What do I mean by travel "SMART?" The US Department of State has set up a smart traveler enrollment program where US citizens can enroll and let the government know what countries they will be visiting. Why bother, you might ask. By enrolling in this program, you automatically get updates on your destination's travel warnings and alerts. In addition, it serves as a way for the US government to assist you in case of an emergency. Anything from your passport being stolen to helping you evacuate after natural disasters. For example, after the earthquake in Hati, the government was able to evacuate over 16,000 US citizens and also did so after the civil unrest in Lebanon in 2006. By enrolling, it lets the local embassy know that you need to be accounted for and also serves as a way to communicate and get news back to your family when cell phone service is intermittant.
Remember to "let them know before you go!"