5 Important U.S. Travel Advisories Released In February 2024

5 Important U.S. Travel Advisories Released In February 2024

The U.S. State Department and various U.S. Embassies are advising travelers to remain vigilant of their surroundings as they embark on trips to several international destinations for this spring break.

Here are the latest guidelines that travelers should familiarize themselves with before leaving the U.S.

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South Africa Travel Advisory – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Americans are urged to exercise heightened caution when traveling to South Africa, because of crime and civil unrest. 

Additionally, the State Department warns citizens about the potential hazards of using GPS navigation in the country.

GPS navigation systems might lead you through unsafe routes. While they may suggest routes through townships as the quickest option, following such directions could increase the risk of encountering crime, according to the department.

Ecuador Travel Advisory – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Due to civil unrest, crime, and kidnapping concerns, the State Department has revised a Level 2 travel advisory for Ecuador, advising Americans to travel with extra caution—especially in light of the ongoing national state of emergency.

In light of criminal activities, Americans are advised to avoid traveling to specific locations, including Guayaquil, south of Portete de Tarquí Avenue; Huaquillas and Arenillas in the province of El Oro; Quevedo, Quinsaloma, and Pueblo Viejo in the province of Los Rios; the canton of Duran in the province of Guayas; and all areas north of Esmeraldas city in the province of Esmeraldas.

Mexico Travel Advisory – Spring Break Alert

Visitors are advised by the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico to “be informed” and “travel smart” during the spring break. Even though it’s generally safe to travel to this Caribbean country, Americans should be aware of problems with drugs, alcohol abuse, crime, drownings, and other issues. 

The embassy suggests avoiding areas with high crime rates and exercising extra caution, particularly when exploring downtown areas of popular spring break spots like Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum, especially after nightfall.

Colombia Travel Advisory –  Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The U.S. Embassy has cautioned citizens regarding the prevailing crime situation in the country, citing a recent increase in robberies targeting restaurants and commercial malls in Bogotá.

“Recently, robberies conducted by armed individuals, have occurred in popular Bogota restaurants, cafés, and breweries, frequented by tourists and the expat community,” says the alert.

Moreover, due to the correlation between the use of dating apps such as Tinder and incidents resulting in tourist fatalities, the U.S. government strongly advises its citizens against utilizing these apps while in the country. The primary areas where these incidents occur are Bogotá, Cartagena, and Medellin.

Furthermore, it strongly recommends Americans avoid Arauca, Cauca, and Norte de Santander under any circumstances.

Botswana Travel Advisory – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

As of February 26, Botswana has been issued a Level 2 travel advisory due to crime.

The State Department advises that Botswana experiences frequent opportunity crimes, particularly involving theft of money and personal belongings.

Police reports often include violent crimes such as cell phone theft, muggings, home invasions, burglaries, and incidents of “smash and grab” robberies in shopping mall parking lots and vehicles stopped at intersections.