Syracuse University

Traveling Safely

Traveling Safely

Your safety abroad is our top priority. In order to be an informed traveler, we recommend registering all of your travel plans with te following programs designed to assist you in an emergency. It is best to be well prepared, should assistance be necessary.


The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service which allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Once enrolled, you can receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in the destination country, helping you make informed decisions about travel plans. The U.S. Embassy can contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. Instructions to enroll can be found here.

International SOS

With your university membership to ISOS, you have access to medical, travel, and security assistance. International SOS is the world’s largest medical and security assistance company, with more than 6,500 professionals in 24-hour Assistance Centers, international clinics, and remote site medical facilities across five continents. International SOS and Syracuse University recommend you make use of the MyTrips software to register your travel. In case of an emergency or safety and security concern, the University and ISOS can access your travel plans and work quickly to provide you necessary assistance. Please click here to register your trip(s) using MyTrips.

Basic Travel Precautions
  • Be informed about current events: Read newspapers and listen to the TV or radio news. There are English-language and international newspapers available at the centers and at kiosks and news stands throughout the cities where are centers are located. If you have questions, check with center staff for advice and travel advisories.
  • Be inconspicuous: Don’t try to draw attention to yourself by looking too “American” or by talking loudly. Don’t put yourself at risk by drinking or staying out after local transportation has stopped running. Learn a few basic language phrases for each country where you plan to travel.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: Use the basic precautions that are customary in any major city in the world today. Travel with a friend, if possible. While in a new city, plan your routes and walk confidently. If you are being followed or feel threatened, go into a store or other public area.
  • Stay in touch with SU Abroad: You are required to fill out your center's travel form before you leave your host city, even if it just for a weekend. Listen carefully to SU Abroad staff regarding pick pockets and specific information about safe and unsafe neighborhoods. Always carry your center's emergency card with you in case something goes wrong. Make sure you have a charged cell phone (with available minutes) with you at all times so that SU Abroad can reach you if needed.
Airport Security

Added security at international airports has increased the time necessary to check-in, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to go through security checks. All carry-on luggage will be X-rayed and possibly hand-searched. Travelers themselves may be searched. If you are bringing a laptop, iPad, or camera with you, pack them in your carry-on bag. They will be screened and possibly examined as you go through security.

If you have any questions about how much time to give yourself or what may or may not be carried aboard an airplane, contact the airline directly or check their website. In general, remember the following:

  • Do not leave luggage unattended at any time.
  • Do not pack valuables (passports, documents, contact lenses, medications, etc.) in checked luggage. Keep them in your carry-on bag.
  • Be prepared to take your laptop or tablet from its case. Never put a computer in a suitcase.
  • If you are bringing medications with you, you should have a doctor’s prescription with them for identification.
  • Don’t carry your passport or money in a hip pocket, open purse, or outside pocket on your backpack. Pick-pockets mingle in tourist crowds.
  • Photocopy the front (data) pages of your passport, or copy the information and keep it separately.