Can You Safely Travel Abroad?/E̗The Comfort Zone

E̗The Comfort Zone Can You Safely Travel Abroad?


Terrorist Threat and Vacations: Can You Safely Travel Abroad?

By Ruby Aragon
 
According to Rick Steves, the host of public televisionfs gRick Stevefs Europeh, the odds being killed by a terrorist attack overseas or in the air are 1 in 2,200,000. The odds of being struck by lightening are 1 in 600,000 and the chances that youfll be killed by gunfire in United States are 1 in 18,900. This doesnft mean you shouldnft exercise caution, however.

Unless you have an overwhelming fear to travel (in which case you should cancel or postpone your trip), itfs generally safe to travel to most countries. Itfs probably a good idea to avoid those areas known for consistent and multiple terrorist attacks. Even if youfve chosen a relatively safe destination, however, it is important to make sure that travel warning doesnft arise before you depart.

There is also the question of airline safety. While stories circulate throughout the media about people being able to breach airport security and are able to get bombs and other weapons onboard airplanes, how common is this? Before the September 11 attacks, according to Douglas Brattobo, the airport security system was in gcomplete shambles.h Because contractors were trying to save money, they cut as many corners as they could and this caused a high turnover rate in airport security employees. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), put into full control of airport security after the 9-11 attacks have begun a more standardized, controlled method of ensuring airport and airplane safety. With that said, itfs still up to you to use common sense when traveling and to report any suspicious behavior to airport officials.

Once you arrive at your destination, you can take some steps to help you stay safe. If you are still concerned about the possibility of a terrorist attack, remember that most terrorists will attack places known for high traffic (such as tourist attractions) or of high prestige or power (such as embassies, high-end hotels and political buildings). Avoiding such areas can help reduce your risk of becoming a victim of an attack.
There are other things you can do to help increase your safety while traveling in a foreign country. While itfll be nearly impossible to hide the fact that you are a tourist, do what you can to not stand out in a crowd. Follow local customs of appropriate dress and behavior to not draw attention to yourself and be wary of discussing your travel plans with strangers. Be sure to scope out a few safe havens so that youfll know where you can turn if trouble does arise.

If you take the right precautions, do your research, avoid highly troublesome areas, and exercise caution while on vacation, youfll soon find yourself on your way to a fun and relaxing vacation!

Sources: U.S. Department of State (travel.state.gov)
Rick Steves Europe (www.ricksteves.com)
Douglas M. Brattebo (gFederalizing Airport Security is a Necessary Response to Terrorist Threatsh. Debating the War on Terrorism. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.)