Safety Abroad: Know Your Country
Read books and explore websites about the country you will visit and about traveling abroad. Become aware of cultural taboos in the countries you plan to visit. For example, there are restrictions on photography in certain countries. Be aware that certain reading material or literature may offend officials of some countries. Know the location of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. See the U.S. embassy website at http://usembassy.state.gov/. Express yourself with patience, diplomacy, and an unassuming manner in an effort to be perceived as a welcomed visitor.
- Use the same precautions abroad that you would in any U.S. metropolitan area.
- Avoid poorly lit places and walking alone. Stick to well-traveled streets, and try to walk in groups at night. Be especially cautious when you are new to a city and do not yet know what parts of town may be less safe.
- Don’t carry valuables, even in a backpack or locked luggage. If you must carry cameras, radios, etc., don’t leave them unattended.
- Don’t flaunt wallets, purses, or cameras. Wear a money belt, concealed under your clothing.
- Put valuables in the hotel safe or ask your local contact about storing valuables at the program site.
- Leave expensive or expensive-looking jewelry at home.
- Be proactive in ensuring your safety. Be aware of your surroundings.
- When possible, avoid traveling by car. More people are injured or killed abroad in automobile accidents than through violent crime.