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Traveling to Paris / France after Brussels attacks

Hello everyone, I'm sure this is a common subject nowadays. I am very sad that this is the case.

However, given that these attacks just hit so close to Paris (plus the November attacks in Paris). I'm worried about my upcoming trip next Monday the 28th un April 4th.

So questions.

  1. Would you cancel?

  2. Would you take a plane to say, Florence or somewhere else?

  3. Would you be concerned?

Thanks for the help. I'd like to get your opinions as to what you'd do in this position.

Posted by
1464 posts
  1. No
  2. No
  3. No

But that's just me. If you are going to be worried enough that it will spoil your vacation, do what you need to do.

(And, by the way, I am traveling to Belgium in May, landing in Brussels on May 8th. I have no intention of changing my plans.)

Posted by
29 posts

Same as the above ------No, No, No. Am heading to France in Oct. Paris, Loire Valley and the Riveria. We were a group of six but two cancelled after the Paris attack. We don't feel at all intimidated and feel we are safer in Europe than we are here in the states.

Posted by
31471 posts

ct,

My answers are also the same as Lane posted. Everyone has to decide for themselves what they're comfortable with, but nothing that has happened today or in November would cause me to change my plans. In all likelihood you'll have a wonderful trip.

Posted by
3 posts

Hi there - I'm in the same situation, we're leaving on Saturday the 26th, and returning the following weekend. It'll be my husband, myself and our two sons (in their 20s).

It took quite a bit of effort to put this trip together - imagine getting 3 working professionals and a college student who live in different cities to find dates and flights that work for everyone! And the trip is in celebration of my husband's birthday, we've even purchased tickets to see his favorite jazz musician (who never comes to the States)

With that as background, after about a moment's discussion over dinner tonight, we decided we will not be terrorized by terrorists. We will be cautious and alert. We will hope to show our sons how to travel when you can't be certain of your security. But isn't that always the case, even when we run out for groceries? One never really knows, so let's celebrate the privilege of travel and taking an adventure together.

For the sake of caution, I registered on the State Department's travel site. (https://step.state.gov/step/) They have our travel schedule and now know we will be in Paris. They also have my contact information and an emergency contact number here at home. I'm also following them on Twitter (@TravelGov) for live updates. Finally, while we had originally planned on just one of us upgrading a phone for international calls, we've decided to upgrade all of us while we're in Paris so we can communicate easily with one another if we decide to head in different directions (a likely event with our sons coming along).

It also occurred to me that Paris may be a bit less crowded with tourists due to this tragedy. From that perspective our visit will be a modest way of supporting Paris and those who depend on tourists for their livelihood.

Good luck with your decision, the most important thing is that you do what feels right to you.

Posted by
127 posts
  1. No. This isn't a situation, like Egypt, where there is massive societal instability involved.
  2. No. Changing your itinerary at the last minute would probably leave you less than satisfied. Go to Paris.
  3. Yes. Of course you should be concerned! Paris was attacked in November and Belgium was attacked today. And let's not forget the two separate attacks that killed tourists in Turkey. There is reason to be concerned about travel to Europe. Practice situational awareness but go.
Posted by
3696 posts

If we stay hidden in our homes, the terrorists win.... obviously some amount of concern is to be expected, but go and have yourselves a wonderful trip.

I would go....

Posted by
2133 posts

Heading there on the 5th and will not be changing my plans.

Posted by
428 posts

I agree with Sean No, no and yes, but go anyway.
I'm not saying there's no danger but others have said wise things on here about being alert, not giving in to terrorists, supporting our French friends and keeping the dangers in perspective.
I commuted in to New York City every week a while ago when the crime rates were very high. A visiting relative refused to come into the city with me because of the fear of being robbed or killed. Statistics supported his fear in a way, but I felt no more in danger then than I do in going to France now.
We'll be going this summer.

Posted by
781 posts

I would do the trip and be aware of your surroundings,I left Paris three days before the terrorist attacks and will be going back in April of 17.We saw lot's of security at the major attractions.
Mike

Posted by
11450 posts

My 19 yr old daughter and her friends are going backpacking through Europe.. in 35 days.. they will be in many places ( going for 2 months) and they will be eventually in Paris.

They are still going.. and we will be meeting them in Dublin and Paris ( we are leaving in 48 days!) ..

cancel.. hell no.

Whats the point.. they can get you anywhere.

Sad side note.. a survivor of the Boston Marathon Terrorist bombing ( Nancy McGrath) recently died.

