Travel Warning and Alerts v02
News & community - Update

List of Travel Warnings and Alerts

Travel safety is key for humanitarian volunteers and workers. Often, humanitarians travel to areas that face conflict or disasters. Others go to destinations that lack overall safety or are experiencing civil unrest. That’s where help is needed most. So, you are likely to travel to a country where safety and security are of concern. That is why we made this list of travel warnings and alerts.

Under these circumstances, staying safe is your top priority. Some humanitarian travelers dismiss this notion, but it is key to ensuring that you successfully implement the projects on which you are working. To help accomplish this, it’s important to keep on top of international and local alerts and warnings. Since our travelers’ safety is essential for Raptim, we have put together a list of resources for travel warnings and alerts.

What is a Travel Warning?

There is an important distinction between a “travel warning” and a “travel alert.” A travel warning is broad-reaching. Countries issue warnings for long periods of time. Basically, it means that the country overall is unsafe or unstable.

This does not mean you cannot travel there. However, it is important to research the situation before you go. Which areas are the most affected? What type of safety precautions do you need to take? How can you and your organization address any potential risks? Additionally, it’s very important that you follow all instructions on safety and security.

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What is a Travel Alert?

On the other hand, countries issue travel alerts when something specific happens. For example, in the late summer and early fall, you’ll see alerts in the southern U.S.A., the Caribbean, and Central America because of hurricane season. The same goes for any other natural disaster that hits, such as an earthquake.

You may also see an alert status when elections take place in less stable countries. If there is a terrorist attack, there will also be a new alert. That’s why you might find alerts for European countries or North America, although these are typically safe to travel to.

Alerts are usually short-lived, but you should still take all of the necessary precautions to stay safe. If possible, avoid traveling during the period that the alert is active. However, as a humanitarian, it is likely that you will be responding to that specific alert. This applies to disaster relief missions, electoral observation, etc.

Governments and large organizations typically issue travel warnings and alerts. Here is a list of reliable websites where you can find a list of up-to-date travel warnings and alerts:

UK Foreign Travel Advice

The United Kingdom Government maintains an extensive database on 224 countries and territories. You can simply search for the country that you are planning to visit. For each, there is both historical and current information including maps, alerts, and warnings.

Safe Travel New Zealand

Safe Travel New Zealand goes beyond simply offering travel warnings and alerts. On the website, you can find information on general safety tips, pre-travel arrangements, what to do in the case of an emergency, health tips, and even 24/7 assistance. You can also sign up to receive the latest updates and travel advisories.

Smart Traveller Australia

Similar to their New Zealand neighbor, Smart Traveller Australia provides a wide range of information. There is a searchable database of alerts and warnings. You can also find advice for different types of travelers such as families, women, workers, youth, and more. For emergency situations, there is contact information and online support.

Travel and Tourism Canada  

Travel and Tourism Canada is a very practical website for travelers. It provides a searchable database of travel alerts and warnings. There is also a chronological list of alerts. For Canadian travelers, there is information on passports, assistance abroad, and advice in case of emergencies. You can also find current policies, publications, forms, and documents.

Travel.State.Gov USA

The US Government’s official travel information site is Travel.State.Gov. The site provides a latest news section with alerts and warnings. They also place a strong focus on child protection during international travel. For US citizens, you can find passport information. Plus, there is a handy section for before you go, country information, and while abroad, what to do in emergencies.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ireland

Another reputable source is the Government of Ireland. There is country-specific information for warnings and alerts. However, you can also find general information about travel. Assistance abroad and visa information is also available.

European Commission Travel Advisory

The European Commission Travel Advisory draws on the various EU country websites to provide the latest travel updates. There is advice from the various foreign ministries of EU members. You can also access the list of advisory websites from each of the countries. This is particularly helpful if you are looking for information in languages other than English.

World Health Organization International Travel and Health

Health alerts are a frequent concern for international travel. The World Health Organization provides the latest health advisories and reports. You can also find information on vaccine requirements here. Additionally, you can learn if there are flare-ups of any epidemics or viruses where you are traveling.

CDC Traveler’s Health

In addition to the WHO, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a helpful site with information for travelers. You will find advice on vaccinations, medical precautions, and resources for travelers with specific health conditions. The CDC also provides advisories and alerts for health-related issues around the world.

Registration with your embassy

When traveling abroad, it is advisable to register with your embassy upon arrival. Many embassies have this option online, so the procedure is very simple. In case of a serious emergency, your embassy will know that you are in the country. For example, they will provide support in the case of emergency evacuations. Your embassy might also send out the latest notifications, alerts, and warnings.

What is Duty of Care

Duty of care

At Raptim, we strongly believe in duty of care. This is one of our core values. It means a mutual responsibility between all parties to promote the safety of humanitarian travelers. For example, you have the responsibility to follow your organization’s safety manuals to stay safe. At the same time, the organization is responsible for active communication on the safety and security of your destination.

From our side, we provide a number of services that ensure the safety of our travelers. For example, our travelers receive push notifications with the latest country updates. We also ensure that your organization can geolocate you while in the field.

Travel Where it is Needed Most

We believe our world is a better place when compassion can travel where it is needed most. As a global humanitarian travel organization, we devote ourselves to serving those who serve the world. Our experienced staff can be reached at any given time. Please use our quick address locator to contact your nearest Raptim office should you have any questions. You can also follow our blog for more stories and travel information.

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