Travel Advisories
Read Carefully, Make Up Your Own Mind

"Can you shed some light on travel advisories? Some friends are telling me I shouldn't travel. Where can I get information?"

Travel Advisories... OK you need travel advice, but it shouldn't necessarily come from your friends when it comes to your safety. We're told all the time that we're crazy to go some of the places we do... but we really don't think we take chances.

What you need to know about are the Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts issued by governments all over the world to tell their citizens which countries or parts of countries might be dangerous or of concern.

Travel warnings can mean that there is scary stuff going on....

...but governments issue advisories on several levels, so just because a government issues one of these, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad idea to plan a trip to that country.

Terrorism has been in the news for years, then there was the Arab Spring, and some unrest in European counties about austerity measures...

Moai statues on Easter Island

There have been earthquakes and other natural disasters that have triggered warnings and alerts.

We get nervous with some of these too.

We postponed a trip to Chile and Easter Island right after their big earthquake in 2010...

...but we went later in the year with no problem.

If you want to be a traveler, you need to learn to weigh the warnings and the news. You may decide that it's worth it to travel anyway.

Terrorism is nothing new; different areas have had unrest in the past. Read those advisories, take them seriously, but decide if what they are talking about will affect you and your trip. Don't trust them blindly and just stay home forever.

Travel advisories are issued for a number of reasons. Terrorism and wars are the scariest among them. They can be issued because of natural disasters, political unrest, disease outbreaks or high crime areas. You need to read to see if these are long term warnings or short term travel advisories.

Check With Multiple Governments

We think it's a good idea to check with several different sources... as English speakers, we check to see what the governments of Australia, Canada, the U.K. and the U.S are saying.

They don't always agree. So if there are differing points of view, what should you do?

Evaluate them for yourself.

Which Travel Advisories Are Which?

I'll talk about the the U.S State Department because that's where we live. Here's what they issue...

    Travel Warnings - These are the more dire of their travel advisories. They want you to reconsider if you should travel there at all. Warnings sometimes stay in effect for years.

    (The Australians, for instance, would say "Do not travel" or "Reconsider your need to travel.")

The level of seriousness goes down from there...

    Travel Alerts - These are more short term advisories that may have to do with disease outbreaks or natural disasters or events that might pose more of a risk to travelers. These are way less scary.

    (Here the Aussies would say, "Exercise a high degree of caution.")

    Country Specific Facts - The State Department also has information on each specific country telling about road conditions, food and water safety.

    Some of THAT information can be scary to read... but it shouldn't keep you home... It's just good information to have.

How Should You Use These Advisories?

Keep in mind your tolerance... will that warning or advisory worry you all through your trip or is it something you can just keep vigilant for and still enjoy your travels?

  • Is the whole country affected?
  • Tiger in India - Kanha National Park

      One time, we were traveling to the center of India to several national parks to see tigers. There was unrest in the northwest.

      We read the travel advisories. We felt the problem was half a continent away, and we'd be fine.

      We were...

      ...and we saw tigers every day. I'm so glad we didn't cancel.

    What we're trying to tell you is if there was a natural disaster in one part of the country, the part you're going to may be fine. Health outbreaks and political unrest may be confined to only one area of a country, leaving the rest perfectly safe to travel in.

  • If the advisories are about violence...
  • Are the threats to tourists or tourist areas or is there violence in isolated and remote areas where there is less possibility of it affecting you?

      We had friends who had planned a trip to Egypt and Jordan. They wanted to bike the Valley of the Kings and Petra. Then the Arab Spring hit Egypt.

      What did they do? They went anyway.

      Now, I might not have, but they say they felt safe the whole time. There were no tourists (I wonder why?) so they got room upgrades, the people were glad to see them and super welcoming... and they had a great trip.

  • Check to see how long ago the advisory was posted.
  • Some warnings are long term, but you can check to see if the conditions that prompted the advisory have changed.

    So What Should You Do If You Go?

  • Dress and pack to avoid calling attention to yourself. This is smart travel anytime, but especially if there is a travel advisory.

  • Stay in local hotels, eat in local restaurants. Small places are generally less apt to be targets.

