Travel insights from VAX VacationAccess

Are Your Clients Smart Travelers?

Not every traveler is smart. We’re not talking about book smart. We’re talking more like street smart, where you are knowledgeable and know how to navigate the world. Do you know how you can make them smart? By encouraging them to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

STEP is a free program run by the U.S Department of State that allows U.S. citizens and nationals enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate when they’re traveling or living abroad. So what’s the advantage? According to the State Department, travelers enrolled in STEP:

  • Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in their destination country, helping them make informed decisions about their travel plans. Travelers can even sign up to get travel advisories before they travel, to monitor the destination before they get there.
  • Help the U.S. Embassy contact them in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
  • Help family and friends get in touch with travelers in an emergency.

To enroll, your clients have to provide their name, date of birth, contact information (either phone number or email address) and passport or passport card number (entering this info is optional). Then they enter emergency contact information for someone who is not traveling with them, which is also optional, but could be helpful if something happens to your client when abroad.

Next is to add their destination country and to choose the U.S. embassy nearest to where they’re staying. Then they provide their travel dates, reason for traveling and a phone number where they can be reached during that time. If there are any active travel warnings for their destination country, that will come up on the next screen. Then they confirm their trip details and their info is sent to the nearest Embassy or Consulate.

Enrolling in STEP can give your clients a little more peace of mind when they’re traveling, especially if they’re visiting a country for the first time. If your clients frequently travel abroad, encourage them to create an account so they can simply log in, enter their trip details and go!

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