Carjackings in Indonesia, kidnappings in Yemen - some parts of the world can turn dangerous quickly for travelers.
Using the Internet can make your trip much safer. An excellent Web site sponsored by the US State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs provides timely information on risks to American travelers.
It includes several areas for travel warnings, advisories, and announcements on international crime, civil unrest, even natural disasters.
You can also find the consular information sheets - one for every country - which provide important information for American travelers, even in countries not considered risky.
Check it out at: travel.state.gov.
The information changes as world situations warrant - so stay in touch as you plan your trip, even up to your day of departure.