The STEP makes it possible to contact a traveler if necessary, whether because of a family emergency in the United States or because of a crisis in the place the traveler is visiting.
It is a free service proved by the State Department, and is easily accomplished online at https://travelregistration.state.gov.
If your family needs to reach you because of an emergency, they can pass a message to you through the Office of Overseas Citizens Service, which can be contacted from within the U.S. at (888) 407-4747 (toll free), and from overseas at (202) 501-4444.
The Office of Overseas Citizens Services will contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country in which you are traveling in order to pass the message to you. Furthermore, the State Department recommends leaving a detailed itinerary and copies of your passport biographical-data page with a friend or relative in United States.
Here are some additional tips we recommend all travelers abide by when traveling:
1. Avoid Crowds: When out doing tourism things avoid any crowds and demonstrations which can sometimes turn violent without any notice.
2. Stay in Touch: Stay in regular touch with family and friends back in the United States. It is recommended to set-up a schedule with family and friends so that if something happens family or friends in the states will be alerted to it.
3. Stay Informed: Watch the news and know where trouble is erupting around the globe. Ensure you have developed a good travel plan and make sure you stick to it. Prior to your travel, report to your unit Antiterrorism officer for the scheduling of a foreign country briefing with your local Air Force Office of Special Investigations or Installation Antiterrorism Officer.
4. Know Before You Go Research whatever country you are about to travel too or whatever country you are currently in. Conduct all required pre-travel paperwork identified in the Foreign Clearance Guide and any unit specific paperwork. A properly developed travel plan will provide familiarization with local transportation and customs so that you can more easily get around and so that if something happens you will know where to go.
5. Be Smart Americans need to keep their wits about them and be aware of situations developing immediately. This means not putting yourself in situations where you may be the only American or where you will be surrounded by unfamiliar people.