By Marianne Schwab | Best Travel Deals Tips Blog

Embassies & Consulates
Around the World

1. Why You Need to Know How to Find an Embassy. Knowing where to find embassies and consulates in any country you are planning to travel to is very important and you should include this information in your travel documents for several reasons:

• A lost or stolen passport.
• If you're the unfortunate victim of a crime abroad.
• In the unlikely event that there is civil unrest in the country you're visiting.
• If you're traveling independently or alone.

2. When You Should Contact an Embassy Before You Travel. Before you travel outside of the U.S., it's also a very good idea to contact the U.S. embassy or consulate in the country where you'll be traveling and let them know your itinerary as well as the embassy or consulate offices in Washington, D.C. I don't want to put up any red flags of worry, but I would suggest doing this primarily in areas outside of Europe including China and the Middle East, for example (and especially if you're traveling alone).

3. Travel Etiquette Abroad. The most important thing you need to remember when you travel to another country is that even though you are traveling as an American citizen, once you step foot on foreign soil you are subject to all the laws of the country where you are now a guest. That means that many of the rights we take for granted here in America, like freedom of speech and freedom of faith, can get you arrested in certain countries if you're not cognizant of playing by their rules. I always consider myself an unofficial Ambassador of the United States when I travel abroad. It is my goal to never be an "Ugly American" when I visit foreign country and that means respecting their laws, culture and customs. That doesn't ever mean I agree with all of them, but I must respect them the same way we expect our foreign visitors to respect and abide by our laws when they're on U.S. Soil.

4. Directory of Every Nation's Embassies & Consulates. I have found this great travel resource at Embassy Worldwide. It provides a comprehensive list of contact resources and they have a directory that is easy to use and it is fully cross-indexed to make finding an embassy or consulate simple. In addition, they have maps, a growing database of tools to make variance in international standards easily convertible or accessible, as well as information on international relocation, including relocation reports.

5. How to Replace a Lost or Stolen Passport. As soon as you notice your passport is either missing or stolen, you should contact the nearest police authorities, U.S. embassy or consulate. You will be asked to complete the standard passport application form, or a DS-11 form. You are not required to know the passport number or issuance date to apply for a new passport. I always recommend having at least one or two copies of my passport in other luggage or carry-ons just in case you have a lost or stolen Passport. In addition, I recommend leaving a copy of your passport with a couple of different friends or family members that you can contact.

If the passport is still valid, you must also complete the DS-64 form to report the lost or stolen passport. You will be asked to report how, where and when you lost your current passport, what you did to recover it, and what the end result was. This form must be submitted along with your completed DS-11 application. Both of these forms can be downloaded and printed from the State Department Web site.

In emergencies, you may contact the National Passport Information Center (NPIC) for support. Call (877) 487-2778 to reach an operator Monday through Friday from 8 a.m until 10 p.m. ET; an automated system is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you want to find out the status of an application, you can now check online.

National Passport Information Center (NPIC) Contact Information:

Main address:
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Main Switchboard:
TTY:1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay Service)

Hotline for American Travelers:

Passport Information:

Visa Information:

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About Marianne Schwab
TV Travel Show Producer

For over twenty years, TV Travel Show Producer, Marianne Schwab, has been collecting money saving travel tips as a travel producer for high profile television programs. She has flown all over the world and produced live television productions on location from Caesar's Palace on the Vegas Strip to the beautiful island of Oahu. Read more