In a car accident.

Life is not permanent.

Posted by
285 posts

No
No
No

I came home from Paris two weeks to the day before the Bataclan. I lived in NYC when street/subway crime was a daily fact of life. I lived in DC when it was the murder capital of the US. I was living in DC on 9/11 and worked in an office one block from the White House. I've seen fear and terrorism up close.

I will be going back to Paris, London and Spain in October and I won't be deterred.

Posted by
1 posts

Hi. I'd agree with the others. The answers are: No, No and No. I'm in Paris now. There is an increased police and military presence. Machine guns are visible. Just make sure you let the State Department know about your plans via the STEP website. Know where the embassy is when you get here.

I'd be more worried about the pickpockets than the terrorists. Come and visit- just be careful like you would be in any major city.

Hope you enjoy your visit. Paris is a great city and the people are wonderful.

Posted by
27735 posts

woinparis

I'm glad to know that the three of you are unhurt - physically.

What you are enduring now is what we endured in England for many years during the IRA bombings.

It could be anywhere - here again or anywhere - it is just that Paris and Brussels are the current focus.

woinparis, the folk over on Ken's thread about yesterday are worried about you, maybe you could drop in and say hi?

Posted by
1666 posts

Woinparis, I hope your wife and daughter are okay and not lesser important feel okay now. I have watched Belgian tv attentively and it feels really good that everybody sticks together sharing emotions and supporting each other so well.

Nigel: This is very close.......

Posted by
27735 posts

very close.

I usually visit Gent, Brugge and Bergen op Zoom rather than Brussel, but yes it is very close.

I'm on holiday now and just coincidentally decided last Monday to stay in England this time instead of the drive through Belgium to Germany.

Last year I flew the same airspace as the Germanwings plane, one day earlier.

Very close

Although our replacement holiday had visits to various London sites I have made the conscious decision to avoid large train stations and drive to attractions in the countryside. I have to go into and out of a major London station (Euston) several times a day for work, no need to be there for holiday. I don't have particular fear but it will eventually come to England too, and when it does it will be where large numbers of people congregate. So for the time being I don't need to be where large numbers of people congregate so I won't be.

But, unlike most of the posters here, I have the option of changing at the last minute and going another time.

Posted by
1666 posts

Nigel,

Referring to the Germanwings plane I agree you must be very unlucky if you are just on the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong man or men.

Concerning myself I don´t want to make it worser than it is but heard the news yesterday around 11:00 am at the railwaystation in Gent waiting in a line to buy a ticket for Brussel. The guy in front of me said there were attacks but not exactly where, so it could be anyware. It´s extremely weird to learn about this kind of news. It´s close but the images of departures at Zaventem on tv still looked from another planet even it´s so recognizable as I have used this airport many times in the past.

Again it feels really good that everybody in Belgium talks together and sharing emotions. That´s really important especially for those directly involved who really need everybodies support.

Posted by
7 posts

Well, I'm going.

I might rent a car to go to the loire valley or normandy. I think its just a matter of taking certain precautions, as avoiding the most populated areas. Plus, I've always disliked the paris underground, so I might as well avoid it.

Thanks all for the perspective. Much appreciated.

WE WILL NOT LET THEM WIN.

Posted by
1 posts

No, no, and no. I resisted the urge to cancel my January 2016 trip to Paris in the aftermath of the November bombings. There was a heightened level of security at museums, and public places. If anything, travel after an attack may be safer because of the extra vigilance.

Posted by
2023 posts

We are headed to Paris in late May. No change in plans for us--looking forward to it.

Posted by
7601 posts

I'm with Sean and Bob.

No
No
Yes

It's perfectly normal to be concerned. As we've seen, unfortunately, the threat is all too real.

At this point, would I let it stop me doing what I want to do? No. My appetite for risk, however, may be different than yours.

WoinParis - glad to hear you and your family are "okay" although of course it's all relative. It's kind of you to post - what a relief to see someone responding to you, I saw that before I saw your name in the first column.

Nigel's approach strikes me as eminently sensible. I believe he's right -- that is, that countryside or more rural areas are safer than the big cities. (For now, at least, and let's hope forever.)

Posted by
31471 posts

ctaborda,

It's great to hear that you're going to continue with your trip as planned. As I mentioned earlier, you'll likely have a wonderful holiday!

One minor detail to mention is that as you're planning to rent a car in France, be sure that each driver listed on the rental form has an International Driver's Permit, which is used in conjunction with your home D.L. I don't believe it's compulsory, but still a good idea.

