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International Travel Alerts: Travel Alerts By Country

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International Travel Alerts: Travel Alerts By Country

As an importer and exporter, you must be prepared to boldly go where you have never gone before! A face-to-face meeting with your international customer is absolutely essential at some point to cement a quality business relationship -- and the practical aspects of international business travel can make or break your trip. Use these two particularly handy sites to ensure you have a safe and comfortable journey. They both offer practical tips and advisories to protect international travelers from potential harm.

1. Travel.State.Gov

A service of the Bureau of Consular Affairs

U.S. Department of State

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html

Travel alerts are issued to publicize conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable and lead the State Department to recommend that Americans avoid or consider the risk of travel to that country. The site also provides information on passports, visas and tips for traveling abroad.

2. British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

Review FCO to offset the conservatism of the American travel alert site (noted above) and to get a balanced picture of what’s really happening in a country.

The FCO provides useful information for countries throughout the world. For example, you can find a country by clicking on its region on a map or by using an A-Z country name selection process. In addition, they provide travel news, passport information and a "help if things go wrong" section.

Lastly, it helps enormously to contact officials who are on the ground in a country. When you are unsure of the real safety level of traveling to a foreign country, reach out to the U.S. Commercial Service. Case in point: Recently, when a colleague of mine was debating whether to travel to Egypt, I emailed the commercial consular at the Foreign Commercial Service in Egypt and inquired. She responded within five hours with a helpful report. My colleague and I then compared the consular's report with the information on the Travel.State.Gov and the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office sites. Carefully examining all the different alerts and updates allowed my colleague to make an intelligent decision as to whether she could travel safely to Egypt.

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