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Chapter 26 : Tips for Traveling in Other Countries

The following is a small collection of tips for overseas travel.

Legal Help in Foreign Countries

If you need legal help while you are traveling in other countries, you can get information on the State Department's Judicial Assistance Page. (

Of course, if you don't have access to the internet at the time, you'll need to contact the nearest embassy or consulate by phone. Use the list of United States Embassies and Consulates to get the numbers you need before you go, and carry them with you. You can get the list here:

Register with the Embassy

It is recommended by the U.S. Department of State that you register with the Embassy or Consulate where you are going , and even provide them with your itinerary, so they can find you if need be. You can do this online using their Registration Page:

Using Foreign Taxis

Ask the locals what the rules and rates are. Taxi's are safer than city busses, but the taxi driver may not be the most scrupulous businessman. If it is allowed, negotiate the price in advance. Clarify exactly how much the fare will be to take you where you are going. If this isn't possible, be sure what the rate per kilometer or minute is, and watch the meter closely.

If you are familiar with the city, watch where you are taken. Your hotel may be three times as far by the route the driver takes. This is an old trick of taxi drivers everywhere. At least pretend you know the streets of the city, or ask a local how far it is to your destination before you get in the taxi.

Use your common sense and intuition. Don't get in cabs that don't seem "right." As long as you take some precautions, using taxis is safe, and almost as cheap as bus travel in some countries.

Trouble Abroad?

Don't forget that the U.S. State Department can help you. There are consular personnel at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad and in the U.S. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens. Contact information for U.S. Embassies and Consulates appears on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at
The Office of Overseas Citizen Services in the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs may be reached for assistance with emergencies at 1-888-407-4747, if calling from the U.S. or Canada, or 202-501-4444, if calling from abroad.

You can also register your plans when you travel. Just sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so the State Department can better assist you in an emergency. This is a free online service at It will help them contact you if there is a family emergency in the U.S., or if there is a crisis where you are traveling. Information on your welfare and whereabouts will not be released to others without your express authorization.

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. - Martin Buber

Continue with Chapter 27 here: Free Cruises

Note: This chapter on overseas travel was part of the e-book Travel Secrets. Now all chapters are free on this site. See the homepage (the link is at the bottom of this page) for a list of all chapters and links to them.

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Everything About Travel | Overseas Travel