Posted by
2319 posts

No to all 3.

I planned my May trip to Paris last October, very nearly added a week in Belgium since it made geographic sense, then decided to be impractical and follow my heart by spending my 2nd week in Budapest. After the 11/13 terrorist attack I lost quite a bit of enthusiasm, which I managed to ramp up in the last couple of weeks, now feeling anxious again but determined to go and have a wonderful time.

Posted by
1818 posts

No, I would still go.
I am just back from two weeks in Paris on my own.
I felt very safe the whole time.
There are groups of armed (with ?assault rifles) military, patrolling in groups of four everywhere; and you are searched and/or scanned before entering most museums and large stores.
People are going about their business as usual; and are very helpful if need be.
There are no line ups or great crowds in winter; and I found it to be the perfect time of year to visit.
I felt safe on the Metro; though I did not take it at night.
I used the buses more, as you can see where you are going.
Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
47 posts

ctaborda,
1. No
2.No
3.Yes, because terrorism is the new normal and unfortunately innocent people suffer the most.

My wife and I will be in Paris in June. We are concerned but I don't want a few desperate, hateful people to make the decision for us. For me the alternative is always playing it safe, crafting a predictable life without adventure. I know that bad things happen but I don't want to live my life based on fear. No amount of caution and vigilance can prevent the unexpected from happening. Some have argued that gun laws create opportunities for violence in our country at levels Europeans find unacceptable.

Posted by
7 posts

We are going in July and struggling with the same issues. I still want to go, but my husband is thinking about canceling. I remember when there was a shooting at a movie theater. But I still go to the movies. Have a great time on your trip and tel us how amazing it was when you get back!

Posted by
2 posts

Hello,
I am going to Paris on 4/20-28/2016. This is a trip of a lifetime for me that I have been saving and sacrificing for, for the past year. I cannot and will not let hate filled individuals keep me from doing the thing that I love more than anything in the world....travel. Everything that every one else has said has resonated with me and I hope with you. So no, I am not canceling and the thought has not even entered my mind. No, I am going to Paris because that's where my airline ticket says that I am going and Yes, I am concerned, but cautious and will keep my eyes very much open as I go thru the beautiful City of Lights and realize a life long dream. By, the way I am even taking a side trip to Amsterdam to see the Tulip Farms (another dream)and will be passing through Brussels on the train. I cannot worry about things I cannot control, but I will be careful and aware as I move about Europe but I will not let any terrorists steal my joy. You and your family take care, travel safe and have a ball!!

Posted by
1976 posts

My sister and I are going to Paris in a month and we aren't going to cancel our trip. I don't want to give in to fear. Am I concerned? Yes. But I don't want to that stop me from doing what I enjoy.

Most people on this site (myself included) love traveling, so we're going to give you one kind of advice: go, be vigilant, and have fun. If you talk to people who don't travel, they'll give you another kind of advice and probably tell you to cancel your trip. You have to do what's right for you.

Posted by
21 posts

These are all very helpful and reassuring posts, although my wife and I remain pretty shaken by the the Brussels attacks and current situation in Europe--particularly given that the State Department today issued a Travel Advisory for Europe (through June 20 I believe). We are taking our 10-year-old daughter to Paris for ten days from late April into early May. We made reservations in October and are incredibly excited. It is our daughter's first trip to Europe and we want her to have the most wonderful, magical, joyful visit possible to Paris. For now, we fully intend to go and not be deterred by terrorism, and to support the people of Paris. That said, I'm concerned that our trip will be tinged with fear, looking over our shoulders too much, things like that. We've waited many years to be able to make this trip, and while I know that terrorism is sadly a part of life now, we have discussed postponing Paris. If it were me alone, or just my wife and I traveling, I would not hesitate to make this trip next month. But I don't want to do a thing to put my daughter at risk or instill fear in her. It's good to see in these posts near-unanimity that all of us travelers should stick with our plans. And that's what I intend to do. But if anyone else traveling with a child has near-term plans to visit Paris, and concerns such as ours, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks so much.

Posted by
428 posts

Recently I read that more people (in the U.S.) die in a single year from bathtub falls than from terrorism. I don't know what those numbers would be for Europe right now, but my point is that we are victims of the news business. Yes, the attacks really did happen and people really did die or get injured - just as they did in Boston and elsewhere - but it's not reasonable to hide in your house just because things like this happen.
Terrorism is meant to strike terror in the hearts of the civilian population. It's an effective tactic. The news industry covers these events thoroughly because it's news, but saturation coverage gives the impression that it's more prevalent than it really is and that we are more at risk than we really are.
I can understand being protective of your children and I wouldn't fault you for canceling your trip. But personally I think it's a mistake simply from a probability point of view. I don't think the risk outweighs the reward.

