U.S. Government Information for Travelers
U.S. State Department Travel Information
This is the U.S. government’s official site for travel information. Find travel advisories and warnings for overseas destinations, as well as passport requirements and registration information and other travel tips.
Department of Homeland Security for U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Valuable travel information and news about U.S. land border and airline gateway security, including travel alerts. Information is available on passport and document requirements, banned items that may not be imported or exported and Trusted Traveler airport security programs, among other features.
TSA Guide to Airport Security Waiting Times
Operated by the U.S. Government’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA), this site gives average waiting times at airport security checkpoints on an airport-by-airport basis. Note: this is not live, real-time data, but based on recent time averages, claimed to be accurate by TSA.
State Department travel site for Office of American Services and Crisis Management. This site focuses on tips for Americans living or spending time overseas and how to contact U.S. government authorities in emergencies.
SYTA Youth Foundation
The SYTA Youth Foundation provides specialized programs and financial resources for student and youth travel. As the philanthropic sister organization of the Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA), the Foundation depends almost entirely on outside contributions for their services.
Travel Health and Safety
United States Travel Insurance Association (USTIA)
A wide range of articles and quick tips on topics including vaccinations, medicine storage, flight and hotel safety, and safe travel with children and pets.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This site is for travelers and operated by the Atlanta-based CDC. This valuable site includes tips for staying healthy in specific destinations and types of travel, disease outbreak announcements, vaccination information, and other types of pre-travel disease prevention measures.
Washington Occupational Health Associates
Pre-travel medications and health guidelines for all countries.
Tour Operator and Travel Agent Information
American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA)
Website for consumer travelers designed by ASTA as a one-stop information shop, including travel tips, alerts, and information about locating a professional travel agent.
U.S. Tour Operators Association
Good information on helping consumers find the right organized tour based on a destination, travel interest or budget. Largest U.S. tour operators are members. Travel tips including recommendations for people to use travel agents.
Sabre travel information and travel services
Sabre travel information and travel services is a site for clients of agents who book their trips on the Sabre GDS (Global Distribution System). Consumers can retrieve their travel itinerary and obtain flight alerts, destination travel guide info, weather, entertainment suggestions, currency conversion, and many other Travel-related services.
Leading Online Guide to Currency Exchange Rates
Interactive charts for instantly calculating the exchange rates between dozens of currencies worldwide. Includes invaluable travel expense calculator, e-mail updates service, a link available to users’ web sites and more. The best site of this kind, now considered a necessary bookmark for travelers.
Credit Card / Bank ATM Locator
MasterCard Guide to ATM Machine Locations
For cash and MasterCard transactions worldwide. Search by area where traveler needs to find a machine. Includes addresses and map locator with zoom in features.
Visa Guide to ATM Machine Locations
Visa Guide to ATM machine locations worldwide. Same as above, including search, addresses and map locator with zoom features.
This weather news site works with many media outlets providing excellent information for the weather related to your travel needs. In addition to a search engine for local weather conditions by city and zip code, you can find weather-related news, seasonal weather preparedness tips, storm warnings, and extensive weather- and travel-related maps.
The Weather Channel
This site provides travel weather conditions and forecasts, searchable by city and state or zip code. Travel advisories, video weather maps, and long range forecasts are useful for travel dates as far as 10 days away.
International Visitors Bureaus Information Center
International Visitors Bureaus Information Center with links to many domestic and international destination convention and visitors bureaus. Includes links to destination visitor sites, and tips for activities, hotels, local transportation, events and more.
Travel Guide Center for Europe hosted by the European Travel Commission
Site includes links to the travel Web sites of 37 European member countries of the ETC. Essential, detailed information on each country including local sightseeing, event and accommodations information, travel tips, and much more.
Travel Guide Center for all of the Caribbean hosted by Caribbean Tourism Organization
Travel Guide Center for all of the Caribbean hosted by Caribbean Tourism Organization, based in New York. Links to dozens of island destination sites. Info on where to stay, what to do, how to get there, and more. News and festivals are included. Recommended for any Caribbean bound traveler.
Ultimate Industry Guide to Cruising for consumers hosted by Cruise Lines International Association
Especially valuable for first-time cruisers wanting to research the best ship for them. Describes cruising experience and includes guide to cruise travel agents who belong to CLIA.
Restaurant reviews and information from Zagat Guides
Restaurant reviews and information from Zagat Guides for cities across the U.S. and in some international destinations. Online restaurant ratings are only provided with a membership fee, but even without ratings the dining information is still worth this link.
IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING MEDICAL CARE ABROAD: As with all international insurance policies, this is primarily a “reimbursement” travel insurance policy from a U.S. insurance company. Seeking medical care abroad is not as simple as it is in the U.S. It’s important to know that the insurance company has contractual agreements with many medical providers (hospitals & doctors) throughout the world and if you need medical care then it’s advisable that you, someone in your party or the medical provider contact Travel Assistance Services or Customer Care as soon as possible. The insurance company contact info is in your policy information. Please note that medical providers outside of the U.S. may not recognize private health insurance and they may expect payment at the time of service. If you have a “minor” claim (i.e. low cost) and are not seeking care in a hospital (i.e. high cost) then you’ll most likely need to pay the provider and then file a claim with the insurance company. Make sure that you get an itemized receipt of services received as you’ll need to submit the receipt to the insurance company for reimbursement. The turnaround time on claims is fast, usually within 15 days. However, if you need to receive care within the hospital and expect the cost to be more substantial in nature then it’s important that someone contact Travel Assistance Services or Customer Care so that their medical staff can intervene on your behalf to ensure that you’re receiving the proper care, arrange for a medical evacuation if needed and/or arrange direct payment to the hospital.