Latest U.S. travel advisory: Trinidad and Tobago

United States v Trinidad & Tobago - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier
United States v Trinidad & Tobago - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier / Ashley Allen/GettyImages

As of July 2, 2024, a U.S. Government Travel Advisory was issued for Trinidad and Tobago. This does not come as a surprise, given the violence taking place regularly. The warning extended is a level three out of four, meaning travel to the area must be reconsidered. Of course, if that is your home country, there isn’t much you can do to avoid travel from within. Sadly, the advisory is nothing new for the country of Trinidad. If Trinidad and Tobago were on your 2024 summer itinerary, opt for a safer destination. 

The recurring level three restriction for Trinidad

The busy streets of Trinidad swirl with unseen danger day and night. Some of the violence is attributed to gang activity. However, many of the more significant and deadly issues lie in the laps of terrorists within the country. The U.S. Government warns people traveling to Trinidad and Tobago to be especially alert in the following areas: Port of Spain: Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, and the interior of Queen’s Park Savannah. These are areas targeted by gangs, pickpockets, murderers, kidnappers, and assailants, including sexual assailants and other forms of street terrorists. 

Travelers stand out from the locals and are a much easier target. Visitors to the country often carry money, passports, credit cards, hotel cards, and identification, which any criminal knows. American women are almost always seen as easy targets when traveling abroad, and Trinidad is one place solo female travelers need to avoid unless absolutely necessary. Women do not have the same rights in the country as they do in the U.S., and anything seen as overstepping cultural boundaries can result in violence. 

The risk of an attack after dark goes up tremendously. Much of this is due to the lack of government personnel in some areas after dark. It is far too dangerous, and the terrorists outnumber the police and other officials. The areas not patrolled by the police after nightfall are downtown Port of Spain, Fort George Overlook, and all the beaches. 

Staying safe is not the vacation adventure you hope to have

Unfortunately, there aren’t many places that are safe from gang or terrorist activity. It is essential to travel to any country prepared for what may be waiting once you step off that airplane. Staying in groups and going out in groups is much safer than going solo, even if you’re a seven-foot-tall wrestler. 

The most dangerous places can be anywhere once the sun goes down. The crime rate is much higher after nightfall. A few small things you can do to prepare for any trip is to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program and be sure to check out the Country Security Report for the country. Another important tip is to monitor the local news for any dangerous situations. Always be aware of your surroundings, even with destinations that appear safe. It’s better to travel smart, carry only the essentials on the street, and avoid anything that reeks of danger.