Know what a travel alert is
Haiti was recently issued a short-term travel alert to warn tourists of possible civil unrest preceding their twice-postponed upcoming elections. An alert is typically issued for a short-term event that potential travelers should monitor before booking a flight and, like the half gallon of 2 percent in your fridge, has an expiration date, typically 90 days.
And how it’s different from a travel warning
North Korea is probably going to be a dicey travel move for decades to come, so that means there’s a big, meaty travel warning on the country. A travel warning is issued for constant instability, crime, war, frequent terrorist attacks, or to warn American travelers that the country does not have US presence on the ground -- or is permanently out of Funyuns.
Don’t avoid a country because it has one or both
The first thing you might notice while scouring the list of countries on travel.state.gov is that the entire continent of Europe is under a travel alert. Yes, thanks to terrorism, said alert encompasses cities currently featured on black and white posters in every freshman dorm room, and every gelato eating, siesta-taking, study abroad location that was ever flown to via Ryan Air.