Is Europe safe given the new travel alert?

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#42
Brisbane, Australia
769 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by twin123185
I don't need an alert to keep me out of Turkey. The bombings were enough for me. Anywhere else I wouldn't worry.
Nowhere is completely safe, Boston, San Bernadino, Sydney Australia etc. Use your instincts and try not to look too touristy. Leave the jewellery at home, keep the camera out of sight when you can, if you feel uneasy go sone where else, fast.
I refuse to be intimidated and will contine to travel and enjoy new sights and meeting lovely people in their homelands.
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#45
20,350 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I think the point is that either side can feel the situation is scary somewhere else based on what they hear in the media -- but the reality is often something quite different. Whether in the US or Europe or elsewhere.
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Wherever the wind takes me I travel as a visitor. (Horace)
#46
France
155 Posts
Joined May 2014
Originally posted by cruisemom42
I think the point is that either side can feel the situation is scary somewhere else based on what they hear in the media -- but the reality is often something quite different. Whether in the US or Europe or elsewhere.
Thank you cruisemom - that is precisely what I meant. It's all about perception. If I believed the media reports and statistics regarding gun deaths in the US, I'd never visit.
#47
uk
58 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Hi

Maybe have a read through the "Tips for safe travel following terrorists attacks" article on cruise critic. some very interesting figures that put things into perspective.

Enjoy your trip
#48
Berkshire UK
245 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Arsenalboy said it all ,most US cities are far more dangerous than Europe even in the current situation. Murder stats in the US are far higher than terrorism in Europe recently, driving in South Africa is far more risky. Road accidents kill more people than terrorism , many places are much more at risk.
#49
London, England
3,441 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
We were recently in Marseille for a long weekend, a city with high terrorist activity potential. Not once did we feel uncomfortable or threatened. On the contrary, everybody was very friendly and helpful.

We arrive back home to central London and what happens, we have a terrorist attack in Westminster.

Unfortunately, there has been another attack in Paris tonight, but it won't stop us going to France.

These days you can just never tell where and when you are going to be in a dangerous situation. Yes, statistics prove the US is far more dangerous than Europe, so I would never cancel my holiday unless the Foreign Office banned all but essential travel, which also means it is almost impossible to get travel insurance for those areas.
#50
New Cumberland,PA, USA
27,404 Posts
Joined May 2000
This is an important topic nowadays. Is Europe safe? Probably as safe as most other places. But the real question is less about the perception of safety as the risk tolerance of the OP (or any other traveler). There are many folks who fret about many things (including safety) which is why America leads the world in prescribing anti-anxiety meds. DW and I are avid travelers and have been traveling all over the world for the past thirty+ years. In the winter we live in Puerto Vallarta (my goodness.....how can anyone live in Mexico) where we love Puerto Vallarta, are often out late at night on dark streets, and feel safer then just about anywhere in the USA. Go figure When most travelers were avoiding Egypt (this was late in Mubarak's reign) we went to Egypt (on our own) and spent two wonderful weeks traveling all over the country (it was one of our best trips ever!). We still remember an Egyptian man (who liked like a thug) coming up to us in Cairo, asking where we were from..and then putting out his hand (to shake) and saying "thank for coming to my country." And this was during a time when few Americans were traveling to Egypt.

So now we get to the current world situation...which is very bad. Paris has had several major incidents in the recent two years. Paris happens to be DW's favorite city in the world. Would we go to Paris tomorrow, for 1 or 2 weeks? Absolutely! But many others would look at the news and say "there is no way I am going there." Our DD lives in NYC (where I was born) and we take frequent drives up to the city. Do we worry about NYC always being a major target of terrorists. No. We are aware of the risk, accept it as part of life, and refuse to let that risk rule our lives.

So to answer the OP's fears....it is about you...not the news or terrorists. If you are going to let your life be ruled by your fears...then that is certainly your choice. Or, you can learn to put those fears into proper perspective (everything has a risk and the risk of travel is very low) and live your life to its fullest. When we let terrorists dictate how we live our lives (which we have already done to some degree) then we are the losers! Personally, I do not like to lose and will not let these bad guys rule my life. When I let them dictate how I live my life...I have put myself into a self-imposed prison. And as much as I fear terrorists. I fear being in a prison (of my own making) much more.

Hank
#51
Petaluma, Ca. 94954
29,076 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by Hlitner

So to answer the OP's fears....it is about you...not the news or terrorists. If you are going to let your life be ruled by your fears...then that is certainly your choice. Or, you can learn to put those fears into proper perspective (everything has a risk and the risk of travel is very low) and live your life to its fullest. When we let terrorists dictate how we live our lives (which we have already done to some degree) then we are the losers! Personally, I do not like to lose and will not let these bad guys rule my life. When I let them dictate how I live my life...I have put myself into a self-imposed prison. And as much as I fear terrorists. I fear being in a prison (of my own making) much more.

Hank
Agree. I would rather die doing something we truly love- traveling, particularly to Europe- than sit at home in a prison, in fear, worrying about the possible dangers out there. We will not lose sleep over whether it is safe in any given city in Europe.
#52
Herts, U.K.
4,822 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
This was originally posted over a year ago, so the 'new' travel alert it refers to won't be new any more.
#53
USA
6,709 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by GrJ Berkshire
Arsenalboy said it all ,most US cities are far more dangerous than Europe even in the current situation. Murder stats in the US are far higher than terrorism in Europe recently, driving in South Africa is far more risky. Road accidents kill more people than terrorism , many places are much more at risk.

I know most will disagree but..


