A travel advisory, or travel warning is a formal warning statement issued by governmental agencies to give out information about the current status of travel to or at one or more specified foreign destinations. These usually go out about a month before a trip and explain the most common travel warnings and other situations that travelers should watch out for. Most of these travel advisories are released in both English and Spanish. It is important to note though that travel advisories and warnings differ in their level of warnings and information they share. Some are general statements while others are more specific, sometimes mentioning things like prohibited travel dates or areas that have been restricted or banned from travel.
Travel advice or warning is a very useful piece of travel information especially for those who are planning to travel to foreign destinations and unfamiliar places. This piece of information could be very useful in deciding on which travel insurance to buy or to consider availing of. If you are not familiar with where you will be going or how you will get there, travel advice could help you decide what type of insurance or travel insurance is best for your planned trip. In some cases, travel advisories or warnings also suggest destinations that are off-limits or dangerous for various reasons.
As per the United States Department of State, each travel advisory or warning issued requires the country or area it is issued to indicate the reason for the travel advisory or warning. For instance, if you are travelling overseas on business, travel advice or warning would often point out that you are required to avoid travelling to and within certain countries, specifically those with proscription for travel. Generally, these restrictions are related to terrorism or other security related incidents. In other instances, these restrictions could be related to political or social issues in a country. The State department does however, provide detailed explanations for each travel advice or warning that it issues.
In relation to a country’s travel advice or warning levels, there are two levels that travellers can look at when considering traveling to a particular destination. These levels are the general dangers and risks to personal safety, health and the environment. When travelling outside your home country, you will not have as much control as when you are inside your home country when it comes to avoiding or minimizing risks to your personal safety and health. While there are risks to specific activities and behaviors abroad, travellers have a greater opportunity to prevent some of the risks or dangers by taking precautionary measures such as having a passport that has dual citizenship.
The second level of the travel advisory or warning that most countries lay emphasis on is the risks to the environment and its natural resources. This is a safety precaution that most countries take since most people do not like to think about how they are leaving their children behind. While travellers may take precautions to minimize their risks to the environment, there is no guarantee that their safety and health will not be compromised when travelling around certain destinations. This is why a travel advisory regarding the environment is highly recommended whether or not the risk level of a destination is low or high.
The third level of the travel advice and warning pyramid include all other possible risks that could occur when travelling abroad. These include dangers to personal belongings, business clothing and any investments that you may carry. While this is the lowest level of risk, this is not to say that travellers cannot expect some unforeseen risks when travelling overseas. In fact, these risks often outweigh those of the higher two levels when it comes to planning for travelling abroad. The only way to know for sure what you can expect to face when travelling overseas is to read the guidelines, instructions and warnings that your travel agent provides to you.