How to: stay informed about country warnings as you travel

This is a Hipmunk guest post from Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads

Seeing the devastation after days of rioting in London, I wanted to post about travel warnings and travel advice, something I get a lot of emails about every week.

Screenshot from the verified incidents of riots Google Maps mashup.

Travelers tend to turn to their country’s Department of State (in Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade), but often write to ask me what I do since I’m usually moving around. Do I pick and choose based on country advice? What made me stay put in Bangkok during the 2010 protests, despite warnings that people should leave the city?

Until recently, I used a combination of checking different government warnings, forums (for Southeast Asia, I used the Travelfish forums quite a bit), Twitter, and my own common sense. But there’s a new service that cobbles together different country warnings and provides updated issue pages as larger events (like the London riots) unfold.

FTAS Online (the Foreign Travel Advisory Service) aggregates travel advisories and information, and also allows you to build your own trip, receiving updates from the places on your destination-list. The site is free, and at present they’re also including their alert services and update bulletins free of cost. This means that you’ll get updates via email for your destination list as situations change.

Topic summary from recent unrest in the UK, via FTAS Online

I have no affiliation with FTAS but I am always on the look-out for new sites that provide a helpful service for travelers, and it’s a solid resource for one-stop, verified information as you go.

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