Staying Safe while Traveling Internationally

Follow these safety tips to prepare for your trip and travel with confidence.

Check the expiration dates on your passport, credit cards, and driver’s license and renew them before traveling if needed. Ensure that your passport is valid for six months after the completion of your trip.

Make copies of important documents in case your passport is lost or stolen:

  • Informational page of your passport and any visas
  • Driver’s license

Empty your wallet or purse of any items that you do not need to bring, such as your social security card, and bring only the essentials on your trip. Label your belongings, including your camera, with your name, address, phone number and email address. Small return address labels are handy for this task.

At the airport

  • Make sure your luggage fits within size and weight restrictions

  • Stay up to date on potential security delays at your airport

  • Mark your bags well with an ID tag on the outside and an ID and copy of your itinerary inside in case your bags go missing

  • Take a picture of your suitcase with your phone or digital camera
  • Use the restroom before going through security

  • Pack your carry-on so the contents can easily be checked

  • Follow the TSA “3-1-1” guidelines

  • Be ready to remove your shoes and coat

  • Ensure all of your belongings are with you when you leave the screening area

For up-to-date security information and guidelines, visit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website at

At your hotel

  • Use all available locks when you are in your room

  • Use the door peephole

  • Leave valuables at home so you don’t have to worry about them

  • Lock your suitcase when you leave your room

  • Use the room safe or the hotel safe

On the street

Carrying a money belt is always a safe bet.

  • Dress inconspicuously and avoid flashy accessories or expensive jewelry

  • Keep your essential valuables (passport, credit cards, etc.) on your person at all times, preferably in a money belt or a security wallet worn under your clothing

  • If you carry a traditional wallet, place it in a front pants pocket or an inside coat pocket. Place a rubber band around your wallet to make it more difficult for a pickpocket to slide it out unnoticed

  • Wear your purse at all times, do not take it off no matter where you are. Bags that are worn across your body are handy and safe

  • If you bring a backpack, be very careful as they can be easy targets for pickpockets. Do as the Europeans do and wear it on your front when walking around crowded cities, riding on public transportation, or shopping at markets

  • Pick up a hotel business card and keep it with you so you can easily show it to a taxi driver or get directions if needed

  • Keep your camera out of sight when you’re not using it

Following these tips will help ensure that your vacation goes smoothly, and that you and your belongings stay safe. If you do encounter a pickpocket or lose an item, inform your travel director and the local police. Also keep copies of the reports in order to make claims on your travel insurance.

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