Traveling Abroad? US Warns Against These Countries – NBC New York

Are you planning a trip abroad? Do you wonder if your destination is safe?
The U.S. Department of State issues travel advisory levels for more than 200 countries — continually updating them.
Drug trafficking, crime, terrorist threats and civil uprisings are some of the factors behind the travel advisory levels given to the countries on the list.
With the recent deaths of a 9-year-old New York City boy who was shot and killed less than an hour after arriving in the Dominican Republic for a spring break family trip and the discovery of a missing man from Indiana who was found dead in a clandestine burial pit in Mexico after a traffic accident led to his alleged murder are just some of the recent headlines that has caused pause for some people to travel abroad.
However, the safest way to travel, is to be aware ahead of time of where one is going and the precautions one should take.
U.S. travel advisories are issued in four levels: exercise normal precautions, exercise increased caution, reconsider travel, and do not travel.

As of Tuesday, May 9, there are 18 countries that were issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory by the State Department. Level 4 is the highest level in the advisory system due to the likelihood that travelers may encounter life-threatening risks.
“This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance. The Department of State advises that U.S. citizens not travel to the country or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time,” according to the State Department.    
The countries under the Level 4 advisory (and the dates when there listings were updated) are:
Meanwhile, 29 other countries are at Level 3: Reconsider Travel. This level, according to the State Department, encourages travelers to avoid certain places due to safety and security risks.
When it comes to this level, the State Department says: “Avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.”
The countries under a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory (and the dates when their listings were updated) are: 
The rest of the countries on the list are at a Level 2 and Level 1.
According to the State Department, a country with a Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution advisory warns travelers to aware of their surroundings and also to be cognizant that conditions could change at any time.
“Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time,” the description for Level 2 reads.
Meanwhile, places with a Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions advisory have the lowest advisory level when it comes to security risk.
“This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk. There is some risk in any international travel. Conditions in other countries may differ from those in the United States and may change at any time, the State Department’s website says when it comes to Level 1.
However, there are two countries on the list, as of Tuesday, that have a travel advisory that is out of the ordinary: Israel, the West Bank and Gaza as well as Mexico. These two countries have an “Other” advisory level and were given that level within the past year in October and March.
In the instance of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, its travel advisory reads, that there are terrorist groups, lone-wolf terrorists and other extremists plotting possible attacks, with some areas having more risk than others.
The State Department warns travelers not to travel to “Gaza due to terrorism, civil unrest, and armed conflict.” It also warns travelers to “exercise increased caution when traveling to: Israel due to terrorism and civil unrest” as well as “West Bank due to terrorism and civil unrest.”
Mexico’s travel advisory warns of “violent crime — such as homicide kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery,” which according to the State Department is both widespread and common in the country.
Mexico’s warning is broken down specifically by region, as follows, as outlined by the U.S. State Department:
Do Not Travel To:
Reconsider Travel To:
Exercise Increased Caution When Traveling To:
Exercise Normal Precautions When Traveling To:
For additional information the countries listed, or those in Level 1 or 2, visit the U.S. Department of State’s website, or click here.

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