Posted by
2017 posts

So where are you going to be safe?

Work?

School?
Church?
Movie Theatre?

The truth is this is the new reality. Your options are to live with it or shelter in place in a bomb shelter in your backyard.

Sad but true

I leave in late May for London/Paris. I figure I am just as safe there as here.

Posted by
1345 posts

Woinparis

Glad to hear you and your family are ok.

As for the subject, I have just booked a holiday in Belgium involving a flight in and out of Brussels Zaventem. Concerned? No, but a bit nervous. The family member who is flying lived through the IRA campaign, including a few close attacks where they lived. They are a bit nervous, but most of the concern, beyond the care and thoughts for the victims, is having to change airport. Life has to go on somehow.

Our local airport was targetted a few years ago, see Adam Hills routine (NSFW) on Youtube. It has not stopped us flying in and out.

Posted by
243 posts

I would not cancel
I would fly in to Paris
I would not be concerned.

I am leaving for a trip to southern California in one month. (There was a terrorist attack a few months ago). I was missed the finish line bombings at the Boston Marathon by about 40 minutes. (A friend was on the course and had one bomb explode in front of him and the other behind him). I take public transportation in Chicago every day where it could be a conceivable target. As someone posted, this is the new reality.

Right now, I have my flights to Paris booked for a September vacation.

Posted by
21720 posts

I have stated more than once on this site. Most travelers are very poor at risk assessment. Your greatest risk for bodily injury and death - bar none - is the drive to and from your local airport. You accept that risk without second thought.

I have no idea about No 3 - what it means to be concerned. I am always concerned about my well being but I would not be exceptionally concerned about traveling in Europe or elsewhere. We will be in France in Sep and Oct. I have more fear of the our current election cycle than a bomb in Europe.

Posted by
2000 posts

I'm going solo to Paris in a month, where I've been many times before. Still want to go, not cancelling -- looking forward to it!

Posted by
24 posts

The majority of these comments are "GO... Keep your plans". However, I think a few things are different in Europe than in the states. I don't think they have the intelligence or share the intelligence they have with other countries. It's been said that Brussels doesn't even share info within their own city!! Also, the fact that the terriosts have stated they plan an all out assault on Europe in the near future is quite troubling. In addition, since they are targeting sites that all tourists have to use at some point in their travels, makes this an even harder decision. We have a trip planned for mid May to WW2 sites & Paris. We are spending the next few days deciding what we should do. There is no easy answer. It comes down to .... Can you travel abroad & feel comfortable with your decision & enjoy the trip?

Posted by
565 posts

My grandpa wasn't scared to go to Paris 70+ years ago to liberate.

I won't be scared now to lift nothing more than suitcases and wineglasses.

I'll be there in 2 weeks. I took advantage of the low prices of other tourists refusing to visit.

Posted by
244 posts

I agree with you Emily. My Grandfather fought in WW1, my father and father in law fought in WW2. They fought for our freedom. These thugs will not take away our freedom unless we let them! We will be visiting the Normandy beaches, Paris, and Provence in May. One day our plan is to visit Belgium to honor the WW1 sights. We will be vigilant but not afraid. Praying for Belgium!

Posted by
2017 posts

I admire an earlier poster who thinks that in the US the law enforcement actually communicate well and share data. I just wish that were true. I think that's wishful thinking. And past history has shown that we don't communicate well

Actually, since the Belgiumus arrested one of the main suspects in the Paris bombings not sure why we think they are not communicating in Europe.

Posted by
21720 posts

There are differences in Europe but I don't think it has lot to do with sharing of intelligence. With the Schengen zone they have make it easier for everyone, including US tourists, to move around and there is less tracking of travelers. That could be changing. It is just far easier to people to travel between Europe and the middle east. I think all of the recent terrorists have been local born. They are not immigrating from someplace. Most have criminal records. Just misfits who think they are gaining something by blowing themselves up. Interesting that the last couple of bombers didn't follow through. Maybe all are not drinking the kool-aid.

How do you deal with that ?? - personally - you don't. You cannot simply because it is beyond your control. I learned a long time ago not to worry about things I cannot control. Someone said, "We are spending the next few days deciding what we should do." So what the factors that go into that decision? What is there to consider? Will there be another terrorist act within the next year? Probably. Where? In Europe? Probably.

