As I was boarding my Norwegian Air Shuttle flight to Europe recently, I couldn’t help but think about France. Just weeks earlier, in the city of Nice during a Bastille Day celebration, a man in a cargo truck drove through a large crowd gathered to celebrate France’s national day. He was labeled a terrorist because of his association with known Islamic radicals. It was the third terrorist attack in France since January 2015.
Many would-be European travelers canceled their vacations and business trips and have yet to reschedule them. As a result, European tourism has plummeted.
While recent incidents have certainly put a dent in the European tourism economy, travel to Europe right now is more affordable than it’s been in years, and the hotel industry is eager to host vacationers and business travelers.
Random acts of violence can occur anywhere and we certainly can’t be expected to stop living life. And while we can’t protect ourselves from every danger, there are other ways to make travel safer for us as individuals.
- Consider purchasing travel insurance. Peace of mind for your added protection has no dollar value. It’s a precaution many travelers take.
- Stay at known places. While Airbnbs are currently all the rage, if you’re traveling to a location you’ve never been to, you’re basically opting to stay in an unknown place, in an unknown city/town, around unknown people. Large, known hotels are a more secure option.
- Inform your bank that you’ll be traveling. Don’t run the risk of having your bank freeze your account due to suspicious activity because you’ve used your bank card in another country.
- Make sure you have the most recent type of debit and credit cards with the chip for more secure transactions.
- DO NOT carry your actual passport around with you. Carry only a copy on your person and lock the actual item away in your hotel safe.
- Alert your mobile phone company that you’ll be out of the country and make sure you’ll have international coverage.
- Use a reputable ground transportation service that can be tracked to get around town in an unfamiliar city. I used Blacklane, an international service, and didn’t have to worry about a thing!
- Share your travel itinerary and daily schedule—not just with friends and loved ones, but with your hotel. And be social with your activities, tagging and posting pics of people, places, and things.
- Don’t forget your travel adapter/converter so you can keep all your devices charged and ready.
As they say, YOLO (you only live once)! And you can’t live this life in fear and isolation, especially when fantastic global experiences await you. Bon voyage!