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John V. Golicz, Executive Editor | January 29, 2016
When you read the news headlines today, it can be easy to get worried and stop traveling. We live in a world where boundaries are blurred, travel is easy and (perhaps too) open and anything can happen anywhere at any time—a US Street, a Paris theater, a European Train, a hotel in Mumbai, a beach in Egypt or a marathon in Boston.
For travel enthusiasts, the response should be to keep traveling. Continue to experience different cultures while sharing our own, but most importantly travel wisely and safely.
Travel Safety is about preparedness, risk assessment and risk reduction rather than staying at home and never traveling.
The real risk of dying in a terrorist incident are about 1 in 20 million while the odds of being killed in a car crash are 1 in 19,000. Comparing these statistics shows that the world is a generally safe place and the risk associated with travel is far less than what the media may have you think.
Travel expert Wendy Perrin thoughtfully points out at http://www.wendyperrin.com, please do not confuse the risk of a terrorist incident with the risk of being involved in a terrorist incident. “Is it virtually certain that there will be another terrorist attack in Europe in the next 12 months? Yes. Does that translate into a high degree of risk for the individual traveler to Europe? No.”
Nonetheless, it is prudent to be aware of a destination’s political stability before you arrive there. Take advance precautions and preparedness to understand what to do if there is an incident and, once there, be situationally aware of everywhere you go.
Here are some useful tips on how to prepare and what to do if something does happen in a city you are visiting:
Before You Go:
Check the State Department Website for travel warnings in international destinations.
Schedule non-stop flights, or at least avoid flights that stop in high-risk locales.
Even though it is a recommended way to discourage luggage theft, avoid adding distinctive markings to your luggage. Bright markings on your luggage make you more visible and mark you as a tourist at a time when it’s better to blend in.
Create a 3×5 card with emergency and identifying information, listed below. Laminate if possible. Store a photo of this card on your cell phone and a cloud storage device such as iCloud.
AT THE AIRPORT:
General Rules For Personal Security
Security Inside your hotel
If an attack does occur…
While this is unlikely, it’s better to be prepared. Lie flat on the floor and behind any solid object that might protect you from projectiles. Stay put until the danger passes. If you have to move, do it on your stomach. When it’s safe to get up, don’t stop for any reason, even to help police or rescue personnel. Just leave the area right away.
At your Destination:
In Event of an Incident
Travellers involved or close to a terror incident are advised to exercise heightened security awareness and to follow the directives of local authorities.
Here are a few safety first tips:
Again, understand the world is a safe and friendly place and the odds of any malicious incident interfering with your vacation is small at best. But things can happen, so planning and awareness are key. While no plan is foolproof, these precautions may provide some degree of protection and can serve as practical and psychological deterrents to would-be terrorists.
As CEO and founder of Unicomm, LLC., John Golicz produces the largest and fastest growing travel trade show series in the United States– the Travel & Adventure Show Series. With nearly 30 years of travel experience, John is an expert on how to travel better, safer, smarter and cheaper.