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Tourism safety

We are planning a river cruise on the Rhine, from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, the beginning of April. Now, given the recent terrorists' attacks and threats, isn't anyone concerned about their safety while traveling throughout Europe? Whether it be by planes, trains and automobiles or boats, anytime, anywhere something can happen. So, what does one do? Cancel their trip or just be extra cautious?
Any other suggestions?

Posted by
18681 posts

And are you concerned about living in the US (I assume you do) since the terrorists have expressed a desire to attack the US)?

Posted by
9363 posts

This topic was recently explored in another thread. The short answer from everyone responding was that they do not change plans or behaviors, outside of maybe staying away from the actual location where things are happening (demonstrations and such). As you say, something could happen anywhere you are. Europe is no different than here in that regard. I am not worried about my travels. There is nothing I can do to change it, anyway.

Posted by
8485 posts

I live here in Germany and I don't give it a 2nd thought and I don't think I am alone feeling this way. I was much more scared when I was in the US visiting family. There is nothing that I do or would do differently anywhere in Europe.

Put me in a car though and this becomes one of the scariest situations for me. Give me a train, plane, or a ship to travel with instead. Cars are terrifying!

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks Lee and Nancy. I am more concerned about getting around in Europe and we have already paid for a trip that is coming up. I think one of the big threats here is when you arrive at a large airport such as Amsterdam and leave from Frankfurt, there is always that fear of any thing can happen. And the news is anything but positive these days. You would think that these attacks are everywhere and can happen anywhere. I am resigned to keeping my nose to the ground, minding my own business and not drawing attention. It's my significant other, who is flying off the wall; thinking that I'll be abducted and sold as a slave. He is Hell-bent on cancelling our trip. And, yes, I live on the East Coast here in the states. Of course I have a concern for our safety here at home. I don't think we should be so liberal about giving passports to just anyone and there should be other means for checking authenticity of credentials.

Posted by
1252 posts

Last August I was on a Grand Circle river cruise from Amsterdam to Vienna.
While nothing is ever 100% safe, there were always staff people in the lobby who quickly came to recognize everyone.
The stops along the way were all small towns that felt cozy and safe.
I would encourage you to plan on having a wonderful and educational time while, of course, keeping your wits about you as you would do at home.

Posted by
333 posts

My mom called me last night, wondering if I should cancel my trip because of the recent terrorist attack in France. I asked her if she would be asking me that question if I were travelling to New York City, Boston or Oklahoma City- since they too have been attacked in the past. The truth is that we could become hermits, never go anywhere, stay locked up in our homes and still be the unfortunate victim of crime or terrorism. So do we never leave our homes and live in fear? Thats what terrorists would have us do, isn't it? Or do we go about our business of living in as safe a manner as we reasonably can, knowing the odds are much more in favor of us enjoying a lovely trip, meeting wonderful people and having a great time?

I choose to live. I will stay informed and aware of news that could affect my trip. I will not knowingly put myself in danger. I will be aware of my surroundings in a way I would in any strange city in the States or in Europe. I will also have fun and enjoy myself and live my life.

I hope you both do the same and have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
14763 posts

We're in the process of booking three weeks in Europe this spring, and have no intention of altering that plan unless the State Dept. puts the kibosh on travel altogether (and I don't see that happening). There isn't a way to be any more "extra cautious" there than in any U.S. city so other than maybe avoiding large protests, it'll be business as usual. Millions of Europeans will be doing the same

The good news is that authorities everywhere are at their most vigilant right now: any extra cautions that CAN be addressed are BEING addressed by the pros!

Posted by
5 posts

This is good news! I just have to convince my "Better Half" that this is the way to go. JUST GO AND DO IT! I refuse to live like a hermit! ( He still has negative ideas).
Let's see what tomorrow brings!
Sorry! You are not my Doctors. And I don't mean to impose that upon you. But you all make sense and I do appreciate all of your comments. I am determined to carry on!

Posted by
2081 posts


You realize you can drop dead after reading this post? Death has no schedule.

All i do is to make sure im not going someplace where they want to do bodily harm for the fun of it or just because im American.

im ALWAYS extra cautious when i travel since i fly solo, theres no one to look after my 6 but that doesnt mean i dont have fun or anything like that. Im always aware of my surroundings and such not just for bad people but also for the many pick pocket scammers out there.

When it comes down to it, do what you feel comfortable doing. No one can tell you any other way.

happy trails.

