Terror attacks are always a concern when traveling to most destinations overseas. However, with the constant threat from ISIS, traveling to Europe has become much more of a concern in recent years.
Unfortunately, one never knows when terror will actually strike. It could be at an airport or metro station, as took place in Brussels back in March. It could very well be in the Tube as has happened in London several times throughout the years. Terror can strike anywhere; not even those traveling to North America can feel 100% safe all the time.
But, should we let the terrorists be victorious in their maligned agenda? To make us fear walking out our own homes, let alone travel to the various locations that line our bucket list?
Absolutely not, I say!
I know, I know. It’s nice in theory, but putting it to practice with all the danger we know to be lurking out there is a completely different animal.
Your gut may be telling you beware, but learning to get a hold on your fears is all that’s needed. You’re in much less danger than you probably know — if you’re one of those who’s been avoiding travel since all this recent nonsense began.
Here’s some help in easing your mind about the threat of terrorism while traveling:
1. The whole lightning thing.
How many times have we heard that you’re statistically more likely to be struck by lightning than (fill in the blank)? The US State Department issued some findings last year putting the entire overseas terrorist death toll on American citizens between 01′ to 13′ at 350 people. That’s still very unpleasant to hear, but there were over 3,000 killed right here in the US during that same time (ie., 9/11). You have a 1 in 20,000,000 chance in dying as a result of terrorism; this compared to 1 in 5,500,000 for lightning.
2. Yes, another attack is imminent — but look at all the potential places it could happen.
The way ISIS and their various cohorts are going, we know somewhere in Europe will be hit again soon. True, you don’t know where, but how likely is it that you’ll be in that exact location when it does? See #1 again!
3. There are very real dangers, but terrorism is on the bottom of that list.
There are tons of viral epidemics to worry about, of course. But the single biggest concern for you traveling anywhere overseas should be getting killed or maimed in a traffic accident.
4. Consider how you’ve come to completely disregard that which kills us most, yet still allow terrorism to ruin your fun.
We all tend to fear threats that are new to us, while mostly disregarding those things that kill us most. Heart disease kills nearly 1 in every 500 people annually. Yet many still smoke, drink, and eat food with zero nutritional value — even though they know they’re increasing the likelihood of an untimely death. The diabetes epidemic is far worse — every gram of sugar or starches you eat puts you that much closer to developing the disease. Then there’s things like ice fishing, skiing, lounging in the sun for hours at a time — all have their inherent dangers to our well being. How about earthquakes? Been to California lately? Sure you have, or you want to go there and probably don’t even think about earthquakes or out-of-control mountain fires at all. Why scratch Europe off your list because you know a few locations are going to be targeted by the (really) bad guys?
5. Include ways to minimize your risk in your travel plans.
Choosing to heed this advice is entirely up to you. I’m not saying to definitely do this, but rather to do it if your fear of terrorism still has you hesitating to travel to Europe. ISIS and other terror organizations like to target large urban centers on the ground. Fact is, there are tons of small little villages in Europe that can make for a perfectly relaxing and entertaining getaway. So many it would be hard to see them all in a lifetime. Check out this list. And this one. When you get tired of those, Google Small Villages in Europe. Mind you, opting to stay away from urban Europe is still letting terrorism get in your way, but if it makes you get on that plane, you’ve at least one half the battle!
Share Your Travel Plans
Do you plan to travel to Europe in the coming months? If so, where and when?
Main Image Credit: Steve Harris/Flickr