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7 Safety Precautions to Take When Flying Now as War Breaks Out

The U.S. State Department has suggested these steps to maximize your safety in the air and around the world.

Last week, the United States government issued several warnings due to the Hamas-Israel war, many involving traveling abroad. If you have a trip planned and are getting ready to hop on a plane soon, there are some safety precautions you should take to keep yourself safe while traversing the world.

Take note of the following steps recommended by the U.S. State Department to fly safely right now during war times.

RELATED: FBI Releases 3 Tips to Protect Yourself as Violent Extremist Threats Increase

Stay "Alert" in Touristy Locations

Tourist couple

On Thursday, the State Department issued a warning to all travelers. "Due to increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution. The first that U.S. citizens should do is "stay alert in locations frequented by tourists," they warn. 

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

Woman working from home on laptop at desk with plant
ImYanis / Shutterstock

The State Department also suggests enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) "to receive information and alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency overseas," they say. 

Follow the State Department on Social Media

Photo of us department of state page on a monitor screen through a magnifying glass.

In the same statement, they recommended following the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter. Prior to getting on a plane you should make sure your final destination isn't rated a Level 4 in the U.S. State Department issues travel advisory list.

Keep Your Travel Documents and ID Closeby

woman handing over travel documents and passport
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Make sure you have all the travel documents and identification needed for your trip–and make copies just in case. You don't want to end up in a situation where you can't prove your identity or citizenship. 

Reconsider European Vacations

Parisian Street
Catarina Belova/Shutterstock

Todd Brown, a retired senior State Department official who worked in diplomatic security for more than 30 years, told CNN on Thursday that the threat of escalation "isn't just confined to the Middle East" and could also spread to Europe as anger over the Israeli government's actions towards Gaza grows. "I do think that people should give some thought to their trips and not blindly think, 'Oh, everything's okay,' or 'I'm going into a European capital," he told CNN, adding that he told his daughter to reschedule a trip she had planned. 

Don't Overshare Personal Information

Colleagues walking and talking in a financial district

The FBI also released three tips on how citizens can protect themselves. "It is important for people to protect themselves both online and in-person, and to report any suspicious activity they encounter," the Bureau writes. This includes refraining from oversharing personal information, whether you are on a plane or walking around a city. 

Say Something if You See Something

policeman working at police station
Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Keep your eyes peeled for suspicious behavior, and say something if you see something. "The insular nature of today's violent extremists makes them difficult for law enforcement to identify and disrupt before an attack. Many times, a person's family or friends may be the first to notice a concerning change in behavior that may indicate a person is mobilizing to violence," the FBI writes. 

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more
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