If you’re traveling outside of the United States, the best way to ensure a safe trip is to prevent problems before they happen. The more you know before you go, the less likely you are to have difficulties during your travels. Follow these safety precautions provided by the U.S. State Department to help ensure a safe business trip abroad.


Before You Go

Traveling somewhere unusual? The U.S. Department of State issues consular information sheets that contain information about crime and security conditions, areas of instability and other details pertaining to travel in a particular country. The Department of State also issues travel warnings and public announcements, which are updated regularly for countries throughout the world. You can access fact sheets and more information at www.travel.state.gov.


Leave a detailed itinerary including names, addresses and phone numbers of persons and places to be visited with a U.S. contact so that you can be reached in an emergency. Also, make photocopies of your passport information page, credit card numbers and flight information.


When traveling, do not to carry large amounts of cash. Most credit cards can be used worldwide. In case of company-issued credit card theft, notify accounting immediately.


If you go abroad with a pre-existing medical condition, you should carry a list of prescription medicines that you must take, along with the generic names of the drugs, in case of emergency. To ensure that you do not violate the drug laws of the countries that you visit, consult the embassy or consulate of those countries for precise information before your trip.


Required Documents

When traveling outside of the U.S., travel document requirements vary from country to country. You may need a U.S. passport, proof of citizenship, visa or tourist card if required by the country or countries that you plan to travel to. Check with the embassy or consulate of the country to learn more about passport, visa, or proof of citizenship requirements. Remember, no matter what identification a foreign country requires, U.S. Immigration has strict requirements for re-entry into the United States.


Under international health regulations adopted by the World Health Organization, a country may require international certificates of vaccination against yellow fever and cholera. Typhoid vaccinations are not required for international travel, but are recommended for areas where there is risk of exposure. Check your health care records to ensure that your measles, mumps, rubella, polio, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis immunizations are up to date. Medication to deter malaria and other preventive measures are advisable for certain areas. More information is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov.

Health Insurance

Remember to carry with you your health insurance policy identity card. If you become ill or injured while abroad, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for a list of local doctors, dentists, medical specialists, clinics and hospitals.

Protecting Your Passport

Your passport is the most valuable document that you will carry abroad. It confirms your U.S. citizenship. When entering some countries or registering at hotels, you may be asked to fill out a police card listing your name, passport number, destination, local address and reason for travel. You may be required to leave your passport at the hotel reception desk overnight so that it may be checked by local police officials. These are normal procedures required by local laws. If your passport is not returned the following morning, immediately report the impoundment to local police authorities and to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

If your passport is lost or stolen abroad, you should report the loss immediately to the local police and to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.