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Travel Resources Beyond the State Department: The British Foreign Office and Local Newspapers

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You may be aware that the US State Department issues travel warnings and alerts for countries that experience civil unrest, political instability, or high crime rates. But here’s why our government’s warning shouldn’t be your ONLY resource.

Twenty years ago it was the terrible tragedy in Scotland, PanAm 103.

After that the State Department implemented the “no double standard” policy that means that any information about risky destinations that’s shared with government employees also has to be shared with private American citizens.

The trick is to cross-reference any country-specific warnings.

For example, what does the British Foreign office say to its own citizens? You can check that out at

Another great resource is the local newspaper in the community to find out what’s making headlines in your destination.

You can find English-language newspapers in nearly every country at

The bottom line: forewarned is forearmed, especially if you don’t depend only on your own government.

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