Terrorist attacks, war, security threats and sobering current events can have a major effect on your travel and especially how you handle your personal psychological mindset. Whether you’re en route on an airplane when a bomb goes off in Europe, leaving from a U.S. homeport where a high-profile shooting has occurred or wondering if you should book your next flight when there’s a worldwide government travel security alert. Unfortunately, these true life concerns about safe travel when you leave your home are the norm of the 21st century.
Despite headlines, you are far more likely to encounter danger at home than abroad: According to an October 2015 CNN study using U.S. State Department figures, the number of U.S. citizens killed overseas because of terrorism was 350 between 2001 and 2013; within the U.S., 3,030 were killed in domestic terrorism incidents in the same time period (including the 9/11 attacks). In that same time period, the study showed that 406,496 people died by firearms in the U.S., according to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Terrorism attacks and terrorist threats provoke the most fear, primarily because of their random nature. By definition, terrorism is the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
In an unpredictable world, how do you proceed with a normal life that involves travel especially when you have your entire family along with you? Their safety and including yours is probably foremost in your mind. Here are some practical travel safety tips recommendation as you prepare yourself for your next trip:
Cruise lines cancel ports and airport cancel flights when trouble arises. Best thing to do is not to get too attached to one city in particular. Although bad things can happen just about anywhere, some areas are known hot spots. Right now it seems to be Europe, as mentioned above. Be realistic and cater to your comfort level. You can say “no” for the moment and go somewhere else.
Prepare for inconveniences
After the 2015 Paris attacks, department stores put customers through handbag checks. After an event of this nature, airports might be more vigilant with screening. Allow yourself extra time to get through these checkpoints, and keep in mind that, while the precautions might seem silly, they are being taken for good reasons.
Register with the U.S. State Department
The U.S. government runs the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to keep citizens traveling abroad up to date with news from the closest embassy. Head to step.state.gov to enroll.
Get travel insurance
You can protect your vacation investments with insurance. If terrorism fears have you faltering about booking a trip, you should purchase insurance that allows you to cancel for any reason. It’s more expensive, but it’s the easiest way to give you a way out. While most travel insurance policies do have a terrorism clause, it’s very specifically defined as an event that has been officially declared as such by the U.S. State Department; the policy might even contain date or mileage ranges.
Work with a travel agent
If an airport closes or flights are cancelled and you need to find alternatives, a travel agent can help you rebook, as well as find you accommodations.
Keep up with the news
We know that vacations are all about getting away. But if you’re traveling overseas, it pays to be aware of what’s going on in the countries you’re visiting, at least in terms of recent events. Newsies who want more information of current events can follow through News Apps or Twitter on their phones. News station alerts usually comes in a form of notifications on your mobile devices and keeps you up to date of major events that occurs
Focus on facts rather than opinion
Engage your critical thinking capacity, and cover all the factors — pluses and minuses — not just negative ones.
Hire recommended guides
If you plan on hiring a private guide, do so before you arrive. That way, you can not only determine your itinerary and price in advance, but you’ll also have time to check references with other travelers through Cruise Critic message forums, TripAdvisor or the destination’s tourism office.
There’s no need to have paranoia govern your trip, but a quick survey of your surroundings is always a good idea. If a crowd starts gathering in a public square for no apparent reason, it’s usually best to leave. Don’t involve yourself in a fight or public demonstrations, and keep an eye out for increased police presence. Hotel directors or local guides usually have a good sense of local customs. Don’t be afraid to ask them for advice on areas of town to avoid.
Evaluate risks vs rewards
If you always wanted to go somewhere, factor in the political situation. Choose with risk and reward in mind. If travel brings you significant reward it’s more worth risk, as in other aspects of life.