Is the U.S. Embassy Really Your Best Friend Overseas?

The stock advice for American travelers seeking safety information for other countries is to check out the advisories at It is also recommended that you register with the State Department before your trip, and then check in with the local U.S. embassy or consulate once you get there.

But those should be the first – not only – steps you take, especially if you’re traveling to areas known for conditions that make them unstable or dangerous (e.g., civil unrest or disease outbreaks). You see, the U.S. isn’t always up to date when it comes to issuing travel warnings. And in emergency situations… well, U.S. travelers in Mumbai during the recent attacks report calling the embassy only to be told to watch TV news for more information.

So you should also register for e-mail alerts from the Australian (, British (, and Canadian ( governments. Their worldwide travel advisories tend to be more current and more frequent than those from the U.S. Plus, they’ll send you e-mails and text messages quickly and often during emergency situations.

(Source: Conde Nast Traveler)

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