Tips for Traveling Abroad

Here are some quick tips to make your travel easier and safer:

  • Leave copies of itinerary and passport data page:  Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page and visas, if applicable, with family or friends, so you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
  • Take precautions to avoid being a target of crime:  To avoid being a target of crime, do not wear conspicuous clothing or jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money.  Also, do not leave unattended luggage in public areas and do not accept packages from strangers.
  • Contact U.S. Embassies and Consulates in an emergency: Consular personnel at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad and in the U.S. are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens.  Contact information for U.S. Embassies and Consulates appears on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at  Also, note that the Office of Overseas Citizen Services in the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs may be reached for assistance with emergencies at 1-888-407-4747, if calling from the U.S. or Canada, or 202-501-4444, if calling from overseas.
  • Bringing Medications or Filling Prescriptions: A traveler with a preexisting medical problem should carry a letter from the attending physician, describing the medical condition and any prescription medications, including the generic names of prescribed drugs.  Any medications being carried overseas should be left in their original containers and be clearly labeled.If you wear eyeglasses, take an extra pair with you if possible.  Pack medicines and extra eyeglasses in your hand luggage so they will be available in case your checked luggage is lost.  To be extra secure, pack a backup supply of medicines and an additional pair of eyeglasses in your checked luggage.If you have allergies, reactions to certain medications, foods, or insect bites, or other unique medical problems, consider wearing a “medical alert” bracelet.  You may also wish to carry a letter from your physician explaining required treatment should you become ill.Information on filling a prescription abroad and other health issues may be found at

Special Planning Considerations

  • Pack wisely:  Do not pack so much that you will end up lugging around heavy suitcases.  Dress conservatively—a wardrobe that is flashy may attract the attention of thieves or con artists, while clothing that is very casual may result in being barred from some tourist sites overseas.  Include a change of clothing in your carry-on luggage.
  • Maintenance on equipment:  Have a maintenance check done on any equipment you will take with you, to ensure that everything is in working order before you leave.  You may want to research the availability of wheelchair and medical equipment providers in the areas you plan to visit.

If You Need to Obtain a New Passport

For information on obtaining a new passport if yours is lost or stolen abroad…first, report it immediately to the local police and to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  A consul can issue a replacement passport, often within 24 hours. Links to contact information for U.S. Embassies and Consulates may be found at  If your U.S. passport is lost or stolen in the U.S., report it to the Department of State by following instructions found at