  • Take the phone number for your country's embassy so you can contact them if necessary. Consider registering with the embassy to let them know you're in the country.

  • You might want to consider travel insurance, but this is tricky... there are many situations that cancellation insurance doesn't cover.
  • If war is breaking out or if the local terrorists are targeting tourists, you probably should reconsider your travel plans.

    With a travel advisory or warning like that, you might want to find a country that is safer and friendlier or travel to a new part of your own country. Almost all travelers can find adventure even close to home.

    So evaluate those warnings for yourself. Change your plans if you feel you need to, but travel somewhere. It's good for you.

    Happy travels... even if you don't travel the world... just remember that life is a journey... embrace and enjoy it!   Judy and Mark

    Curious about what else we've written about? Search our site for a destination or travel tip.


    Return to International Travel Tips l Europe Travel Tips
    Hotel and B&B Tips l Packing Lists
    Go from Travel Advisories to MouseToursTravels Home Page
    Privacy and Legal Policy

    Protected by Copyscape Online Copyright Infringement Tool
    But... We'd love to have you share this page...
    Use one of the handy "share this page" buttons below. Thanks, Judy and Mark

    New! Comments

    Have your say about what you just read! Did it help with your travel planning and preparation? Eager to leave on that next vacation? Please leave your tips or comments in the box below.

    Ready For A New Adventure?
    How about a website of your own...
    ... work for yourself ... or...
    Exercise your brain in retirement.
    Follow Your Passion
    Who knows where it will take you?
    (Look around at where it's taken us!)
    Click below to start your own journey
    First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

    Already have a website or blog with WordPress? Make it better!
    bizXpress

    Search

    Search MouseToursTravels
    Travel questions or destination info?
    Find our answers faster...


    Related Searches


    Translate

    We want you to feel comfortable out in the world and on our pages - so surf away in your own language...


    Timely Tips

    Summer Vacation
    Travel is fun in the Northern summer... but don't neglect the Southern Hemisphere at this time of year.
    Yes, it's winter in South Africa, but that's their dry season. It's a good time to travel there.
    Lions stop traffic in Kruger NP South Africa

    Sometimes you need to watch rain patterns instead of just seasons to figure the best time to travel...

    Whether you're taking a road trip close to home or traveling abroad...
    whether it's summer or winter in your part of the world...
    the way you pack can make it all more pleasurable.

    Check out all our Packing Lists and Tips.

    Here's one of our favorite places for great travel clothes and supplies to help with your packing...
    Magellan's - America's Leading Source of Travel Supplies

    Need travel ideas?
    Things to See in Europe
    Africa Calls!
    Travel In America

    Don't just dream about it...
    Start making plans!

    Custom Tour Planning List
    International Travel Planning Tips
    Foreign Is Fun - Not Scary!
    Get Your Passports and Visas


    Find, Compare & Book It!

    We always say shop and compare at several sources. Here are some of our favorites...

    25+ Million Users Trust TripAdvisor With Their Travel Plans. Shouldn't You?


    Cheap airfare, hotels, car rentals, vacations and cruises at Expedia.com!
    Expedia.com

    All the best hotel sites in one place right here. Hotels Combined...
    HotelsCombined logo


    We are not travel agents, but we're affiliated with these and other great companies.
    Check 'em all out!


    Follow Your Passion!

    Travel Is Our Passion
    What's Yours?

    We have lots of fun traveling... and we've had lots of fun creating this website. It earns us money too! No get-rich quick scheme here.... just honest pages about our travels. Is this something you've ever wanted to try?

    Are you passionate or knowledgeable about something? An expert even?

    Cars ...or... cooking?
    Boats ...or... business?
    Plants ...or... parenting?
    Anything!

    Turn it into a web business. Click on the SBI TV icon below and learn how a new life could be yours...

    Learn how to build your own profitable web site like we did

    Look at it... Think about it...
    Why NOT you?

    If you're like me, you like to talk to a real person and get answers to your questions... We get that!

    Your Questions Answered Here.

    Honest answers... honestly ...Promise!


    Two Ways To Like Us!
    Like Our Site Top Left
    Like Our Fanpage Below
    Thank You!