Travel Advice - Safety information for travelers from the U.S. Department of State
All of us hope that our vacations will find us safe, sound, and enjoying ourselves. The Website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the U.S. Department of State (http://travel.state.gov/) provides information on travel safety useful to all travelers.
The Bureau of Consular Affairs is a part of the State Department that provides governmental services to travelers and issues Travel Warnings, Public Announcements, and Consular Information Sheets. These public documents are described below.
Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department decides, based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. Countries where avoidance of travel is recommended will have Travel Warnings as well as Consular Information Sheets.
Public Announcements are a means to disseminate information about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term and/or trans-national conditions posing significant risks to the security of American travelers. They are made any time there is a perceived threat and usually have Americans as a particular target group. In the past, Public Announcements have been issued to deal with short-term coups, bomb threats to airlines, violence by terrorists and anniversary dates of specific terrorist events.
Consular Information Sheets are available for every country of the world. They include such information as location of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the subject country, unusual immigration practices, health conditions, minor political disturbances, unusual currency and entry regulations, crime and security information, and drug penalties. If an unstable condition exists in a country that is not severe enough to warrant a Travel Warning, a description of the condition(s) may be included under an optional section entitled "Safety/Security." Consular Information Sheets generally do not include advice, but present information in a factual manner so the traveler can make his or her own decisions concerning travel to a particular country.
These publications are informative and can provide you a quick assessment of the potential safety hazards in the area that you might be targeting for travel. We recommend that you give them a look while doing your travel planning. We extract the most useful information from these reports and include it in our Destination Guides for each country we cover.