Holiday Travel Tips from US Consular Officers!

 

 

The holiday season is peak travel time is what we all know. You don’t have to ruin your holiday travel experience since airports will be crowded, Hope you will take advantage of the following tips to help make your holiday travels safe, smooth, and stress-free while you are packing your bags for the sunny beaches of the Caribbean or headed to the snowy slopes of Switzerland.

Holiday Travel Tips:

1. Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so that your family and the State Department can contact you in an emergency.

2. Make sure to apply early for your US passport: For land and sea travel to Mexico and the Caribbean did you know that a US passport book or passport card is now required?  If you do not have a passport and you plan to travel outside of the United States this holiday season, apply for your passport now.  Our current commitment for passport processing time is four to six weeks for routine service and two to three weeks for expedited service.  There are 26 passport agencies and more than 8,800 passport acceptance facilities across the United States.  Passport application forms are available on our website. Sign the passport and fill in the emergency information once you receive your passport.

3. Leave copies of schedule, passport data page, and credit card with any trusted friend. Leave a copy of your credit card too; in an emergency, the credit card company can help your family locate you.

4. Check your overseas medical insurance coverage.

5. Familiarize yourself with local conditions and laws. You are subject to its laws while in a foreign country. Useful safety and other information about the countries you will visit.  You can also download the Smart Traveler iPhone app to have the country information at your fingertips.

6. Make sure you are safe and take precautions to avoid being a target of crime. In any unfamiliar place practice the some safety tips like not wear clothing or jewelry that would attract attention and do not carry excessive amounts of money; do not leave unattended luggage in public areas; do not accept packages from strangers; and do not travel with anything you’d hate to lose.

7. Contact US embassy or consulate in an emergency. Consular personnel atU.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad and in the United States 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 website, or you can call the Office of Overseas Citizen Services 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).

We wish you good cheer this holiday season and safe travels!

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