Hey there, it’s Ernest from Trip Astute.
Today, we’ll be talking about the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, also known
as STEP. STEP is a free service offered by the United States State Department. It
allows you to enter your travel itinerary so that you can be alerted of
any emergencies or risks in your travel destination. The program is designed for
US citizens traveling abroad, and allows embassy staff to proactively contact you
in the event of an emergency. Enrolling is super easy. Just point your browser to
the website: step.state.gov. Once there, you’ll be asked to enter some
information including personal information like your name and birth
date, contact information while traveling like an email or telephone number,
passport details, emergency contact info for someone who isn’t traveling with you,
and then basic itinerary and travel info like dates of arrival, departure, airport,
etc. I actually used this service when I traveled to Southeast Asia last summer.
When I was in Cambodia, I actually received an alert saying that there was
a political assassination in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. It advised
travelers to be aware of any protests that might be occurring and also
provided information to the local embassy in the area. I was also alerted
of a major storm passing through the southern part of the country. This was
really useful information since I’d plan to do some ocean activities while there.
It was good peace of mind knowing that I was in a loop of any potential risks in
the area. Do you have any family or friends abroad, and want to receive
notifications of any emergencies in their country? The STEP program can also
be used to monitor activity in other countries. All you have to do is register
your email and the country you want to monitor, and they’ll
send you regular alerts and warnings. Some of you may be uncomfortable
sharing your information with the government. While I totally understand
your concerns, I personally don’t have an issue with it. For one, the government
already logs my information every time I enter or leave the country. Plus, I feel
like the benefits outweigh the privacy risks, especially when traveling and
needing help from a local embassy. I’ve included a direct link to STEP in the
description below. Have you ever used STEP during your travels? If so, please
share your experience in the comment section below. Also, if you have any
questions or comments, please leave them below as well. If you liked this video or
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channel. Until next time, travel safe and travel smart.