To Be (Afraid) Or Not To Be (Afraid)… That is the Question?

EuropeToday we want to share our thoughts and opinions on the safety of travel and whether or not you should take that trip to Europe you’ve been dreaming of.

Working in the travel industry, we constantly get the question, is it safe to go to Europe or particularly to places like Paris, Brussels, Turkey, Egypt etc. after events happened like last week in Brussels?

We know events like Brussels are scary but we’ll be back in Europe again this year on 3 cruises (and Shawn
will be there a 2nd time for a conference) as we normally are each year, happily supporting the economies and the great people over there knowing we’ll have a great time as always, and am sure you will too if you go! 🙂

To put your worries & questions of whether you should go or not in perspective (and those of your friends and family who are maybe telling you you’re crazy for going anywhere like Europe) here’s 2 simple questions for you:

  1. “Would you travel to New York?”
  2. “Would your friends or family tell you not to go to New York?”

(Since we 1st wrote this the Orlando shootings where 49 victims died took place so feel free to replace New York above with Orlando or DisneyWorld)

We’ve never had anyone ask us if is it safe to go to New York (or Orlando or DisneyWorld) nor have any of our friends or family questioned us when we traveled to New York yet it’s the location of the single deadliest Terrorist attack against Americans in history.

Now, why is that?

Why does no-one worry about a place like New York but they do about other places that had less deadly incidents? 

Honestly, we don’t know… for some reason when it’s close to home people understand how random these events are and that the chances of it happening to them are as random as getting struck by lightening. (actually, your chances of getting struck by lightening are about 4 times higher then getting killed by a terrorist attack and not many people spend too much time worrying about that)

But the way CNN and other news stations dramatize everything for ratings, they do a good job of getting us to tune in each night to tell us that by traveling abroad- you’re risking your lives to the terrorists, more so then you are by staying at home… which simply isn’t true.

More American Citizens die overseas from traffic accidents or intestinal illnesses than from terrorism.

And more American’s have died on American soil from terrorists acts then anywhere else in the World.

To help lessen your fears and put your mind at ease, we’ve put together a collection of some good articles and thoughts from travel writers, news outlets, etc. about the REAL chances of something happening when you’re overseas.

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Wendy Perrin

Wendy Perrin

Here’s a couple of articles from Wendy Perrin, one of America’s most respected travel authorities:

  1. In this article Wendy addresses the likelihood of being involved in an attack and talks about the real worries in life like Car Crashes & Skin Cancer: http://www.wendyperrin.com/7-keys-traveling-without-fear-despite-terrorist-attacks/
  2. In this writing Wendy addresses the travel “Alert” the US State Department has put out… as she says, it’s an “Alert”, not a warning, so by no means does it mean the US Government is recommending you not travel to Europe: http://www.wendyperrin.com/5-reasons-not-to-cancel-a-trip-to-europe/

 

Square in Brussels

Photo: Francisco Conde Sánchez, CC BY-SA 3.0

Next here’s some thoughts from Rick Steves, who’s our favorite resource to learn about the best things to do in each European City… no-one is a better authority then Rick on Europe, having traveled there for over 40 years now.

1. Here Rick talks about how great a city Brussels is and how, like us, he’ll keep on traveling: http://blog.ricksteves.com/blog/stand-with-brussels-and-keep-on-traveling/

2. In this post Rick addresses his thoughts on the “Alert” the US government put out: http://blog.ricksteves.com/blog/what-does-the-travel-alert-mean/

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Travel & LeisureHere’s some thoughts from the Editor of “Travel & Leisure” magazine… like Nathan, we care about places and people beyond our backyards and our borders and know Travel is one of the great forces of good and by continuing to do it we’re helping the Terrorists see they can’t win! http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/terrorist-attack-brussels

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The Washington PostThis article in the Washington Post is another great example of how small the chances of you being involved in a Terrorist attack are, around the same chances as being killed by falling furniture… and we love the Gentleman at the end who lost his Wife who will “Insult the terrorists with his Happiness”, what a great way to fight back! https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2015/11/23/youre-more-likely-to-be-fatally-crushed-by-furniture-than-killed-by-a-terrorist/


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Finally, check out this blog post from Tauck’s site: http://www.tauck.ca/travel-blog/musings-from-colin-treadwell/why-i-dont-fear-traveling

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Above are just a few of the many articles out there that put things in an accurate perspective.

