Department of State and Warnings…What Should You Do?

The Department of State has launched new Travel Advisories and Alerts to make it easier for U.S. citizens to access clear, timely, and reliable safety and security information about every country in the world. For more details and FAQs about our Travel Advisories and Alerts, please see travel.state.gov/travelsafely. You are receiving this because you are enrolled in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). You do not need to take further action to continue receiving these updates. Before any travel abroad, we encourage you to check our safety and security information for your destination at travel.state.gov/destination.

France, Level 2: Exercise increased caution 

Exercise increased caution in France due to terrorism.

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in France. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to France:

  • Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and large crowded public venues.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities including movement restrictions related to any ongoing police action.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebookand Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reportfor France.
  • S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler¿s Checklist.

Bottom line…pay attention to warnings and pay attention when you travel, regardless of where you’re going.

Did Your Luggage Make It?

Traveling with checked bags?

Preventing, or at least lessening the chance, of losing your luggage may involve a few preventive steps. This won’t guarantee your luggage arrives with you. But, it might increase the chances.

When you book your flight, think about the time of your layover. Chances are if it’s a short one, your bag might not make it onto the next leg of your journey. This is especially true if you are flying internationally. It would be a good idea to ask about time in between flights, before you book that amazing flight deal.

Think about putting some type of marker on your bag…especially if it is a medium sized, black bag. I mean…how many of those do you see on the baggage carousel? It’s easy to wrap a piece of red tape around the handle.

What’s your luggage tag look like? If you don’t have one and opt to use the paper ones provided by the check-in counter, the chances of it getting ripped off somewhere along the line are good. Instead, use one with a code or microchip so you can track your bag. At the very least, get one that doesn’t come off easily.

When packing, place a copy of your itinerary inside. Put it on top so if the airline has to open your bag to re-route it, it’s right there in front of them.

While you’re at it, take some photos of your bag. Use your phone and take a couple of the outside, the inside, and anything of value.

Check in early enough. Give the check-in desk and the baggage handlers enough time to get your bag on your flight.

Of course, you could always ship your bags and not worry about them. This might be best, and cheaper, if you need to have oversized or overweight bags.