Travel In The Age Of Fear

Travel In The Age Of Fear.

Here are tips on how to travel safely and confidently in another country:

Seek out the best information

Consult U.S. Department of State advisories before you book. There are two types of notices. Travel warnings are issued in the event of extreme civil unrest, terrorist activity, and other dangerous conditions. Travel alerts address more short-term situations that could pose a risk or disrupt travel plans. Check health advisories to determine if immunisations or prophylactic medications are necessary.  For a broader take, look at other governments’ advisories. Great Britain’s and Australia’s sites offer up-to-date travel info for numerous countries.

Make your plans known

You should be sure that you have a way to get in contact with U.S. embassies abroad. Sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Once you’ve signed up, any local U.S. embassy or consulate can contact you in the event of an emergency. Carry contact information for all those local offices ( They maintain 24/7 emergency hotlines. Another handy contact: The Office of Overseas Citizens Services (888-407-4747 toll-free) can relay urgent messages from family members. 

Consider buying travel insurance

Most comprehensive policies will reimburse you for nonrefundable travel expenses if you cancel or postpone a trip after a terrorist incident at a destination on your itinerary, but read the fine print first. Most travel insurance policies include some travel assistance, such as a 24/7 hotline for rebooking and help with arranging an evacuation. Two good sources of information: the U.S. Travel Insurance Association ( and the aggregator site 

Check out the new check-in tools

In a worst-case scenario, Google and Facebook offer check-in tools, originally used for large-scale natural disasters but now deployed for local crises. Facebook activated its Safety Check feature after the Manchester Arena explosion in Britain last month. This status notification will be seen only by your friends. The Google Person Finder is a free service designed to be used by the general public and emergency responders in the wake of a catastrophe. You can go to the Google Person Finder page to see a list of active events, and then post and search for the status of relatives and friends in the vicinity of the disaster.

Always be vigilant

Don’t get so concerned with unseen threats that you ignore obvious ones. Exercise the same commonsense measures you do at home. Keep your money and valuables secure. Be aware of your surroundings, particularly in crowded public places, at large events and when using public transportation. Credit: AARP 5 June 2017.

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