A bigger adventure than what you planned


If you're making summer vacation plans, the U.S. State Department lists 11 countries that you should not travel to and 20 countries you should reconsider visiting.

The U.S. State Department has a new system to categorize the travel safety when traveling to different countries.

The State Department recommends you reconsider Russia, which is at a level three. But, Houston travel counselor Sheilah Benoit said a lot of people are taking Baltic cruises there this summer.

“People going to the World Cup. These all need to be booked with reputable cruise lines, tour companies that manage the accommodations, the transfers exclusively with an on ground handler that is reputable. The same thing with Cuba,” said Benoit.

She added the British Virgin Islands is also a level three, but because it hasn't recovered from Hurricane Irma.

“One is exercising normal cautions when traveling. Two is maybe a little bit more elevated. Three is sometimes a recommendation to reconsider. And, then four is simply do not travel,” said Benoit.

In addition, they break down the threats by crime (C), terrorism (T), civil unrest (U), health risks (H), natural disasters (N), temporary events-like elections or sports (E) and other (O).

No. 1 includes Europe or Far East

No. 2 Caribbean or Mexico-normal precautions with an increased level

No. 3 travel warnings are:

British Virgin Islands, N

Burkina Faso, C, T

Burundi, C, O

Guinea-Bissau, C

Chad, C, T, O

Cuba, O

Democratic Republic of the Congo, C, U, O

El Salvador, C

Guatemala, C

Haiti, C, U

Honduras, C

Lebanon, C, T, O

Mauritania, C, T

Niger, C, T

Nigeria, C, T, O

Pakistan, T, O

Russia, T, O

Sudan, C, T, U, O

Turkey, T, O

Venezuela, ,C, U, H, O

No. 4 warning and the codes of their specific threats are:

Afghanistan, C, T, U, O

Central African Republic, C, U

Iran, O

Iraq, T, O

Libya, C, T, U, O

Mali, C, T

North Korea, O

Somalia, C, T, O

South Sudan, C, O

Syria, T, U, O

Yemen, T, U, H, O

U.S. citizens are not allowed to use their passports in North Korea.

Countries listed at three and four levels are evaluated every six months. Countries at level one and two are reevaluated every year.


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