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