State Department Travel Warnings Funny, Undiplomatic

The State Department’s annual travel advisory guidelines “venture beyond the bland, carefully worded travel advice the State Department is normally known for, and are often downright undiplomatic,” reports AP’s Matthew Lee. Some gems:

  • “Driving in Qatar is (like) participating in an extreme sport.”
  • “Police involvement in criminal activity is both legendary and true in Mexico.”
  • “Be aware of drink prices” in Croatia’s gentlemen’s clubs, where tourists can “unknowingly run up exorbitant bar bills, sometimes in the thousands of dollars.”
  • “Despite Malta’s geographic proximity to Italy, organized crime is almost nonexistent.”
  • [In Qatar] “Drivers often maneuver erratically and at high speed, demonstrate little road discipline or courtesy, fail to turn on their headlights during hours of darkness or inclement weather, and do not use seat belts.”
  • “Reporting crime is an archaic, exhausting process in Mexico, and is widely perceived to be a waste of time.”

My personal favorite, though, is this one: “The tragedy of Haiti is that Haitians have become great leaders in every profession and in every country, with the exception of Haiti.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. So Condi is finally starting to get them to loosen up a bit.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    That one from Croatia sounds like the voice of experience to me.