Most of you have probably seen the travel warnings of late – particularly in the Middle East – warning travelers to stay out of certain regions. Just this week I received an email known as a STEP Notification, which comes from the Department of State’s Smart Travel Enrollment Program (the registration link follows below). In the interest of being smart AND proactive, I can’t think of a reason not to register with this program. As indicated on the website, registering your foreign travel plans in advance with the State Department allows them to better aid you in case of an emergency. And, in the interest of privacy, you can indicate just whom you want notified, be it a stateside relative, medical personnel, legal representative, etc. I mean, in case you get caught dealing drugs abroad, you can have your lawyer handy!
For the big trip next spring, one of the countries we’re visiting is Colombia (plus Peru & Ecuador). I’m checking with a contact there as to whether we can (safely) drive from Cartagena via Medellin on the way back to Bogota. I mean, does one necessarily have to include the word “cartel” in there or am I watching too many movies? We’ll conduct all the due diligence and then make an informed decision.
And that’s what I’m talking about … careful, smart planning; then sit back and enjoy yourself!