11 ways to protect yourself while traveling abroad

11 ways to protect yourself while traveling abroad

by USAG Bavaria
Stripes Okinawa

1. Travel in small groups and vary routes.

2. Carry a card with key phrases in the local language to assist you in asking for help.

3. Let your unit, coworker, family and/or battle buddy know where you’re going and when you expect to return.

4. Be inconspicuous. Do not wear clothing with U.S. or DOD affiliation. Avoid talking loudly or drawing attention to yourself. Remove any DoD or US affiliated stickers from your vehicle. Check family members (limit wear of easily identifiable clothing, i.e., Captain America t-shirts).

5. Be aware of your surroundings and potential safe havens (i.e., police station, hospital).

6. Avoid spontaneous gatherings or demonstrations. Calmly leave the area if one is encountered.

7. Know emergency numbers and other important numbers (i.e. nearest U.S. Consulate). Whenever possible, carry a cell phone with preprogrammed emergency numbers.

8. Monitor available media, including news and government websites and social networking sites (such as USAREUR AT’s Stay Safe) for information while traveling.

9. Use extra caution in risky areas such as hotel lobbies, nightclubs and other public places (i.e., sporting arenas) attacks may occur. Be aware of egress points in the event of an attack.

10. Register your trip with State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and messages.

11. Off-post uniform wear is generally prohibited. Follow local policy.

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