Know Before You Go: Information for U.S. Citizens Traveling to South Korea for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics

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The official emblem of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games is seen in South Korea, January 18, 2018.
The official emblem of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games is seen in South Korea, January 18, 2018.

Know Before You Go: Information for U.S. Citizens Traveling to South Korea for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics

The 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games are just days away! These will be South Korea's second Olympic Games (Seoul hosted the Summer Games in 1988) and the country’s first Winter Games.

With the approach of the Olympics and Paralympics, Americans and sports lovers worldwide are beginning to prepare for the games. While most will follow the games on television and social media, many will actually travel to PyeongChang to watch them in person. The U.S. Department of State plays a very important role in ensuring Americans’ safety and security during such major events If you are a U.S. citizen traveling to the Games in PyeongChang, you should add these tasks to your to-do list before you take off for your trip.

GET INFORMATION: Visit the State Department’s country informationpa ge for South Korea and the website for the U.S. Embassy Seoul, which provides up-to-date information about visas, safety and security, and other issues related to traveling in South Korea. Go to travel.state.gov/crisis to learn how to prepare for the unexpected during your time abroad. You can also find detailed, Olympics-specific information at the Department’s 2018 Winter Olympics site.

GET REQUIRED DOCUMENTS: Make sure your passport will be valid for at least six months after your trip ends and that you have at least two or more blank pages. Check children’s passport validity closely: theirs are valid only five years, not 10 years like adult passports! And if you are traveling alone with a child, you may need a notarized letter showing permission from the other parent.

GET ENROLLED IN THE SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM: This will enable the U.S. Embassy and Consulates to keep you up to date with important safety and security information, and help us get in touch with you in an emergency. Follow @TravelGov on Twitter and/or Facebook for Alerts as well. 

GET INSURED: Make sure you have insurance to cover medical, emergency evacuation, and other unexpected expenses that may occur. Check your U.S. health care policy to see if it covers expenses abroad. If not, consider supplemental insurance. Medicare does not provide coverage outside the United States.

Check out our American Citizens Services Olympics Brochure to learn more about how you can contact the U.S. Embassy should you need assistance replacing a lost or stolen passport, finding medical resources, if you become a victim of crime, dealing with an arrest/detention, and more. We encourage you to print out the brochure and carry it in with you in case you need to get in touch with the Embassy.

TICKETS: CoSport is the only 2018 Olympic Winter Games authorized ticket reseller for residents of the United States. To purchase individual tickets or hospitality packages, visit the CoSport website. Be aware of scams, fake ticket websites, and unlicensed ticket resellers. Please note that scalping tickets is illegal in South Korea.

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