CONSUMER WATCH: Make sure your trip abroad is safe


by Kelsey Graeter

Posted on July 4, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 4 at 5:01 PM

LOUISVILLE -- Summer is the time when many people take the opportunity to travel the world, but fear of protest and uprisings like the one in Egypt might have some rethinking their plans.

Just because there is trouble overseas doesn't mean the vacation is off. Andy Treinen of Good Morning Kentuckiana's Consumer Watch suggest that travelers do the necessary research
needed to make good decisions for their safety.

Start with the US Department of State to make sure it is safe to make the trip. The agency keeps an updated list of countries the US government has deemed as dangerous or unstable.
The department recommends that Americans avoid traveling to countries that are on the list.

If there is an emergency while abroad, the US may not be able to assist travelers because the embassy or consulate may be closed.

Once you know your destination, sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. This free service allows travelers to register their plans so that the US government can better assist them if there is an emergency.
It's also recommended that travelers sign up to get information from the Department of State about where the closest US Embassy
or consulate is to their destination. If registered with the program, travelers can sign up for state department issued email updates about warning, alerts and consular information for countries one might travel to.

The Department of safe also outlines what it can or cannot do in the event of a crisis should travelers find themselves in trouble overseas.