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NEWS, TIPS & BARGAINS | TRAVEL LOG

Register your trip online

August 01, 2004|Jane Engle

American travelers abroad can now register online with the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in the country in which they are visiting. Previously, they had to fax, phone or visit the consulate or embassy.

The online option is part of a redesign of the State Department's website for travelers, www.travel.state.gov, that premiered last month.

The relaunch was aimed at making the site "more accessible, more user-friendly," said Kelly Shannon, spokeswoman for the department's Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Registering with a consulate or embassy helps U.S. officials contact you in case of a crisis or natural disaster.

If you give permission, they can also release information to relatives and friends who ask about you.

"If they don't register with us, we don't know they're in the country," Shannon said. You can also sign up online for a quarterly newsletter from the bureau and other updates.

You can find the online registration form and related information at www.travel .state.gov by clicking on "international travel," then choosing "registration with embassies" from the menu on the left side.

The bureau still maintains a toll-free phone, (888) 407-4747, to field inquiries, staffed from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, Pacific time, except federal holidays. But the website is the quickest way to get information.

Caution

advised

in Cancun

Americans visiting Cancun, Mexico, may encounter traffic delays and demonstrations after the resignation last month of the coastal resort's city council and the mayor's removal, the State Department said in a public announcement that expires Aug. 20. It advised visitors to use caution, avoid crowds and respect roadblocks. For information, see www.travel.state.gov.

Surf-proof

map of

Highway 1

A map-guide to one of the world's most renowned roads was published last month by the Automobile Club of Southern California.

"Highway 1: The Best of the Golden State's Coast Road" is the latest of 13 "Greatest Hits" pocket maps issued by the club, the country's largest AAA affiliate.

The laminated map lists 60 tourist attractions and restaurants, including many you won't find in AAA TourBooks. It costs $4.95 for club members and $7.95 for others and is available at Automobile Club offices in Southern California and at some affiliate clubs. For information, visit www.aaa.com.

Park gate

reopens

The eastern entrance of Yellowstone National Park reopened July 24, a week after a slide poured 30,000 tons of mud, rock and debris onto the road east of Sylvan Pass. Drivers may still experience delays on the road because of a construction project. For updates, visit www.nps.gov/yell.

-- Compiled by

Jane Engle

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