or other travels with the U.S. government before you leave. That way, in case you have an emergency (ie, if your passport gets lost or stolen, a natural disaster occurs,  etc) the local embassy will be  better able to assist you.  For example, after the earthquake in Haiti, the government evacuated over 16,700 U.S. citizens. During the civil unrest in Lebanon in 2006, they assisted nearly 15,000 U.S. citizens, and in 2004 they helped thousands more during the tsunami.

For Aussies, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) also recommends that travelers register on their website before they travel. This will assist the department with getting in touch with you or your family in the event that something goes wrong during your trip.

3.  Take out travel insurance Buying travel insurance can help put your mind at ease about many of the concerns that come with traveling overseas, including incurred medical expenses, lost luggage and any necessary emergency arrangements that need to be made for a return journey home.

4.   Do your research! Learn about the local rules and customs before you travel abroad. You’ll find it makes it easier to get around and will help you to communicate with the locals – and you can avoid any embarrassing or complicated brushes with local law enforcement!

5.   Keep an eye on the news – Keep an eye on local news and media reports before and during your travels. Having flexible arrangements will let you make any last minute adjustments to your itinerary if needed.

Travelers forging ahead with holiday plans

Despite terrorism warnings and political unrest, most holiday makers don’t seem to be deterred enough by these announcements to cancel their plans. In fact, many “at risk” countries are recording their highest tourism numbers to date – that’s according to a recent report from the Sydney Morning Herald.

  • The number of Australians traveling to Fiji is up 43% from 2009 in the first five months, despite the local government’s recent expulsion of Australia’s acting high commissioner. And even with violent protests in Bangkok earlier this year, visitor numbers to Thailand remained steady.
  • DFAT warns travelers to Canada and the US that terrorism is still very much a concern in the area, with the US Department of Homeland Security recently raising the risk level to “orange” on all international and domestic flights – but that hasn’t stopped bargain hunters from taking advantage of cheap flights to Canada and the States.

–          Meanwhile, the Global Peace Index ranks New Zealand as the safest country in the world – Australia comes in at number 19.

Have a safe trip!

Author Bio:

Paige Green is a writer and travel blogger from Australia for Cheap flights, Australia’s leading resource for booking cheap airfares to top holiday destinations.

Transparency disclosure: This was a sponsored post by Cheap flights.

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