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
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
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.