Travel Advisories
The U.S. State department issues periodic Consular Information Sheets about political, health, economic and other conditions that may affect travelers. Information can be obtained by calling the State Department's Citizens Emergency Center at (202) 647-5225.

For detail information please link hereto the state Department Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Lost or Stolen Passports
For U.S. citizens. If your passport is lost or stolen in the US, immediately telephone the Department of State Passport Services at (202) 647-0518. A new passport can be issued usually within two weeks. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it to the local police and the nearest American embassy or Consulate, A new passport can be usually shipped within 24 hours. You can speed the process if you have with you a photocopy of the passport's identification page of the original and three passport size photos.

Citizens of other countries, immediately notify the police in the area you are located and the nearest embassy or consular office of the country you are a national. Ask for assistance in doing so from the hotel concierge where you are staying.

More than half of the world's countries require a visa. A visa is a permit to enter and leave a country within a defined period of time and for a specific purpose (i.e. tourism, work e.t.c.) Check with the consulates of the countries you plan to visit for visa and vaccination requirements well ahead of departure date.

Driving Overseas
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a document about the size of a passport and can be useful if you are a frequent driver overseas.

It tells a police officer that the license you have is current and valid.

It can cut hours of delay if you are involved in an accident or traffic violation.

US Citizens, can get an application, good for one year, from the local AAA (American Automobile Association) office or write to the AAA National Headquarters, 1000 AAA Drive, Heathrow, FL 32746-5063. If you are applying by mail, send the application along with two signed passport-size photos, a photocopy of your license and a check for $10.00. Citizens of other countries, contact your national Automobile Club, in your town of residence, for requirements.

There is no hard-and-fast rules about tipping, each country has it's own practices and customs. You will find that many places in Europe and Asia add a 15% service charge to the bill, so study the bill before giving a tip; however, in some countries it is customary to leave some change, the approximate equivalent of $4.00 depending on the number of diners, on the restaurant's table for the busboy. A hotel concierge will expect a tip of $10 for such services as acquiring hard-to-get theater tickets or special requests.

Duty-free Shopping
Duty-free stores are supposed to sell merchandise free of sales taxes and import fees. In countries without a national or local sales tax, only items that are manufactured outside the country are lower in price than comparable merchandise sold downtown. In some cases you will find that local merchandise is more expensive at the airport duty-free shop, than if purchased at a downtown department store or discount store. So know your prices before buying luxury items.

Also remember that duty-free purchases count towards the limits in merchandise that can be brought into a country without paying customs fees.

Best buys at duty-free stores are still liquor and tobacco products. For U.S. residents, photographics and electronics, unless the item is unavailable in the U.S., are many times cheaper through the many discount merchants in major U.S. cities, than the duty-free stores. Import duties are much higher in other countries than in the U.S. but the duty free stores take full profit in the merchandise they sell as opposed to a discounter.

If you need a doctor
If you become ill in a foreign country it can be difficult to locate a physician.
The nearest Consulate or Embassy should have a list of doctors speaking your language. You can become a member of the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers, (IAMAT, 716-754-4883). Members receive a directory of certified English-speaking doctors and other health providers. Cardmembers can obtain assistance by calling one of the American express hotlines or the nearest American Express office.

Electrical Appliances
Syria Nominal Voltage is 220v.

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