Amid news of tourist deaths, tips for Americans traveling abroad

As summer approaches, so do plans for vacationing and adventuring outside the country. However, with recent news of Americans dying while traveling abroad, many may be nervous to do so.

A couple from Prince George’s County and another American woman died just days apart while at the same Dominican Republic resort. A couple from Texas also died recently while vacationing in Fiji.

ABC News crime and terrorism analyst Brad Garrett joined WTOP to discuss some precautions that travelers should take while abroad.

He suggested the following:

  • Build your own safety network.
  • Always have important phone numbers in your phone such as relatives, doctors and the embassy.
  • Know what emergency services are available, if any.
  • Know what kind of locks are on the door.
  • Know where the entrances and exits are.

“Despite the fact that you’re going to a beautiful resort, you’re still in a Third World environment by and large,” said Garrett, explaining that building codes, emergency services and other factors differ from U.S. standards.

Travelers should not let their guards down when staying in American-based hotels either.

“[Hotels and resorts] are going to go along with whatever the track record is and the rules are there,” said Garrett.

AAA’s Suzanne Aresco had this advice for travelers: “In any destination, when you’re traveling, exercise precautions.”

There are advantages to using travel agents, she said, such as sending people to recognized hotels.

And, make sure you have trip insurance and overseas medical insurance, since it can come in handy when something unexpected happens. Having insurance buys you an advocate, especially if you end up in a hospital and need to be transferred to better facilities or back home in the U.S.

“Review the policy with your travel adviser to make sure that it’s got coverage that really could meet your potential needs,” Aresco said.

AAA's Suzanne Aresco: The biggest issue is what could happen to you (WTOP's Kristi King )

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.

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