Know Your Destination
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Know Your Destination
High Risk Countries
Identifying Safety, Security, & Health Concerns
Before you commit to going to a particular country, research that country to understand the conditions. Some countries have well known health, safety, and security concerns while other countries may surprise you or may have rapidly changing conditions. The Department of State's Country Information page is a good place to start when researching a country. For each county listed, you can view a destination description and information on embassies and consulates, safety and security, local laws and special circumstances, health, and travel and transportation.
Safety & Security Information
The Department of State’s Travel Alerts and Warnings page provides a list of countries with an elevated safety and security risk. If the country to which you are traveling is on this list, determine precautions you need to take before traveling there. In some cases, it may be best to delay or cancel your trip.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Travel Health Notices page highlights health concerns about a particular country. Triggers for a health notice include "disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health." There are three levels of travel notices:
Sources of Information
While U.S. federal agencies are a great source of reliable travel information, they may not always provide the depth of information you require. Leverage other sources of information, including:
- In-country contacts
- News articles
- Social media
- Security firms
- Foreign governments' country-specific information pages (e.g. the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Foreign Travel Advice, the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories, and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
OFAC Sanctioned Countries
Understanding OFAC Sanctions
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposes sanctions on countries, individuals and groups who are threats to the U.S. Can you name an OFAC sanctioned country? This includes travel restrictions for Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Sudan. If you are traveling to a country in conflict, check to see if it is on the OFAC sanctions list.
Traveling to Sanctioned Countries
If you are traveling to a sanctioned country, you may need to get a license from the U.S. Treasury Department to do so. Whether you need a license depends not only on your destination, but also on the purpose of your trip and the equipment you will bring. To determine whether you need a license, contact the Office Research Integrity and Assurance.
After obtaining any necessary licenses, you will also need to obtain special insurance coverage. Review ASU Insurance Services' page on Traveling to Sanctioned Countries and submit the required information to them at least two months in advance of your trip. For additional information on insurance coverage, contact ASU Insurance Services.
The opportunity for Americans to travel to Cuba is new and exciting, but there are still some restrictions in place and challenges to getting there. Review our What to Know before You Go to Cuba document before booking your travel.