State Department issues warnings for Spring Break travelers

The State Department is reminding anyone planning a Spring Break trip to be aware and prepared.

This week, it issued a Level 2 advisory for travelers planning to go to the Bahamas. The Level 2 advisory warns people to “exercise increased caution” — especially on the islands of New Providence and Grand Bahama.

The advisory is tied to deadly gang violence.

If you’re planning a trip, you’ll want to be careful about parts of the Caribbean.

The Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos are also under Level 2 advisories because of crime.

Meanwhile, the State Department says you should reconsider travel to Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

And it says you should not travel to Haiti because of kidnapping, crime and civil unrest.

No matter where you travel, the State Department recommends that you sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

It’s a free service that sends you all of the latest information about safety conditions in your destination.

It also makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy to reach you if there is a dangerous situation while you are there, like a natural disaster or civil unrest, or if there is a family emergency you should know about.

The assault prevention group RAINN also recommends you familiarize yourself with your destination and transportation.

It suggests researching taxi and ridesharing companies and even using Google Maps to scout and familiarize yourself with the area where you’ll be staying.

Also, beware of “vacation brain.” It’s nice to relax, but don’t let your guard down too much. Many destinations can create a false sense of security.

Don’t trust people too quickly. Always be aware of your surroundings and keep track of your drink, and always have a backup plan.

That means having a portable charger in case your phone dies, a map in case your GPS doesn’t work, and a hard copy of important phone numbers and addresses.

And make sure you protect your passport.

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