There are hundreds, if not thousands, of great travel hacks to be found across the Internet: hacks for saving money on airfare, rooms, and rental cars; hacks for prepping and packing and staying safe and sane while on vacation.
Just remember, while you sift through all those tips and tricks, to drop by the US Department of State website’s International Travel section for the skinny on every country on the planet. It’s an invaluable free resource for the smart globetrotter.
Select your destination nation and learn about the “location of the U.S. embassy and any consular offices; whether you need a visa; crime and security information; health and medical conditions” in that country. You’ll also find a list of travel warnings for countries experiencing unstable conditions such as civil war.
The information on local crime is particularly helpful. For example, when visiting Canada, you should know that “parked cars are regularly targeted for opportunistic smash-and-grab thefts.” In Slovenia, however, you should be wary of gentlemen’s clubs, since, “a few such establishments have presented foreign customers with grossly inflated bar bills, sometimes in the thousands of dollars, and threatened those customers who refuse to pay.” And, file under Good to Know: the site also offers assistance for victims of crime while overseas as well as help and information for those arrested while outside the US.
While certain other agencies of the government are under intense scrutiny, it’s nice to know the State Department is working hard to keep US citizens safe when we leave the relative security of our own borders.