Stay safe when heading abroad

These days, traveling to a foreign country can seem more like a journey into danger than a fun-filled adventure. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, minimize your risk of becoming a victim of crime or terrorism when you’re abroad:

• Keep your nationality off the radar. Display a neutral image. Don’t flaunt flag emblems or wear clothing with insignias or other indicators of your nation of origin.

• Avoid high-traffic areas. While waiting for a flight, a car, or a friend, sit in restaurants or lobbies where you’re not as easily observed. Arrive at airports and terminals as close to departure time as you can to decrease contact with strangers.

• Check your accommodations. Call or email ahead to make sure the place you’re staying—whether a hotel or friend’s home—has adequate security precautions.

• Don’t be predictable. If you drive to the same destination several times during your visit, vary your departure and arrival times and take different routes.

• Watch your bags. Don’t use luggage tags with your name and address on them. Use a secure address, and place your real address inside your bags.

• Monitor local conditions. The U.S. State Department offers travel advisory information on its website to help you stay current on crime and other problems in the areas and countries you’re visiting.

• Register with the local embassy or consulate. In the event of a disaster or civil unrest, your embassy should know how to contact or get to you.

• Be inconspicuous. Excessive caution attracts attention, so don’t spend too much time looking over your shoulder or asking questions.

• Watch your appearance and actions. Project a confident image so you don’t look like an easy target.

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