I think the whole exercise is mental. What else can it be? You know the probability is being involved in a terrorist activity is low. Probably lower than winning the lottery. So what has changed. Very little. If you were going to go before, why would you not go now?

Posted by
1666 posts

Frank glad to read your opinion. Indeed from an individual standpoint you can´t control it. Most if not all of the attackers are locals and have a very serious criminal background and leading actually pointless lifes. I think they can´t give somehow a meaning to life and at a certain point in their young lifes step on the rollercoaster to hell, but they give an ideological twist to it and for that abuse a religion to justify and also give something (in their minds and those they hope to inspire) glorious to their actions. The aim is far from glorious, remains mainly suicide dragging as much people with it as possible how horrible that is to know, directly or being killed in a hail of bullets at the moment of arrest.

Once somebody has decided to end his life this way you can´t stop them changing their minds. These decisions are made individually or at least in a quite small circle. In a free world you can´t control everybodies mind to know the moment he or she is going to make this kind of decisions. However with attention of the people in the neighbourhood and security one can pick up the signal the moment that somebody is changing his behaviour. That´s the moment to come into action to come into contact / arrest the person. In some cases luckely a serious talk can be enough but in other cases there is needed more.

As said before the attackers have a serious criminal background and already know where they can get the weapons. I think the role of IS in the Middle East has more to do as far as I can understand, to give that ideological twist to their actions and is in the meanwhile ofcourse good for IS´s propaganda. Defeating IS is something else than how to handle the attackers here in Europe. IS requires military action, handling the attackers here is more about diplomacy, tact and social skills. I think again see the actions of these attackers more as an individual decision to make an end to their pointless lifes, not as part of a bigger well organized ideology. The ideology is ment more that they can give to themselves actually at least some sad meaning at the end of their addicted to violence short lifes. Competing with the attackers is pointless, you can´t compete with suicidal idiots.

Just stick to freedom, there is no other way. Seen the reactions of the Belgians mainly I can see on tv I have good hope they are very determined to keep following the path of freedom, the way they handle the situation is impressive. Sticking together, sharing emotions, trying to understand, finding ways what to do. It´s a huge challenge.....certainly not without mistakes..... but I have good hope. It will not be possible to avoid horror in the future again, but have good hope on the long run it will be reduced to an absolute minimum. I have good hope....

Politicians who say to solve this kind of problems with ease are completely underestimating the problem and making it only worse and much worse prepaired to damage the free world. For that reason I hope the elections of the US coming November will produce a worthy successor of Barack Obama. Maybe one can criticize Barack Obama in some respect, but with him America is great enough, no reason for improvements. The next president will have a huge influence how safe and free the world will be in the near future, I hope you will make the right decision.

I know there is a wider context of this problem and not so easy to describe in a few words. But this is anyway I want to say about this subject.

Posted by
1666 posts

woinparis,

Unluckely not everybody can follow the intensive discussions here in French and Flemish/Dutch and so missing the essential feel what is really going on. I am not cynical, so feel positive about the intentions in Belgium to face the challenges ahead. Blaiming and value judging is so easy.....

Posted by
90 posts
  1. I'm going to Paris in Sep't. No way am I cancelling.
  2. No.
  3. I'm a bit concerned because it's pretty well established (and not by ranting forumists) that the Gov'ts of France and Belgium are truly run by idiots who should have seen the attacks coming had they paid more attention to the problem of ISIS. Really, I'm not concerned. It's not like walking at night in Southside Chicago or L.A.
Posted by
8293 posts

dgreeney: I am surprised at your remark that the "gov'ts of France and Belgium should have seen this coming ....." Have you not been following the news about the terrorist attacks in your own country? Should your government have seen those coming?

Posted by
2246 posts

"...who should have seen the attacks coming"

Caution: this may be an over-simplification of the problem which besets the (travel) world. While the Belgians have been criticized-apparently rightly but it's early days-it is not just a matter of looking outside and seeing the attacks coming. Really now.

Posted by
1345 posts

I agree with Dave above. Although there may have been failures in the Belgian intelligence system, no intelligence system can predict where and when there will be an attack, not in a free country like Belgium, France, the US, the UK, or an authoritarian one like China, Russia or Saudi Arabia where the reach of the state is wide. All the state can do is try and stop as many as it can.

