Other Safety Tips

Airport Security & Luggage

Airport security is more stringent than ever. Familiarize yourself with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policies on what you can carry through airport security. Don't argue with TSA personnel; they are there for your protection. Uncooperative behavior or inappropriate jokes will lead to greater delays, intensive searches, and possibly criminal charges.

Mark all luggage with your name and address. If you have an itinerary, put a copy inside each bag. Keep a list of what is in each bag and carry the list with your other documents. Mark your bags in some distinctive way so you can easily find them.

Never pack essential documents, medicine—anything you could not do without—in your checked luggage. Put them in your carry-on bag.

Stay clear of unattended luggage or packages in airports, train stations, or other public areas.

Credit Cards

Take only the cards you will use on the trip. Keep a separate list of cards, numbers, and emergency replacement procedures.


Carry your passport in a place inaccessible to pickpockets and never pack it in luggage stowed out of your sight. Keep it with you. If your passport is lost or stolen, notify authorities and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. After an investigation to determine identification, you will be issued a temporary passport. To expedite the process, provide officials with a copy of your passport photo page and your birth certificate.

Consular Services

The United States has an embassy in almost every foreign capital city and a consulate in most major cities. To familiarize yourself with the consular services available to all American visitors, check the website of the U.S. embassy in your host country. In addition to helping Americans with crises, the embassy will often honor requests from businesses or educational institutions for personal introductions to local society. Travelers can receive information on universities, local bi-national centers, and private organizations, and individuals who are interested in cross-cultural experiences.