25 State Department travel warnings and alerts Americans should know about
A deadly Barcelona terrorist incidents sent shockwaves through Spain this past week when 13 were killed and around 100 were injured from van and car attacks.
In the wake of attacks earlier this year in France, Russia, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the State Department issued a travel alert for Europe in May, saying the Islamic State and al Qaeda "have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe."
There are two types of State Department travel notifications: travel alerts and travel warnings. The U.S. Passports & International Division clearly defines the difference between these two terms:
Travel warnings: "We issue a Travel Warning when we want you to consider very carefully whether you should go to a country at all. Examples of reasons for issuing a Travel Warning might include unstable government, civil war, ongoing intense crime or violence, or frequent terrorist attacks. We want you to know the risks of traveling to these places and to strongly consider not going to them at all. Travel Warnings remain in place until the situation changes; some have been in effect for years."
Travel alerts: "We issue a Travel Alert for short-term events we think you should know about when planning travel to a country. Examples of reasons for issuing a Travel Alert might include an election season that is bound to have many strikes, demonstrations, or disturbances; a health alert like an outbreak of H1N1; or evidence of an elevated risk of terrorist attacks. When these short-term events are over, we cancel the Travel Alert."
These are the destinations American travelers should be cautious of when booking trips abroad: