State Department Launches New Travel Advisory Program

by Jillian Fehrenbach on January 29, 2018 in Group Travel, Incentive Travel, Individual Travel
Navagio Beach - Zakinthos, Greece

A first step in planning any trip abroad involves checking the travel advisories for your intended destination. If you’ve ever been confused about the difference between travel warnings and advisories, you’re not alone. Of course, if you’re traveling with us, we automatically monitor each location for any safety concerns. Even so, you may want to stay informed by taking a closer look for yourself. If so, we think you’ll want to check out the new and improved four-tier travel advisory system launched this month by the U.S. Department of State.

The result of a year-long review (in response to traveler feedback), the new travel advisory program replaces a longstanding setup of warnings and alerts, and effectively delivers the biggest overhaul we’ve seen in years.* Not only does it boast a cleaner design, but the easier-to-understand format helps travelers better assess the risks they may face before taking a trip.

In keeping with the times, the color-coded, country-by-country system is visually more relatable as well as more actionable. Of note, an interactive global map lets you see the world at a glance or zoom in to inspect the details of an area. There is also an alphabetical country list which assigns one of the following rankings to each nation:

Level 1 – Normal Precautions: the lowest advisory level for safety and security risks

Level 2 – Increased Caution: be aware of heightened risks

Level 3 – Reconsider Travel: avoid travel due to serious risks

Level 4 – Do Not Travel: the highest advisory level with a greater likelihood of life-threatening risks

If you love to travel as much as we do, you know we’re not suggesting you spend more time worrying about the things beyond our control. However, when it comes to a world that’s everchanging, it’s always wise to be prepared, especially when it comes to personal safety. Safe travels from VIKTOR!

*Note: The new system does not replace the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (S.T.E.P.) — a free service we still recommend that allows travelers to enroll with a nearby U.S. Embassy or Consulate and sign up for helpful news alerts.