How to Prepare for Your Trip

Any trip requires careful planning. Listed below are some tips you can take to prepare for a safe trip anywhere outside of the U.S.

Alerts and warnings

Before you travel abroad, you should always check to see if the U.S. Department of State has issued any travel warnings or alerts.

Examples of reasons for a Travel Warning being issued may include: unstable government, civil war, ongoing intense crime or violence, or frequent terrorist attacks. If a Travel Warning is issued for the country you are planning to visit, you will want to consider if you should make the trip at all.

Travel Alerts are typically for short-term events that you should be aware of when planning to travel abroad. Some examples of a Travel Alert may include: election season, health outbreak such as H1N1, or evidence of an elevated risk of a terrorist attack.


Whenever planning a trip abroad you will want to make sure you have a passport. Find information on applying for a new passport, updating your passport, and locations where you can apply at the U.S. Passports & International Travel site »


It’s also possible that you may need to obtain a visa when entering a country outside of the U.S. There are various visa types, learn more about them at U.S. Visas.

Learn about your destination

The U.S. Passports & International Travel provides country specific information for every country around the world. This is a good place to start learning about the country you plan to visit.

Traveler's checklist

  • Be aware of any travel alerts or warnings
  • Do you have all required travel documents?
  • Are you prepared for an emergency?
  • Do you plan to drive overseas?
  • Pack smart
  • Do you have photocopies of your itinerary and travel documents?

For additional information on these tips, please go here.