With the holidays approaching fast, many people are getting ready to travel. While some people aren’t going far, others have planned trips that will take them out of the country.
However, after the devastating terrorist attacks in Paris last month, many people are questioning whether or not they should cancel or postpone any upcoming vacations to Paris in particular, as well as the rest of Europe.
Is it safe to travel to Europe?
The short answer? No reputable travel agent or supplier will ever knowingly put you a dangerous location.
The world as we know it can be inherently unpredictable and dangerous. However, if you are armed with knowledge and research, travel is a passion of the human spirit that fear should not quench.
Travelers should gather as much information as possible pertaining to the location they are traveling to and then make their decision based on that information. Contact a trusted travel agent who is knowledgeable about the area you are interested in traveling to.
In a Forbes article from late November, many people have already chosen to cancel or cut-off their trips to Europe with Paris hotels losing a significant amount of business the days following the attacks, though Parisian citizens are refusing to let fear control them by returning to their normal routines. They want travelers to do the same.
President of the French Merchants Association CDF Francis Palombi is quoted in the article stating, “‘Life must resume and consumers must not yield to psychosis. They need to feel safe at their independent traders. France is going through a period of mourning, not fear; the activity will gradually resume, especially in preparation for the holiday season.’”
The article also states that government officials aren’t advising people to cease from traveling to Europe in wake of the terrorist attacks though The U.S. Department of State issued a Worldwide Travel Alert a few days after this publication, urging travelers to pay attention to their surroundings and stay updated on local news.
More recently, The Washington Post published an article discussing the attacks and the dilemma travelers are now faced with. It’s mentioned that “while the new terrorist attacks in Western Europe are troubling, it remains one of the safest areas in the world,’ says Scott Hume, associate director for security operations at Global Rescue, a travel risk and crisis management firm. ‘Statistically, car accidents and illnesses are still the greatest threats to travelers — not terrorism.’”
Whether you’re going to Europe or any other part of the world, it’s important to be proactive by following certain safety tips.
Remember to inform your loved ones back home about your departure and arrival times, the name of the hotel you’re staying at, and what you plan on doing while abroad. Checking in once a day isn’t a bad idea either, especially since there are so many ways to communicate with them—send a text message if you don’t feel like calling or video chatting, just to let them know you’re ok. Also, keep in mind that if you have any questions or concerns, you can always ask the hotel staff. That’s what they’re there for. They can tell you about popular and safe attractions, activities, and tours in the area.
But the bottom line is you have to choose what you’re most comfortable with. If you want to travel to Europe, then gather as much up-to-date information as you can, speak with a trusted and experienced travel agent, buy a great pair of walking shoes, and enjoy.