The U.S. Department of State (www.travel.state.gov) provides the following tips if you plan to travel abroad.
10 Tips for Traveling Abroad
1. Register your overseas travel plans with the State Department online at https://travelregistration.state.gov
In case of an emergency or crisis when you are traveling, the State Department can contact you.
2. Have a signed, valid passport and visas, if required. Fill in the emergency information page of your passport.
3. Leave copies of itinerary and passport data page with family or friends so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency. Carry an extra copy of your passport with you in a separate place from your passport in case your passport is lost or stolen. Your copy will facilitate getting a replacement passport.
4. Check to see if your medical insurance covers you overseas. If not, then consider supplemental insurance.
5. Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of the countries to which you are traveling because you are subject to its laws.
6. To avoid being a target of crime, try not to wear conspicuous clothing and expensive jewelry, do not carry excessive amounts of money or unnecessary credit cards. Do not leave your luggage unattended in public areas. Do not accept packages from strangers.
7. Emergency assistant can be found at U.S. Embassies, which are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Emergency numbers: Office of Overseas Citizen Services in the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs
1-888-407-4747 from the U.S. or Canada
202-501-4444 from overseas
8. Travel Warnings: check to see if the country you will be visiting has been issued a travel warning. The U.S. Department of State issues travel warnings when a country may be dangerous or unstable to visit, or if the U.S. Government's ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy.
9. Travel Alerts: check to see if the country you plan to visit has been issued a travel alert. Travel alerts could be generated for short-term conditions such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, coups, violence, high-profile international conferences.
10. Country Specific Information: The U.S. Department of State provides information on every country in the world such as location of the U.S. embassy, health conditions, minor political disturbances, crime, or unusual currency and entry regulations.
For more information, go to http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/tips/tips_1232.html