West Oehmig: Advice For Travelers In The Wake Of The Paris Attacks

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - by West Oehmig

I’ve received many calls from clients regarding the safety of a trip abroad next year in view of the horrible events in Paris this past weekend.  Here’s the way I see things which i hope will help you make a wise decision.

1.  Unless you are going to visit family and friends in Western Europe, preferably in the countryside, not in the middle of cities, you really must consider joining a top-notch tour operator.  There are many very conscientious, well-connected, operators who place safety of travelers above all else.

  Should their tour be near some insane outbreak or attack, they have the resources to keep you safe and assist with special needs.  If you are traveling on your own, you simply will not have access to such crucial services.

2.  Download the “Smart traveler” app to you smartphone.  Before each trip, complete the current data and enter.  This information will be in the hands of the State Department, so they can efficiently contact you and your loved ones at home and provide other crucial services to ameliorate your situation.

3.  Choose destinations which are less likely to be targets.  We all love England, France, Italy, and Germany, Spain and Portugal.  If you choose travel in these countries, book aboard a fine escorted tour and/or a river cruise.  For the Caribbean, South America, Central America, Cuba,Tahiti,New Zealand, Australia safe independent travel is still reasonably safe.  Even India, Thailand, China and Russia would be among my choices.  Here again, though, a fine escorted tour will provide a great time with the bonus of peace of mind.  Cruises outside the Med are a superb way to travel as safely as possible.  Choose the better lines such as Sea Dream Yachts, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Crystal, Oceana, Windstar, Star Clippers, Silversea, and Cunard.  Yes, they lost more than the mega, Vegas type ships, but they are worth it for many reasons including lower profiles, and very savvy captains and crew.

I do hope this information is helpful to concerned world travelers.  Americans treasure their right to travel. To do so wisely is the key in today’s world.

West Oehmig, Oehmig Travel Consultancy, Chattanooga

Blowing Springs Farm Opens Sept. 28

Blowing Springs Farm opens Sept. 28 with an all-new corn maze design and new supersized board games, like jumbo checkers and giant dice. The award-winning event’s 17th season is happening every Friday - Sunday through Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.    Adults and kids alike can enjoy classic fall festival activities such as a pumpkin market, hayrides, duck races, pedal ... (click for more)

This Week's Tennessee Tourism Roundup

  The Soundtrack of America is Made in Tennessee and you can hear great music at festivals like Tina Turner Heritage Days, Americana Music Festival & Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. Here’s a look at other festivals and fall-themed activities going on across the state this week. For a complete list of events, visit ... (click for more)

Government Says Former Pilot Travel Centers President Hazelwood Should Be Sentenced To 168-210 Months; Hearing Projected To Take 11 Hours Over 2 Days

The government is asking that former Pilot Travel Centers president Mark Hazelwood be sentenced to between 168-210 months for his part in a fraud against truckers. The government is also asking that Hazelwood be ordered to pay a $750,000 fine. It was noted that all restitution has been made by Pilot to the tune of some $100 million. Attorney Brad Henry, of Knoxville and New ... (click for more)

Mother Of 15-Year-Old Killed By His Father Said McElrath Had Been Acting "Manic"

The mother of a 15-year-old boy who was killed by his father said Michael McElrath had been acting "manic" in the days leading up to the tragic incident in Hixson on Aug. 18. Judge Alex McVeigh bound a charge of criminal homicide against McElrath, a former jail officer, to the Grand Jury. He is charged in the death of Dylan McElrath, who was a sophomore at Hixson High School. ... (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (3)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Who Is This ‘New Voice’?

It’s easy for me to say that I either know, or know about, almost every person running in November for the state legislature. Yet when I describe Lemon Williams as the most exciting of the bunch, that’s because he's the only guy I had never heard of when he picked up his qualifying papers. He just turned out the best political aspirant I have had a conversation with in the last ... (click for more)