Saint Louis University

International Travel Awareness


The following general rules are being provided in connection with your impending foreign travel.

Check Department of State website for travel advisories.

Check in with US Embassy or Consulate upon arrival.

 Don't leave sensitive documents or laptop computers where they can be compromised i.e., in unattended hotel rooms/safes.

 Don't discuss sensitive matters where they can be overheard.

 Be suspicious of quick friendships.

 Don't bring political or offensive literature into a country where it is forbidden e.g., publications such as Playboy/Playgirl, or literature that could be construed as anti-government.

 Don't become involved in black market currency exchanges.

 Don't bring illegal drugs into or out of the country.

 Don't respond to sexual overtures.

 Be careful of the buildings and other sites you choose to photograph, as some countries have strict regulations against taking pictures of military and/or security installations.

 Don't engage in personal contact with political or intellectual dissidents or other people considered to be "undesirable" by the host government.

 Don't overindulge in alcohol.

 Be suspicious if you are singled out for attention not given to other members of your group; if you are assigned a hotel room on a different floor than the rest of your group; if your luggage is temporarily lost; or if your luggage was the only luggage lost out of all the members of your group.

 Ensure that you have all official documents: passport, immunization records, international driver's license, etc.

 Don't take any photographs of your family with you. They could be used by terrorists or criminals to coerce you into unwanted actions.

 Complete/update your will to include naming a guardian for any minor children. If you feel it is necessary, consider granting power of attorney to an immediate relative or close friend.

 Don't wear clothing that identifies your employment.

 Keep your laptop computer as carry-on baggage. Never check it with other luggage.

 If you choose to carry your passport on your person, place it in your front pocket or in a hidden pouch in your clothes. (The only time your passport should leave your possession is if the hotel requires you to leave it at the front desk during your stay. Always ask for a receipt.)

 Don't use telephones, computers or facsimile equipment at foreign hotels or business centers to facilitate sensitive or classified matters.

 Don't divulge information to anyone that is not authorized to hear it, including personal information about yourself, family, or co-workers.

 Make copies of your airline ticket, passport identification page, driver's license, credit cards, Visa, and passport-sized photograph to take with you. Keep these copies separate from the originals, as this will expedite the replacement process if they are lost or stolen.

 Prior to traveling, obtain the phone numbers of the U.S. Consulate/Embassy/Legat of the foreign country you plan to visit.

 Keep a low profile, shun publicity, avoid civil disturbances, and obey all local laws.


 Ask to contact the nearest U.S. Consulate/Embassy. If you are able to contact the Consulate/Embassy, ask to speak with the Consular Officer or the State Department Regional Security Officer.

DON'T admit to anything and DON'T sign anything until after you have consulted with an official representative of the U.S. Consulate/Embassy.

Upon release, immediately report to the U.S. Consulate/Embassy.


Overseas Citizens Services can assist you with:

 Death of an American citizen abroad
 Arrest/detention of an American citizen abroad
 Robbery of an American citizen abroad
 American citizens missing abroad
 Crisis abroad involving American citizens after hours

Telephone: 1-888-407-4747 (from the U.S.);  202-501-4444 (from Overseas)

Office of Overseas Citizens Services Travelers' Hotline can provide you with:

 Consular Information Sheets and Travel Warnings 24 hours, 7 days per week

Telephone: (202) 647-5225
Automated Fax: (202) 647-3000
Web Site:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains the:

 International Travelers' Hotline (which identifies diseases of concern indigenous to a specific country).

Telephone: 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747)
Automated Fax: 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299)
Web Site:

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