Posted by
2014 posts

My husband has been apprehensive before several trips, the year there were riots in France and The demonstrations in Greece to name a few. Maybe it's because he doesn't feel he has control over the situation or maybe it's because he feels he will need to protect both of us, not sure. However, the more we travel, the more he realizes that we'll be as fine as we would be at home. He grew up when the concept of "ugly American" was wide-spread, so I think that may have increased his apprehension. As he's met and gotten to know Europeans from so many places, he's been impressed by how welcoming most people are. He's leading the charge for our upcoming trip to Spain this spring.

Posted by
1878 posts

I am a worrier myself, but I would not worry about this trip at all. No way should you change your plans. There are plenty of places that I would not choose to go for reasons of safety, but Amsterdam to Germany is not something that I would remotely worry about.

Posted by
31819 posts


I wouldn't be concerned about travelling in Europe at all, and plan to do so again later this year. There are never any guarantees of absolute safety whether staying at home or travelling abroad, so I'm just going to carry on as usual (unless of course I see a flag on the government website that says "avoid all travel", which is not likely to happen).

Posted by
11613 posts

I agree with the posters on this thread and others, no change in plans for me. I've traveled solo through Europe at some dicey periods, but I also lived in Miami, so, no worries about traveling, except takeoff and landing (which make me nervous, not scared).

Posted by
785 posts

You have the right idea, go, act like a rational person, keep a low profile and enjoy yourself. We already have a car reserved for the month of September and are looking forward to the trip. I figure my chances of getting killed by a terrorist are about as good as winning the lottery and I don't buy lottery tickets. Having watched people drive in Boston, I know there are bigger things to worry about than a terrorist or two. Enjoy life, it has an expiration date that is unknown. To live every minute of it in terror is not to live at all. Tell your lesser half to get with the program.

They have taken airport security very seriously for the last 40+ years so don't panic if you see a couple guys in military uniforms with sub machine guns. I, like everyone else, am always on my best behavior when I see them. Unfortunate, but the that is the price of real security and it makes you realize how relatively lax airport security is in the US.

Posted by
328 posts

I understand what you are dealing with. We had a trip planned last fall when things were getting hot in the Ukraine. My husband was convinced that we were walking into a war zone by including Vienna in our itinerary. He hadn't been to Vienna before so it seemed very scary and foreign to him. There were a few things I did to help him overcome this irrational fear.

I mapped out how far Vienna was from Donetsk where the fighting was and then compared that to a map of home, which he could relate to (i.e. Vienna is as far from Donetsk as our house is from _____). I also referred him to what our government was advising with respect to travel to Vienna. We looked at what the government advisory was (none) and talked about how we shouldn't be concerned if they weren't. I researched and talked through the political situation and what it would mean politically and economically for all the players involved, if the Russia were to choose Vienna as a target.

In your situation, I'd talk about the places you are visiting and compare them to familiar cities at home. Maybe use street view on google maps to show him the streets where the hotels you will be staying, the cruise ports and other places you will visit are so they feel more familiar. Find the airport maps for Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Compare the cities you will cruise past and visit to places at home. Compare casualties in US random shootings and terrorist situations to EU situations and Europe will start to look a lot safer very quickly. Look at who/what has been the target of all the recent terrorist activity in Western countries - it has pretty much been exclusively military, government, counter-Islamic or strong religious groups - it's not likely you will have those types of locations on your itinerary. Would knowing the location of the Embassy in the cities you visit give him some comfort? It would help my husband feel more in control and prepared. Would having the option to rent a car when not on your cruise make him feel more in control? Reassure him that you can wait and cancel your trip at the last minute if you need to so he feels like he has a way out. Talk about how the company operating the cruise has a strong interest in keeping its passengers safe or it will go out of business pretty quickly.

Basically, find as many ways as you can to give him a little perspective and control and to make the places you are visiting feel less foreign to him.

Europe is safe and there is absolutely no reason you should feel any concern about traveling there.

Posted by
117 posts

Planning our next trip for later this year also. Not concerned any more than I would be in Dallas, New York, Toronto, Montreal, etc.

The terrorists are winning when we stay home. My opinion perhaps.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you Chris for your email (et all). We will be strictly on the river -- no cars involved. And will be getting off in small towns along the Rhine. From there, upon landing, it will be by foot or perhaps bus in some cases. We (or I!) cannot wait! Are the women more adventuresome than the males? Hmm!
BTW, I just got a call from my booking agent this morning, saying, that the cruise line would cancel all trips if Homeland Security would put a Red Flag up on all foreign travel. So far, it is a Green Light! And I am confident that we will go ahead with our trip and have a GREAT TIME!

Posted by
5 posts

Hi Rick -- You are right. That is why they are called terrorists! They thrieve on inciting terror! I think I have convinced my "Better Half" that we have one in a million chances of getting in the midst of a skirmish!