Know before you go

In order to really know if this is a party or a protest, you need to have the following skills or knowledge to assess the situation and stay safe. 

  1. Language skills, whether oral or written, are critical
    Can you read the signs? Can you hear and understand what they are saying? Can you ask the person standing next to you what’s going on? 
  2. Be aware of cultural norms and special events in the country
    For example, are you going to a majority Muslim country during the hajj (pilgrimage)? If so, your flight might get delayed because travelers returning from pilgrimage get priority in some countries. Or, if you are in a country where women are traditionally dressed in a full veil and you see a group of women marching without cover...that’s an indicator that something out of the ordinary is going on. 
  3. Keep up with current events:
    What is going on in the country right now? Research current events in the country such as political elections, protests, demonstrations, etc. 

Use the U.S. State Department International Travel page to look up specific information about your travel destination(s). 

Note: Be sure to avoid protests as they could potentially turn violent, or you could be arrested as a protester just by being in the vicinity.

Next Page: Money