Oliver Lynch

Oliver Lynch

Long time traveller who is all about food, language and doing random stuff. Also writes screenplays and drinks lot of beer.

I’ve Seen The News: Is It Safe To Travel?

If you pay any attention to the global media, you might be led to think the world is a dangerous place full of people who want to kill you. So, is it actually safe to travel?

If you’re worrying about going somewhere because of terrorist attacks, civil wars or the possibility of being murdered, you’re not alone. Many people change their travel plans or avoid somewhere altogether based on what they’ve seen in the news. Countries like Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt have taken a significant hit in tourist visitors because of the acts of a few bad people.

But really, how dangerous is it to travel to somewhere like Turkey or Egypt? Is it even safe to visit London, Paris or Berlin?

Don’t Believe The Hype

There are a few places in the world where travel is very much ill advised. Syria and Afghanistan are the two that would currently be most obvious.

But for the vast majority of the rest of the world, it is business as usual.

I live in London and literally two days ago there was a terrorist attack less than a mile from my front door. If you’re reading this and you’re in Manchester, Belgium, France, California, Florida, New York City, Germany, The Philippines, Israel etc – you will appreciate that although a terrorist attack is a terrible thing, life goes on.

The point in terrorism is to make you too scared to go out of your front door and to sow distrust.

However, the actual area affected by a terrorist attack is normally a small targeted percentage of a bigger area. The chances of you being the victim of a terrorist attack are smaller than being run over by a public bus or having falling masonry hit you on the head.

The bottom line is, we shouldn’t let terrorism or the fear of violence affect our choice of where to visit. There are exceptions to this rule, normally proper war zones or an area where there is an ongoing civil problem (Northern Nigeria, Libya etc).

How Can I Check If It’s Safe?

The best thing to do if you’re really worried about safety in a destination is check the FCO (The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office). This offers up to date advice about where in the world is considered unsafe for British (and by extension, global) visitors.

The American Department of State also lists places where travel is advised against.

As a general rule, if there is an ongoing issue such as a war or trans border aggression then it is best to avoid that area. Often much of a country will still be safe to visit, despite these issues. A prime example is The Philippines where at present there is an insurgency in the south, although the rest of the country is fine.

So Is It Safe To Go To Paris/London/Brussels…??

It is perfectly safe to visit all of the standard tourist destinations in Europe. As in any place, exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. Not just because of terrorism but even petty crimes like pick pockets etc.

Countries that have had a headline attack recently are also usually safe to visit. For example Turkey and Tunisia are calling out for visitors to come back and in fact you can get some great deals to these destinations at the moment.

So say no to fear.

Remember, the world is a big and beautiful place and despite what you may have been told, not everyone is out to kill you!

If you have any advice of your own or think we have missed something important, please share in the comments below. If you’ve enjoyed this information please share freely…

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