Take a STEP Up…Travel Smart!

Posted by John Hanna
March 7, 2012
Women Enters U.S. Passport Office in Washington DC

Passport Day in the USA is Saturday, March 10. This is the perfect time to renew or apply for your new passport.

Once you have your passport, you're ready to travel overseas! Well, almost ready. There are a few things you can do to better prepare for your upcoming trip.

First, check out our website: travel.state.gov. In the "International Travel" section of travel.state.gov, you'll find a variety of documents, including Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information, which describe conditions abroad that may affect a traveler's safety and security. Remember, a well-informed traveler is a safe traveler.

Next, sign up for our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). What is STEP? STEP is a free service provided by the U.S. government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. STEP enrollment makes it possible for the State Department to contact you in the case of a family emergency in the United States, or in the event of a crisis in a foreign country. Safety and security updates are automatically sent to you so you can make informed trip-planning decisions. STEP also allows U.S. citizens residing abroad to get important information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. It's free and takes less than five minutes to enroll online. And, of course, all information is kept private.

Finally, download Smart Traveler, our iPhone application available through Apple. Use the Smart Traveler app to search country specific information and enroll in STEP on the go, wherever you are.

Your passport is your doorway to the world, and STEP keeps you informed, connected, and safe. Happy travels!

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