Staying healthy and safe when you travel abroad requires careful planning. Before you go, you should Get Informed, Get Enrolled, and Get Insured.
- The State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs is making it easier for U.S. citizens to access clear, timely, and reliable safety and security information about every country in the world. The first step was launching an improved, mobile-friendly website, travel.state.gov. The next step is the release of new Travel Advisories and Alerts, live on the website now. For more information, see travel.state.gov/travelsafely and find out how to stay informed about the changes. Also view USA Study Abroad’s recent webinar with the Bureau of Consular Affairs to learn more about the changes.
- Read up on your destination at travel.state.gov. Learn about visa requirements, local laws, customs, and medical care in the countries you are visiting. Some travelers, such as those with disabilities, women, and LGBTI persons, face additional challenges when they are abroad. Use the traveler’s checklist to help you prepare.
- Apply early for your passport. If you already have one, make sure it will be valid for at least six months and has two or more blank pages, or some countries may not allow you to enter.
- Carry contact details for the nearest U.S. embassy or U.S. consulate with you. We are available for emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, overseas and in Washington, D.C. (888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444).
Sign up for our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. You can receive travel and security updates about your destination, and it will help us contact you in an emergency.
If your family needs to reach you because of an emergency at home, they can call Overseas Citizens Services in Washington, D.C. at 888-407-4747 (from the United States or Canada) or 202-501-4444 (overseas).
Make sure you have health insurance whenever you are traveling abroad. If your U.S. health care plan does not cover you overseas, consider buying supplemental insurance to cover medical costs and emergency evacuation. Foreign hospitals and doctors often require payment in cash, and medical evacuation can cost up to $100,000.