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I'm from the US and interested in traveling to the Balkans.

I checked the US Embassy government website for certain countries in the Balkans, and they are apparently deemed safe. But numerous people have told me of issues like sex trafficking that happen in that region, suggesting I'm at risk if I travel there. Part of me thinks that is unnecessarily cautious, but at the same time, I wouldn't want to be putting myself in that situation if more reliable sources would have confirmed that to be a real risk.

Is it safe to trust just the US Embassy website? Or are there other places I should check for this type of information? What about political issues?

marked as duplicate by Zach Lipton, JonathanReez, CMaster, Tor-Einar Jarnbjo, JoErNanO Jun 6 '16 at 9:46

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    General tip: always check the Foreign Office to see if there's an advisory. gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice I read the US Department of State pages also, but think the Foreign Office is better. And remember that Americans can register with the Warden for a given country and get local alerts via email. – Gayot Fow Jun 6 '16 at 5:32
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    There are "issues" and "risks" in any region. Understanding them is important, but their mere presence doesn't mean you shouldn't travel somewhere. It might be useful to find out exactly what sort of "sex trafficking" people are warning you about. Are random victims of your demographic being routinely kidnapped off the street? Or are people already in certain situations drawn into worse situations? Are there particular areas or situations (neighborhoods, bars, etc..) that are higher risks? Converting a vague fear into specific actionable knowledge and a realistic risk assessment is important. – Zach Lipton Jun 6 '16 at 5:52
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    If the State department (and other countries) travel advice don't mention the sex trafficing, it's probably because they don't consider it a signficant risk for visitors to that country. – CMaster Jun 6 '16 at 8:00
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    A great way of putting the travelers' advisories into perspective is to compare the situation to your home country. Are the risks being described similar to those in your own city (or other cities you're familiar with)? – phoog Jun 6 '16 at 12:37
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These are the ones I look at:

Official:

Australian Government - Smart Traveler

UK Government - Foreign Travel Advice

US State Department - Travel

Unofficial:

Wikitravel

Sometimes I just search on google "[country name] travel safety"

That's about all I can think of at the moment.

  • I wouldn't trust the UK Travel Advice too much. Don't know how often they update it but in Italy there haven't been attacks from political extremists for decades. And we don't have earthquakes daily either. :) – algiogia Jun 6 '16 at 12:33
  • @algiogia but they don't mention attacks from political extremists. They advise to avoid political demonstrations (because of a general risk that they might get rough) and they mention a general risk of terrorism. – phoog Jun 6 '16 at 12:42
  • "There are isolated cases of domestic terrorism. Attacks carried out by the extreme left-wing and secessionist groups have generally been aimed at official Italian targets..." – algiogia Jun 6 '16 at 13:19

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