Comparing murder rates in gang infested neighborhoods to terrorism is really like apples and oranges

To make an accurate comparison the stats must be related


Such as....inner city drug and gang related murders in Chicago to the same in LA

Same for terrorism
Same for random street crime
Same for any type of crime


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#54
772 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
I think if someone is not afraid of terrorism, that is fine. But I find it offensive when people put down those who are afraid as if they are inferior. Everyone has their own comfort level and I wish others had tolerance for that. Just like some people are afraid of heights and others are not. I no longer ask people on this forum if a place is safe. I just don't go there if I feel unsure. I would rather go somewhere that I can enjoy myself. I don't feel safe in most of Europe anymore like I used to, but yet I just went to China and felt okay there. It is a matter of preference


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#55
Southern California
684 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
We have also traveled the world, lived in London when the IRA was distrupting the underground and airports. I was always aware of my surroundings and never feared being alone in the city.
It took my DH 30 years to get me to Israel, and last year we made it. So glad we went .It was really great trip and never felt uncomfortable in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. After we left there was a bombing in a mall that we had been in, but that would not keep us from going again.
We leave for Europe next month, we have friends that don't understand why we would travel in these times. We live 30 minutes from San Bernardino, so I tell them it happened in our own backyards.
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#56
20,350 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by angeleyes27
I think if someone is not afraid of terrorism, that is fine. But I find it offensive when people put down those who are afraid as if they are inferior. Everyone has their own comfort level and I wish others had tolerance for that. Just like some people are afraid of heights and others are not. I no longer ask people on this forum if a place is safe. I just don't go there if I feel unsure. I would rather go somewhere that I can enjoy myself. I don't feel safe in most of Europe anymore like I used to, but yet I just went to China and felt okay there. It is a matter of preference


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As long as you realize that what is holding you back is your own perceptions and fears and not reality (just like someone who is afraid of heights ).

Crunching the numbers from 2015, the overall chance of dying in any kind of terrorist attack worldwide is 1 in 9,300,000 (9.3 million). The odds only escalate appreciably if you visit one of a handful of countries that most of us are unlikely to set foot in. More than 72% of terrorist deaths in 2015 (most recent numbers I located) occurred in just five countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria.

You are 14 times more likely to die in your bathtub than in a terrorist attack, 16 times more likely to die from a lightning strike, 517 times more likely to be murdered (there is on average one murder every 60 seconds worldwide), 991 times by self-injury, 500 times in a car accident (3,000 people die every day in road accidents worldwide), 450 times by falling, 118 times by accidental drowning, 41 times in natural disasters (earthquake, flood etc.), 25 times by choking on food, 13 times by a dog bite, 4 times by falling off a ladder, 1.8 million times by a heart disease, 1860 times by electrocution, 93 times by bee sting, and 3 times more likely to die by a snake bite or food poisoning!

While I realize these figures do not make people feel better when the fear is irrational, they do help put things into perspective.
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Wherever the wind takes me I travel as a visitor. (Horace)
#57
Long Island, NY
6,480 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Here's how I look at it. I'm very frightened of terrorism world over. Innocents were murdered by terrorists in West Palm Beach, FL. Every place now is a soft target. Malls, houses of worship, amusement parks, watching a parade, etc.
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#58
Portland, Oregon
315 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by cruisemom42


2) Avoid large crowds. This tends to go against the grain for some -- the herd instinct urges us to stay in a large group for safety. But I think in these situations it is much better to go in a small group with a local guide (or on your own if you are comfortable), and to try as much as one can, not to draw attention to oneself as a tourist. For me, I often sightsee on my own; I try to look nondescript, dress appropriately, and I do not speak unless I have to so that people won't realize I am American.
I'm not one to worry about the terrorist activity, since it is probably way more likely that I will get in a car accident living my life here at home, and I don't life in constant fear about that.
That said, I thought this advice was really good, and not just for terrorism. When my husband and I traveled in India, we were traveling independently, sometimes with a driver. We really never got harassed or robbed or anything, but we frequently saw large tour groups being disgorged from a bus and being descended on by people asking for money, trying to sell things, and probably worse. So I love the advice above about trying to blend in a bit and not be in enormous tour groups (when you can), and you will experience less hassle and petty crime as well.
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#59
New Cumberland,PA, USA
27,404 Posts
Joined May 2000
Fear is a very strong emotion that can take over one's life. It has been written that "the only real prison is fear. and the only real freedom is freedom from fear." That was written in 1945 by a Burmese man who went on to win the Nobel Prize for Peace. I first heard that saying when I was a young man in Vietnam (during the war) and its been kind of a mantra ever since. To put it simply, when it comes to terrorism I will not let those thugs rule my life. Once that happens, they win and we lose.

Hank
#60
4,547 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
Originally posted by Hlitner
Fear is a very strong emotion that can take over one's life. It has been written that "the only real prison is fear. and the only real freedom is freedom from fear." That was written in 1945 by a Burmese man who went on to win the Nobel Prize for Peace. I first heard that saying when I was a young man in Vietnam (during the war) and its been kind of a mantra ever since. To put it simply, when it comes to terrorism I will not let those thugs rule my life. Once that happens, they win and we lose.



Hank

And to quote the rock icon Janis Joplin...freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose


In other words...

When you don't care what you can possibly lose...then you are free


Back in the day when traveling just me and mom ...we were fearless because there really was no one left behind

Now...when I don't always travel with my dh and all my kids due to commitments of young adults etc....I can be flying to Disney...I will always have some fear because they are left behind

It doesn't make me paranoid so don't say I shouldn't travel anymore....it makes me a living breathing caring person.


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