When planning your destination wedding or honeymoon, you sometimes get caught up in the happiness bubble. You stare longingly at pictures of all-inclusive resorts, beach weddings, ziplining adventures and romantic dinners in Prague. Inside the bubble, every light is sunset orange, every destination is within budget, and wedding days are blue skies forever.
Outside that bubble, there’s going to be some rain. And depending on your destination, there might be some more serious threats you need to know about, such as disease, unstable governments and terrorism.
If you have any questions about these current threats, please consult a travel professional who specializes in your destination. They’ll know which areas are more secure than others, and they’ll give you sound advice on how to stay safe all vacation long.
First – Understanding Travel Alerts & Warnings
Travel advisories can be confusing, since terms that may sound similar actually mean very different things for travelers. Travel Alerts are quite different from Travel Warnings; the two are completely separate categories and are not interchangeable.
Travel Alerts are issued for short-term events that you should be aware of when planning travel to a country. When these short-term events are over, the Travel Alert is canceled. An alert does not mean you have to stay away from a country or region—only that you should be aware of potential risks and to be vigilant, as always.
Travel Warnings are issued when you need to consider very carefully whether you should go to a country at all. Travel Warnings remain in place until the situation changes; some have been in effect for years.
Talk to your travel agent to determine the current state of your destination’s travel alerts and warnings.
Current Travel Threats at Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Hotspots
Zika - Zika virus is typically a mosquito-borne illness, but there have been confirmed cases of transmission through sexual contact and blood transfusion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that women who are pregnant should not travel to areas that are at elevations less than 2,000 m above sea level in countries with ongoing Zika virus transmission.
COUNTRIES AFFECTED BY ZIKA
Currently includes: Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; The Bahamas; Barbados; Bonaire; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Cuba; Curaçao; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Haiti; Jamaica; Martinique; Montserrat; the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a US territory; Saba; Saint Barthelemy; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Saint Eustatius; Saint Maarten; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; US Virgin Islands
Currently includes: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama
The Pacific Islands
Currently includes: American Samoa, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga
Currently includes: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela
OTHER TRAVEL THREATS
U.S. citizens are advised not to travel to the southern peninsula of Haiti, commonly referred to as the “southern claw.” There is widespread devastation throughout the southern claw due to recent hurricanes, with the most affected areas on the western tip of the peninsula. Travelers can expect difficult travel conditions with roads made impassable by landslides, damaged roads, and bridge failures. There is also widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure, including gas stations and cell towers, loss of electricity, and shortages of food and potable water.
It’s advised that travelers avoid the South Pacific during Tropical Cyclone season, which typically runs from November – April.
Travelers should be aware of increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey. U.S. citizens should avoid travel to southeast Turkey and carefully consider the risks of travel to and throughout the country.
Travelers should be aware of the risk of traveling to certain places in Mexico, such as the states of Chihuahua and Guerrero, due to threats to safety and security posed by organized criminal groups in the country. Please note that millions of travelers safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism and business. The Mexican government dedicates substantial resources to protect visitors to major tourist destinations, and there is no evidence that organized criminal groups have targeted U.S. visitors or residents based on their nationality. Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime that are reported in the border region or in areas along major trafficking routes.