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Important U.S. Travel Advisories Released In January 2024

The vast majority of places are safe to visit, but it’s always a good idea to be informed before you travel and to stay up to date on travel advisories. The U.S. State Department keeps a watchful eye out for potential threats around the globe.

These are the main updates to travel advisories that were released in the first month of 2024.

Cuba – Level 2

According to a January 5 update from the U.S. State Department, travelers heading to Cuba this winter should be extra cautious because of crime. It is advised that visitors be alert of their surroundings, refrain from physically opposing any robbery attempt, refrain from flaunting their wealth by not wearing pricey jewelry or watches, and sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and facilitate emergency location.

The Bahamas – Level 2

Because of the increase in crime this winter, visitors to the Bahamas should travel with extra caution. Since the beginning of 2024, there have been eighteen murders in the Nassau region; therefore, the U.S. Embassy there has recently advised visitors to exercise caution and maintain a low profile.

Nicaragua – Level 3

Nicaragua is a Level 3 nation in Central America this winter. “Reconsider travel to Nicaragua due to arbitrary enforcement of laws, the risk of wrongful detention, and limited healthcare availability,” warns the State Department. “Exercise increased caution in Nicaragua due to crime.”

Jamaica – Level 3

The State Department updated Jamaica Travel Advisory due to crime and inadequate medical care. The State Department does not cover medical expenses, so officials “strongly encourage you to obtain traveler’s insurance, including medical evacuation insurance, before traveling to Jamaica.”

Visit the official website for the full list of areas to avoid in Jamaica.

Saudi Arabia – Level 3

The risk of drone and missile attacks should prompt Americans to reevaluate their plans to visit Saudi Arabia. Travelers to the Middle East should be especially cautious because of the threat of terrorism, the possibility of being arrested for using social media, and the importation of goods that are forbidden.

The cities of Abha, Jizan, Najran, and Khamis Mushayt; the airport and Qatif in the Eastern Province; and the suburbs of Awamiyah and Abha should all be avoided due to the threat of missile and drone attacks as well as terrorism. These areas are also within 50 miles of the Saudi-Yemen border.

Lebanon –  Level 3

Due to armed conflict, unexploded landmines, kidnapping, terrorism, civil unrest, and crime, you should think twice before visiting Lebanon. There is more risk in some places, particularly those close to the borders. Take a look at the entire travel advisory.

Avoid visiting the following places: refugee settlements because of the possibility of armed conflicts; the border with Syria because of terrorism and armed conflict; and southern Lebanon because of the possibility of armed conflict.

Colombia – Level 3

The State Department reissued a Level 3 travel advisory for Colombia at the start of the new year. Because of terrorism and criminality, officials advise Americans to think twice before visiting the South American nation. A higher level of caution is also recommended for visitors in light of civil unrest and kidnapping.

Particular regions to stay away from are the Colombia-Venezuela border region because of crime, kidnapping, and the possibility of being detained when entering Venezuela from Colombia, as well as the departments of Arauca, Cauca (apart from Popayán), and Norte de Santander because of terrorism and criminal activity.

Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza – Levels 3 and 4

In light of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, Americans are still urged to think twice before traveling to Israel and the West Bank due to terrorism and civil unrest. Because of the armed conflict and terrorism in Gaza, American citizens should also refrain from visiting.

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