Navigating the New U.S. Travel Advisory System

Posted on November 25, 2023

When it comes to traveling, safety should always be a concern when journeying beyond your borders. To enhance the security of U.S. citizens abroad, the United States has introduced a revamped travel advisory system, replacing the previous “Travel Alert” and “Travel Warning” designations with a more comprehensive and user-friendly structure. However, we understand it can be a lot of information to take in at once. That’s why this month, your local Massachusetts travel agent from Arpin is here to walk you through the new U.S. Travel Advisory System.

Understanding the New Travel Advisory System

The new U.S. Travel Advisory System introduces a four-tiered classification to better convey the security status of different countries. It replaces the older system with a more straightforward and informative approach to rating travel destinations.

The four advisory levels are as follows:

Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions: At this level, countries are considered the safest for travelers. While no place is entirely without risk, these countries pose standard international travel risks that all travelers should be aware of.

Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution: Countries with this rating are generally secure, but they might have specific regions or circumstances where the risk of disorder or attacks is higher. Travelers are advised to be more vigilant and attentive to their surroundings.

Level 3 – Reconsider Travel: Level 3 is composed of countries where travelers may encounter substantial risks to their safety. These countries may have regions with dense terrorism threats or might be prone to natural disasters, affecting the availability of basic necessities.

Level 4 – Do Not Travel: The highest security level, Level 4 is reserved for countries with life-threatening risks, such as ongoing rebellions, war, nuclear terrorism threats, or bombings. Citizens are strongly discouraged from visiting these countries, as the U.S. government may have limited ability to assist if problems arise.

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Travel Advisory Risk Indicators

In addition to the advisory levels, the new system introduces risk indicators, represented by letters, to provide specific reasons for the advisory level assigned. These risk indicators offer additional guidance for U.S. citizens considering travel to these destinations. The risk indicators include:

  • C – Crime
  • T – Terrorism
  • U – Civil Unrest
  • H – Health
  • N – Natural Disaster
  • E – Time-Limited Event
  • K – Kidnapping or Hostage Taking
  • O – Other


Arpin Travel | Massachusetts Travel Agent 

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