Our thoughts and prayers are still with the friends and families of the 130 innocent people who lost their lives and the hundreds who were wounded in Paris, France. Hearing such horrific terrorist acts does discourage travelers to travel less. The fear that terrorists are trying to instill in all of us innocent people is crippling. But I believe continuing with our plans and dreams is a step closer to healing and standing against this evil. I like to believe I’m a true wanderlust, so it’ll take a lot more than terrorism to stop me from exploring the world.
The U.S. Department believes that terrorists will continue to plan attacks, so they issued a Worldwide Travel Alert for U.S. citizens. The Travel Alert is in full effect and expires next year on February 24, 2016. If you’re ballsy like me and will be traveling in the near future, here are some tips from the Department:
- Exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation.
- Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowded places.
- Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events.
- Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
- Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
- Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
- Register in STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program).
If you’re wondering what STEP is, it’s a free service for U. S. Citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The benefits are that you will receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country. Enrolling would help the Embassy contact you better in case of natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. It will also help your family and friends get in contact with you in case of an emergency. Safe travels!
Source: U.S. Department of State