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Special Considerations for International Travel

  • The FAA has limited air travelers to one carry-on bag and one personal item. All other luggage must be checked in. New Transportation Security Administration (TSA, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security) airport security procedures require all passengers (domestic and international) to remove outer coats and jackets for X-ray before proceeding through the metal detectors. Included are suit and sport coats, athletic warm-up jackets and blazers.
  • A government-issued photo identification (federal, state, or local) is generally required for passenger check-ins (domestic and international). The regulation under which the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) instructs the airlines to collect such identification is classified as “Sensitive Security Information.”.
  • Travelers should check their passenger tickets for such items as waivers of liability, time limits for filing claims, choice of law clauses, jurisdiction limits, etc., prior to implicitly accepting the terms by boarding the airplane, cruise ship, bus, or train.
  • The State Department’s Consular Information Sheets are available for every country in the world. They include information regarding unusual entry or currency regulations, drug penalties, unusual health conditions or high crime areas, political disturbances and areas of instability, etc. They are available at the 13 regional passport agencies, all U.S. embassies, and consulates abroad, and by electronic or first class mail (see below).
  • Travelers are subject to the laws and customs of the countries they are in. Some of the offenses that U.S. travelers have been arrested abroad for include: drug violations; possession of firearms; photography of certain buildings, locations, or operations; and purchasing relics or antiques that were considered national treasures by host countries.
  • Registration with the Consular Section of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate makes things easier in the event of a natural disaster, civil unrest, or terrorist attack. At a minimum, travelers should locate and be aware of the location of these entities wherever they travel.

Inside Special Considerations for International Travel