The world is a beautiful place, and we hope to encourage all people to see every hidden corner of it. Sometimes, the most beautiful locations – like Istanbul, Turkey – can also be tumultuous and scary at times. This doesn’t mean we don’t travel there! It merely means we must be vigilant and ready for the unexpected.
4 Tips to Traveling in an Area of Political Unrest
1. Stay vigilant
When you travel to an area known for terrorist activity, political instability and turmoil; be aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep an eye for exits if you are at a crowded event. Never venture out alone at night. Learn the cultures of the area you are traveling to and be respectful to the native people.
2. Enroll with the consulate
The United States State Department asks all overseas travelers to enroll in the STEP program. STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) “is a free service to allow US citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.” As part of the program, you’ll receive alerts and warnings as they are released, help the embassy or consulate to contact you if needed while traveling and allow family and friends an easier way to know you are safe in case of an emergency.
3. Always keep your passport handy
You may not have your luggage you at all times but always keep your passport with you. This will allow you more fluid movement in and out of countries as well as the US Embassy and Consulate if an emergency should arise. In some cases, you may find your United States License/I.D. may not be a valid form of identification where you are visiting. All nations will recognize a passport.
4. Do not travel without insurance
No matter the region you are visiting, consider travel insurance. Our licensed representatives can help you determine how travel insurance can help you while abroad. All travel insurance plans are different, so it’s important to understand the plan prior to purchasing and traveling. Purchasing a plan in a timely manner is important as well. Coverage – like Cancel for Any Reason – is typically only available within a window after your initial trip payment; but it is your best option for cancelling a trip, no questions asked.