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Safety Tips for a New Travel World

10 Tips for Safer Travel in a Post 9/11 World

1. Read English-language newspapers on the internet that cover the areas you will visit. Local journalists can describe the real situation rather than the newspaper headline. The local beat also covers street crime and events.

2. Check with the local office of an international organization. Speak or email overseas office staff such as: YWCA or Rotary. Local staff can be accurate about local conditions, especially particular issues like women's or disabled's safety.

3. Call the desk officer at the State Department and chat. Some officers will be more candid verbally than their announcements.

4. Compare US State Department notifications with those of Foreign Offices of Australia, UK, or Canada. You will find wide discrepancies and can surf for up to date or different information.

5. Check for local events at your destination that might spark trouble in an ordinarily peaceful place. Elections, memorial dates, and student meetings can mean disruption.

6. On entering a country, make sure your passport is stamped by immigration authorities. There can be a problem leaving if the initial stamp was not affixed. Authorities can claim you entered illegally.

7. Have the photo page of your passport laminated and keep it in your suitcase. That is an easy way to save valuable information.

8. Scan your passport photo page and relevant visa pages and email them to yourself. Should you need information during the trip, you can print it out from a remote computer.

9. Use everyday items (packed in checked luggage of course) as tools for your safety: breath spray in the eyes, big keys as a poker, metal nail file, etc. The world can be a nasty place. Be prepared but adhere to airline rules.

10. If you are mugged — do not hand over your wallet, throw your wallet away from you and run in the other direction. This will confuse the robber and save your person. So keep traveling and do your homework!

For information, visit The Women's Travel Club website.

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