Are you thinking of traveling to Europe anytime soon, perhaps for a honeymoon or vacation? If so, be sure to check the U.S. State Department’s travel website for information and warnings. On May 1, 2017 the State Department issued a travel alert to Europe, saying, “widely-reported incidents in France, Russia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom demonstrate that the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS or Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe.”
U.S. citizens are urged to use caution when visiting frequently targeted areas, such as tourist attractions, airports, train stations, shopping centers and government buildings, as well as major sporting events, festivals and other activities where crowds gather.
Before traveling, anyone going overseas anywhere in the world should register their trip with the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. I routinely enroll my trips to Central and South America in this program, as well as European and Asian travel. Doing so alerts the State Department to your whereabouts should an attack or a local emergency, such as an earthquake, occur. It also enables you to be found should a family emergency at home occur. Be sure to leave a detailed itinerary of your travels with family or close friends so they know where to find you in case of an emergency, either at home or abroad.
Be prepared for the possibility of additional security measures at airports, cruise line ports, and other embarkation points, including longer lines and more time to process through Customs and Security. Plan ahead to allow enough time between connections should you be delayed.
We can’t allow the threat of a possible terrorist attack control our lives and travels, but we can be prepared for the realities of living in a world where we can no longer take our safety for granted.