What is your go-to source when planning a trip? I like to think Travefy comes first, followed by websites with user-generated content. Reviews and tips from fellow travelers are insightful data you can relate to and trust. But sometimes, the most accurate and updated guides come from governments. Save the following travel resources. You will soon could not travel without them.
1. The CIA World Factbook
You could blast the CIA for being overzealous with their job, or you could use their work to your advantage. The CIA offers the most useful data about countries: risk factors and other known social issues. Every travel planning starts with a thorough research of your destination, and this website is a good place to start.
2. The DoS’s Travel page
Do you want the best Ebola fact sheet or the official emergency contacts abroad? This travel resource offers tips for everyone, before and during their trips. They even have a visa wizard to determine whether you need a visa or not. Are you planning an inter-country adoption like the Pitt-Jolies? They have you covered. Be sure to check the ‘alerts and warnings’ section for updates for the world’s hottest spots.
3. The US International Travel page
This website should be your go-to international travel resource. It boasts A to Z lists on currency exchange rates, entry requirements, international driver’s licenses, travel warnings, and more. You can even subscribe to email updates on subjects that matter to you. Check it out here.
4. The TSA on social media
The Transport Security Agency is not just the people who make air travel a nightmare. They are above all the people who work hard to make air travel safe, and they effectively use social media to prove it. Subscribe to their blog for awesome tips to get through airport security swiftly, from packing tips to dress code, and more. If tips aren’t enough, follow them on Instagram for illustrations of the craziest things you really shouldn’t travel with. Enjoy the show!
5. Center for Disease Control and Prevention
When planning subtropical trips, we are so obsessed by the beaches and the fun things to do that we forget that health safety should be an important step. Ebola, malaria, dengue, food-borne infections, etc. are various threats to travelers’ health. Without becoming alarmist, know that the CDC offers interesting travel resources online: from needed vaccines to disease alerts to data and statistics. They even sort it out by destination. Bookmark it and travel safe and healthy.
This is just 5 great government travel resources should keep close when traveling. This list is definitely not exhaustive. For instance, the financially conscious traveler will want to rely on Bloomberg or Yahoo Finance for fast and convenient access to currency exchange rates. Do you know any other websites, databases, and resources that should be in this guide?