There are several different circumstances that can affect whether we travel: weather, sickness, and finances, to name a few. Given recent tragedies you may have even put off a trip because of the unknowns, the ‘what ifs’. Some circumstances make cancelling travel plans unavoidable, but should a country’s political crisis or terror attacks stop us from traveling?
Not to over trivialize the recent events, but it depends. A political crisis could potentially change the entire dynamic in a country and have serious consequences for travelers. During the recent attempted coup in Turkey, the FAA banned all flights to the United States, even if the flight landed in another country before continuing on to the US. That could mean paying hundreds of dollars for extra lodging, food and flight changes. Not to mention your personal safety would be at a greater risk than in a normal travel scenario. I would encourage a “wait and see” outlook for this situation.
What about the recent terrorist events in France and Munich? Should they stop you from traveling to Europe? Or even the recent events in Louisiana, Texas or Minnesota. Should you stay home and not visit these great states? I would argue no. If we stopped visiting every city that has witnessed a tragic event we would never leave home. We would become hermits and never get to learn what other people and places have to offer. At the end of the day, if we stop going and seeing, who wins? Even though we may be 4000 miles away from the crisis, if we stop traveling, the enemy has won.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan and prepare for these type of scenarios. In my post, The #1 Travel Companion, I talk about travel insurance. It’s a must for anyone traveling overseas or for higher priced vacations. Also for those traveling overseas, it is strongly recommended that you enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program through the Department of State. Through this program, you will notified of any travel alerts and warnings before and during your trip. It also makes it easier to locate you should family members stateside have an emergency and are unable to reach you.
Here’s the bottom line: Don’t let fear of the ‘what if’ keep you home. If you love to travel, GO! Go to the state fair. Go visit a foreign country or a neighboring state. Just don’t stop with one page. Read the whole the book this world has to offer.