Tips-Feb. 15, 2013
Francisco & Napa
here for PDF
Tips for Traveling Abroad
are traveling abroad here are the top 10 tips you need to make your
- Make sure
you have a signed, valid passport and visas, if required. Also,
before you go, fill in the emergency information page of your
- Read the
Consular Information Sheets (and Public Announcements or Travel
Warnings, if applicable) for the countries you plan to visit.
yourself with local laws and customs of the countries to which
you are traveling. Remember, the U.S. Constitution does not follow
you! While in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws.
- Make 2 copies
of your passport identification page. This will facilitate replacement
if your passport is lost or stolen. Leave one copy at home with
friends or relatives. Carry the other with you in a separate place
from your passport.
- Leave a
copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home so that
you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
- Do not leave
your luggage unattended in public areas. Do not accept packages
- Prior to
your departure, you should register with the nearest U.S. embassy
or consulate through the State Department’s travel registration
website https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs .
Registration will make your presence and whereabouts known in
case it is necessary to contact you in an emergency. In accordance
with the Privacy Act, information on your welfare and whereabouts
may not be released without your express authorization. Remember
to leave a detailed itinerary and the numbers or copies of your
passport or other citizenship documents with a friend or relative
in the United States.
- To avoid
being a target of crime, try not to wear conspicuous clothing
and expensive jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money
or unnecessary credit cards.
- In order
to avoid violating local laws, deal only with authorized agents
when you exchange money or purchase art or antiques,
If you get
into trouble, contact the nearest U.S. embassy.
Courtesy of U.S. Department of State
New Requirements for Travelers
Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)
The proposed implementation timeline has two phases:
January 23, 2007, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens,
traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico,
Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will be
required to present a valid passport, Air NEXUS card, or U.S.
Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document, or an Alien Registration
Card, Form I-551, if applicable.
- As early
as January 1, 2008, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling
between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America,
the Caribbean, and Bermuda by land or sea (including ferries),
may be required to present a valid passport or other documents
as determined by the Department of Homeland Security. While recent
legislative changes permit a later deadline, the Departments of
State and Homeland Security are working to meet all requirements
as soon as possible. Ample advance notice will be provided to
enable the public to obtain passports or passport cards for land/sea
- The passport
requirement does NOT apply to U.S. citizens traveling to or returning
directly from a U.S. territory. U.S. citizens returning
directly from a U.S. territory are not considered to have left
the United States and do not need to present a passport. U.S.
territories include the following: Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S.
Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island, and the Commonwealth
of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Documents for U.S. Citizens Under WHTI
Under the proposed implementation plan, the following documents
will be acceptable to fulfill document requirements:
- U.S. Passport:
U.S. citizens may present a valid U.S. passport when
traveling via air between the United States and Canada, Mexico,
Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda, and may
also use a U.S. passport when traveling via sea and land borders
(including ferry crossings).
- The Passport
Card (also referred to as the PASS Card): This limited-use passport
in card format is currently under development and will be available
for use for travel only via land or sea (including ferries) between
the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Similar
in size to a credit card, it will fit easily into a wallet.
- DOS and DHS
also anticipate that the following documents will continue to
be acceptable for their current travel uses under WHTI: SENTRI,
NEXUS, FAST, and the U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document.
As proposed, members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active
duty traveling on orders will continue to be exempt from the passport
The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requires
the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State to develop
and implement a plan to require all travelers, U.S. citizens
and foreign nationals alike, to present a passport or other document,
or a combination of documents, that denote identity and citizenship
when entering the United States. Congress amended portions
of the Act in 2006. The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
is the Administration’s proposed plan to implement this mandate.
The goal of the Initiative is to strengthen border security and
facilitate entry into the United States for U.S. citizens and legitimate
foreign visitors by providing standardized, secure and reliable
documentation which will allow the Department of Homeland Security
to quickly, reliably and accurately identify a traveler.
Courtesy of U.S. Department of State