Millions of people travel internationally each year. Ensuring that you know what to look for, what to watch for and how to travel safer no matter where you travel, it is your job as an informed traveler to be prepared. The U.S. Department of State, part of the Bureau of Consular Affairs is there to assist you in this endeavor. By offering destination specific information, tips for traveling outside of the U.S. as well as the STEP Program, the government is there to help travelers.
STEP stands for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program and while it is not mandatory, it is suggested.
What Is STEP And How Does It Work
While unknown to many, the program has existed for a number of years however, it has been updated and renamed from the Registration with Embassies to the STEP Program. The goal of the program is to encourage all US citizens traveling outside of the United States to register with the program and share contact information with the programs so that in case of emergency, it will be easier to assist. Information offered by STEP includes travel warnings and alerts as well as any other pertinent information in regards to your destinations.
To enroll in STEP, travelers can simply click on the “create an account” link from the Travel.State.Gov website and fill out the required information. At this point, you will have access to your travel data at anytime. After you create an account, you will be able to add trips later on and update information as needed.
In case of emergency while you are traveling abroad, the U.S. consular officers will be able to assist you by having access to your contact and emergency information. For security reasons, your information is not allowed to be shared with anyone without your permission in accordance with the Privacy Act (5 USC 552a).
While programs such as the STEP Program are not required by law for travelers who will be traveling outside of the United States, they are suggested for safety reasons. The choice is yours, just remember you have options.
Bill Bailey Travel offers travelers years of experience in the travel industry and is here to discuss topics in regards to travel which may impact you. Become an informed traveler with tips and information from Bill Bailey Travel Club and start your journeys as an informed and prepared traveler.