Safety for Family Vacations Abroad
For most people, the time of the year for family vacations is anxiously anticipated and eagerly awaited. More families are choosing to take their vacations abroad each year. And as the US becomes more of a multicultural melting pot, a large percentage of people have family relatives who live in other countries which provides more opportunities for traveling abroad. While experiencing being in a foreign land and soaking up new cultures and traditions can be exciting, travelers must exercise caution and plan appropriately when traveling outside of the country.
Unfortunately, many people become victimized while traveling broad. Poorer nations generally have the higher crime rates, which means travelers who do not understand the native tongue can easily become a target of crimes ranging from pickpocketing to sexual enslavement. Domestic and international agencies have incorporated various safety procedures to ensure travelers have the greatest time of their lives with their loved ones.
Travelers should conduct the proper research before purchasing their tickets and boarding a flight. Many travel advisory boards offer up-to-date warnings that will inform travelers about present dangers. Risks may include social unrest, political turmoil, terrorism, biological and chemical attacks, pandemics, and food poisoning. Those who enter third world countries should remain vigilant of the food they eat to ensure that the host uses the proper preparation and sanitary measures. In addition, travelers should consider purchasing traveler’s health insurance and obtain the proper vaccinations before entering a questionable region.
If a crisis arises while traveling abroad, travelers should contact their local embassy. Other international organizations and foreign agencies may assist in times of dire need. Travelers should conduct the proper research before traveling abroad to fully understand the procedures to take if an emergency does occur while overseas. Many registries offer emergency phone numbers to contact that will lead travelers to safety. In addition, many organizations offer guidelines that will assist travelers in avoiding general crime, such as kidnapping, sex trafficking, pickpocketing, and scams. It’s also a good idea for travelers to learn a few choices words and phrases while traveling to a foreign nation. Not only will this help in recognizing suspicious behavior, it will help in getting help from the natives of the area.
While most people intend on having a positive vacation experience when traveling abroad, the chances of having items stolen, children abducted, or incurring an injury may be very slim. However, it never hurts to exercise caution while having a good time. Those who understand the balance between taking risks and exercise caution will enjoy a worry free family vacation.
Follow these links to gain a better understanding of safely traveling abroad:
Travel Warnings and Alerts
- Travel Advisory Policy and State Department Warnings
- Current Travel Warnings
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Travel Notices
- The Department of Homeland Security: Travel Alerts
- Global Travel Warnings
- Secure Community Network: Travel Advisory
- The Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Travel Advice By Country
Emergency Information for Crisis Abroad
- The United States Disaster Assistance Program
- U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services: Emergency Travel
- United States Department of State: Embassies
- Cornell University: Emergencies Abroad
- Education Abroad Emergency Protocol
- Overseas Security Advisory Council
- Emergency Numbers Abroad
Airports, Passport and Customs Information
- DELTA: International Travel Information
- Transportation Security Agency (TSA): ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints
- Global Entry: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Philadelphia International Airport: Airport Rules and Regulations
- Baggage Items Prohibited or Restricted in Airports and Airplanes
Staying Healthy Abroad
- Institute for Study Abroad: Health and Safety Abroad
- The National Association of International Educators: Regulatory Information
- Stay Healthy and Safe While Abroad
- Health and Safety Abroad
- Safety While Traveling Abroad: Information on Security Plans
General Safety Abroad