Friday, October 24, 2014

Tip of the Day: If You Are an American and Travel Abroad Frequently, Don' Have High Expectations from the US State Dept.

If you are a US citizen and travel abroad frequently, my personal suggestion is that you expect very, very little help from the US Department of State, other than their on-line website, http://www.travel.state.gov, which is superb by every measurement…

…providing travelers actually consult it!

I base the above statement on what I have learned since retiring from the US Department of State in April 2006 and my discussions with numerous Americans who have experienced an emergency abroad where they needed assistance from a US Embassy or Consulate.

In my daily postings at http://www.stayingsafeabroad.blogspot.com since 2009,  which now amounts to 292,356 hits over the last 12-month period and 412,098 hits since the blog's inception.

Based upon the data reflected above, we express our grateful thanks to all of our readers for their continuing loyalty.

Apart from my personal gratitude for our readers' loyalty, I remain profoundly concerned that the third largest nation on Earth by population--the United States and its US Department of State--has one of the least positive records both in terms of its candor in its daily press briefings as well as face-to-face contact with Americans facing an emergency.

It is my impression, based upon actual anecdotes and 40 years' professional experience in public safety, that nationals of other governments have a much more positive experience in interacting with global foreign diplomats than those in the US.

One particular issue that I am most concerned with is the large number of US citizens who die abroad, particularly those who are victims of foul play, and in so many cases, are murdered, as demonstrated by my hundreds of postings since 2009.

According to the US Department of State's own data, roughly 6,000 US citizens die abroad annually.

COMMENT: According to the below link, you can see the data on loss of life on the part of US citizen traveling abroad:

http://thejetpacker.com/how-many-americans-die-abroad-each-year

Although Honduras has one of the highest crime rates in the world, that offers little comfort to those Americans to have traveled there: since 2008, only two of 50 US citizens murdered in Honduras have been SOLVED. Hardly comforting in terms of the effectiveness of local police.

The above being said, the US Department of State has still not urged US citizens to defer travel to Honduras or leave immediately if currently in the country.

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