So, are we saying, “Go to Europe, don’t worry, everything will be fine?”

Of course not, that’s a personal decision you have to make for you and there’s no guarantees everything will turn out fine in life, just like your next car ride could be a deadly one.

But do we think maybe the media has overblown the real risks of traveling like they have with other things travel related like Norovirus on cruise ships?

…we’d have to answer that by saying “No Doubt”!

As mentioned here http://www.travelweekly.com/Cruise-Travel/CDC-Cruise-industry-action-is-helping-reduce-norovirus?cid=eltrdb cruise ships account for about 0.01% of cases in the US but the media makes it look like cruises ships are cesspools and safety on Cruises is always questioned by the media, while this could not be further from the truth, as talked about in this article: http://www.travelweekly.com/Cruise-Travel/CLIA-study-shows-no-growth-in-significant-cruise-mishaps

So don’t put your dream vacations off due to the worries of bad events happening that are so minuscule a possibility that they don’t even register on a scale of the real dangers in life.

As Rick says, “Keep on Travelling”… we certainly know we will! 🙂

We appreciate you!

Nancy & Shawn
Your Trusted Cruise Experts

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4 Responses

  1. Rose March 30, 2016 at 12:01 PM #

    I agree. We do not need to be owned by fear. Wrong place, wrong time is the same for a terrorist attack as is a lightning strike or tsunami/earthquake.

    However, situational awareness is always a travelers best friend. Keep your eyes open.

    Also, my husband and I, after 911 have developed a plan if we are separated and an ‘event’ happens. When we are at an airport, we decide on a meeting place if we are separated and can’t call. Same is true in any city where he and I are doing different things while on vacation. We have plan a and plan b. We will meet here but if here is in the ‘zone’ we will meet at plan b here. Both plans do not rely on the ability to communicate by cell phone which we assume will be jammed. BTW, in a city our plan b ‘here’ is generally a police station or fire station. They have comm gear.

    • Nancy & Shawn Power March 30, 2016 at 4:51 PM #

      Yes. That is a good point about being aware and also having a meeting spot plan A and Plan B. Very smart and a good take away. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Valerie McCaffrey March 31, 2016 at 2:19 AM #

    Hi Nancy and Shawn, Thank you for this great article. We agree with everything you said. We are looking forward to our river cruise starting in Brussels. We are not worried or scared. We are careful as always when we travel.
    On Monday we flew from YVR to LHR. During the flight one of the flight crew took seriously. The pilot decided to turn around and land at Calgary;then they had to refuel and replan. We arrived 3hrs late in London. BA had to recalculate 160 connections. We missed our flight, so they put us in a close hotel with transportation, dinner and breakfast and a rescheduled flight for the next day. They were very helpful and thoughtful. We lost a day here but they probably saved a life. The captain kept us informed throughout and thanked us for patience. He said that he must look after his crew.
    Today we are enjoying the sunshine and going to walk again on the beach.
    We are very grateful that we live in Canada and have the freedom that make choices.
    We can live for the ‘present’of the current day and not worry about tomorrow.
    Thanks again for your thoughtfulness.
    Valerie and Terry

    • Nancy & Shawn Power March 31, 2016 at 9:46 AM #

      Hi Valerie and Terry,

      Thank you so much for sharing while on your vacation. We are SO sorry to hear that the flight didn’t go as planned. This happens a lot. Which is why you were so smart to fly over early. 🙂

      Sounds like you are already started, but have a fabulous time and a wonderful cruise… we are so happy you are there enjoying!

      Take lots of pictures!!!

      Bye for now.

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