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NC State Extension

Safe Travel

Customs Forms

  • use model as a guide for filling out

Negotiating Airport Security

  • Remove shoes, jackets,belts, jewelry, anything with metal, laptops & 3-1-1 bag
  • You may be frisked, wanded or have your hands or suitcase swabbed
  • You may be asked to have a full body scan
  • Do not make jokes or say anything that could be construed as threatening
  • Be patient and polite!


  • Use only officials taxis
  • Negotiate price before you get in
  • Insist on safe driving

Avoid Unnecessary Risks

  • Limit unsafe activities
  • Avoid driving
  • No alcohol or drugs
  • Travel and explore with others (not alone)
  • Take care when crossing the street
  • No hitch-hiking

Healthy Choices

  • Inform program staff of pre-existing medical conditions
  • Wash hands with soap frequently or use hand sanitizer
  • In developing countries
    • Drink only bottled beverages from a sealed container
    • Avoid ice in drinks
    • Eat only peeled or cooked fruits and vegetables (No salads)
    • Avoid street food
    • Boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it!


  • Carry a copy with you at all times
  • Hide the original in a safe place


  • Know where you are going and how to get there
  • Leave jewelry and valuables at home
  • Don’t flash money, credit cards, etc.
  • Don’t change money on the black market
  • Carry money close in multiple locations (wallet, pocket, sock, etc.)
  • Use the buddy system
  • Let others know your plans
  • Don’t leave bags unattended
  • Secure your backpack, wallet, purse, computer, phone
  • Never accept packages from strangers
  • Pay attention – five feet rule –
    • be aware of what’s going on in front, behind, and beside
  • Careful where you sit (ants, etc.)


  • Avoid American hang-outs
  • Avoid crowds and protests
  • Be attentive to how you are perceived by locals
  • Don’t act so “American” – not so loud

Use Caution in Relationships

  • Beware of unexpectedly amorous men and women
  • Know who you are with
  • Use caution in bars/pubs/parties
  • Avoid divulging unnecessary information about yorelf, your program and others (hotel, itinerary etc.)
  • Report harassment immediately