Unfortunately the terrorists will look for soft targets, and the UK and Spain have both had attacks well away from where they would be expected, and there are soft targets everywhere because we live in free countries. Victim blaming in a terrorist act is a pointless action, it is not Belgium's fault it got hit, it is the fault of the terrorists, the petty pond living scum (with apologies to pond scum) that encouraged the other scum to do this.

Posted by
21720 posts

...

.it's pretty well established (and not by ranting forumists) that the
Gov'ts of France and Belgium are truly run by idiots who should have
seen the attacks coming had they paid more attention to the problem of
ISIS. .......

That is the kind of remark common to our current political campaign. Does nothing to help the understanding of the current situation. Lots of words based on nothing but conjecture from a couple of news articles.

Posted by
21720 posts

In the US, we have a metaphor that covers that situation - the pot calling the kettle black.

Posted by
34 posts

Just got back from Paris yesterday. It was unsettling and disconcerting to see the strong military presence. We heard about the Brussels attack on TV during breakfast in the breakfast room at our hotel. No one said a word - just watched. I didn't see the TV on again the rest of the week. We went about our vacation but every time we would see the soldiers with the guns we would feel sad. We were two women, my niece and I, and our families worried, we worried. So it's hard to say we won't let them win - we really had no choice but to kind of carry on and hope for the best. We prayed a lot. We are glad to be home.

Posted by
384 posts

Csharris,

I have the opposite reaction when seeing soldiers on the street. When I was in Paris last October, there were soldiers at the Jewish center (one of whom gave me a quite stern finger-shaking for trying to take his picture) and at the Military Museum (soldiers at a military museum? There's a unique idea!). In both cases -- and with the soldiers who patrolled domestic airports after 9/11 -- I felt intense gratitude towards them knowing they would lay down their lives to protect me. Plus, I got to see some cool uniforms and some interesting weapons (I'd never seen a FAMAS before -- it looks like it means business!).

More than anything, 'tho, those soldiers remind me that life DOES go on. Sure, sometimes things are a little scary, and yeah, there's no 100% guarentee of safety anywhere, but the soldiers represent the will of their nation to "keep calm and carry on". The least I can do is respect them and their mission.

Posted by
3580 posts

I'm going to Paris soon. I've been urged to stay home. Travel always makes me nervous, mainly getting from my home to my final destination. And yet I travel and will continue to do so until I can't travel. After reading the many posts in this section I am reassured that I will have plenty of company in Paris. We are a mighty army of adventurers!

Posted by
4 posts

We are a family of four with children ages 11 and 9. We are currently in Paris and are having a wonderful time. While I was initially cautious about taking the trip and even considered cancelling last minute, I'm so glad we didn't. We are having a wonderful time and feel in good company with the other tourists that are here.
We have felt warmly welcomed by every person we have encountered and are happy to be here.
In regards to safety, yes there is police presence which I am truly grateful for. It's quite reassuring. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
8293 posts

Good for you, b.shut. May your tribe increase.

Posted by
11450 posts

jon.. that warning is nothing new.. and frankly just heard Chicago has just broken a record for the amount of murders in year.. broken already by end of March... .. something like over 84% higher than previous years.. 141 murders in three months.
Perhaps the US State department should release a warning about travel to Chicago. I am not making this up.. heard it on radio this am so googled it.. and yes,, it sounds like a war zone there..

Anyways.. its not that there is NO risk.. its just that for your family you will have to decide what level of risk is acceptable.. as there is no place in States or Europe that has no risk.. once you leave your house..

Posted by
14 posts

I wouldn't cancel and I wouldn't radically change my itinerary if it was going to cost me money. I like to think I wouldn't be concerned but I probably would be a little concerned. A lot of people suggest to practice situational awareness and to be alert but I am somewhat of the opinion that it is a delusion to think you could somehow avoid a terrorist attack with such techniques, though such practices are of course helpful against pick pockets and other crime. Terrorism just seems utterly random.

On the more positive side... I think the actual real statistical threat posed by terrorists is virtually nothing. The sensational nature of it weighs heavy on our psyches but the actual threat is minuscule. I can't say this for sure but I bet you are more likely to get run over by a car or bus than get caught up in a terrorist attack. Nobody thinks about cancelling a trip to Paris because they are worried they might get hit by a taxi. So, it's kind of like the travel equivalent of shark attacks... it generates apprehension and anxiety well beyond what is justified by a rational consideration of the statistics. Having said that, it can be hard for all of us to turn off that worry switch in our brains.