So maybe you’ve gotten afraid of traveling because of recent attacks around the world which targeted popular tourist spots. But how do you manage this when you’ve already made your plans and cancelling is just not an option?
We know that living in this world means that a terrorist attack can occur at any time – in any place – and for any reason, or no reason at all. So how do you determine which country is safe to visit and which is not? We can judge our own comfort levels and decide accordingly. What main factors impact our judgment? There are two: risk perception and risk tolerance. Risk perception has to do with our understanding of the risk that has been ingrained in our minds based on what we have heard and what we consider the level of threat to be. Risk tolerance is based on your individual tolerance of danger. So when making a decision, you need to first estimate how much risk is there and then are you able to tolerate it or not?
Connect and Read Other Travelers’ Reports
Sign into TripAdvisor and go ahead and ask questions relating to your trip or read the already present reviews. You can sort the reviews based on places and dates to ensure that you go through the latest posts. For any unanswered questions, post your own and mention the location!
Advice by Your Government
The government regularly issues updates on which countries to avoid. Many consider it an excessively worded list, but it is a good starting point on which countries to avoid and which to cover.
What Are Others Saying
You can also view other countries embassy sites for information on where they are limiting their citizen travels. These are found on their websites and popular countries on whose embassy sites to check include USA, UK, Canada, and Australia.
Map the Locations and Your Stays
Identify which locations are high target threats and then map them. Carefully assess what the distance is between those locations and your destinations. This will help with the risk tolerance aspect as you can get a feel about the level of threat your destination faces.
Go Over the Local News
Mostly English newspapers focus on the crimes against foreigners and hence will give you a clear view of what is going on in and around your chosen destinations. www.onlinenewspapers.com is an amazing collection of English newspapers from around the world.
Perspective Is Important
Normal people are impacted by terrorist threats for a maximum of a day or two. They have to continue with their lives as they have mouths to feed and lives to carry on. Before believing into the news reporting of only the bad, think about all the good that must be going on as well.
Security Is Always Higher After Incidents
Normally, the aim of terrorist attacks is to cause panic and confusion by using the element of surprise. So if you’re going to a place that has been recently attacked, be assured that there will be extra security around ensuring a much higher level of security that includes metal detectors and visible guns.
Waiting it out until the situation gets better will probably take forever so here are some measures you can take for your own safety:
The US government has created a program under the State Department titled Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) which is aimed towards making it easier for them to track your movements and get in touch with you in case of any emergencies.
Crowds Are a No No
When terrorists attack at any location, their aim is to cause the maximum damage with the least amount of casualties to themselves. This is only possible if they attack large crowded locations so try to avoid them as much as possible.
Follow major global news and twitter feeds along with your country’s and the visiting country’s major police and rescue services to get the main news as soon as things happen. Twitter is the most updated so ensure to keep an eye on it.
Monitor the News
Stay connected via international news channels and online by ensuring your room has these channels included as a part of their package and pay for the Internet connection so you can view news as and when you want.
Save the Emergency Numbers
Find out what the numbers are for emergency services in your destination country and save them. Along with this, save the number to your hotel and any others you know in the city.
Satellite or Local Phone Rental
Normally in emergency situations, a roaming network becomes weak or cut off. So ensure you have a local number handy for such situations or rent a satellite phone so that it continues working and you can call for help.
While it will cost more, having a hotel driver or a hotel vetted taxi to take you around will allow you the peace of mind from traveling in crowded public transportation. So go for this option and book a hotel car for the whole day.
Identify the Risks Most Likely to Impact You
Make sure that you take necessary precautions when out and about like you would at your home. Avoid flashing too many monetary things like jewelry and phones or shopping from expensive outlets in one go. These things identify you as rich tourists. Of course, this is something you should not want.