After the devastating terrorist attacks in Paris, France, the world has been shaken once again.
A stark reminder that anything can happen at any time, wherever you are. Because it can happen literally anywhere, the key thing is not to stop traveling. Traveling is not the reason that attacks happen. By visiting different countries around the world you can make friends with people from other countries, and help to build great relationships, which is vital to your travel confidence. Plus, a terrorist attack is really not the greatest risk to your trip; in fact, it is the least likely possible way to die when overseas.
The best tip to travel without fear after these world events is to gain a bit of perspective. Here’s five ways to do it:
1. Realise the probability of an attack is very, very slim.
Did you know that the number of US citizens killed in terrorist attacks overseas between 2001 and 2013 was just 350, but during the same period in the US, 3.030 were killed in attacks at home. In fact, most US cities, in terms of street crime, are more dangerous than many of the places we visit in other countries. Put it this way – you are at greater risk of being struck by lightning, dying in a car crash, or drowning in your bathtub than you are of dying from terrorist attacks when traveling.
2. While there may be other terrorist attacks, it doesn’t mean you will be a victim of one.
After the attacks in France, the probability of another terrorist attack has somewhat increased. However, this does not mean your risk is higher. The chances of you being in that place at that time are so slim it’s not worth worrying about.
3. Be a sensible traveler.
Speculation about terrorist attacks is not your biggest risk when choosing a destination to visit. You should be more worried about motor accidents, the greatest cause of death for US travelers, or even things like over-exposure to the sun, which can result in skin cancer, a far bigger killer than terrorism.
4. Forget about the unlikely risk of terrorism, and focus on the likely risk.
After the 9-11 attacks in New York, people chose to drive instead of fly – a greater risk. After the norovirus scare, people on cruise ships washed their hands incessantly, but forgot to put on as much sunscreen and increased their risk to skin cancer – a much greater problem. Stop worrying about the big, unlikely risk and remember these small things are actually more dangerous in the long run.
5. Stop worrying about something that is out of your control.
Quit obsessing over something that is entirely out of your control and take control of the things you can – such as driving carefully to the airport before your trip, packing enough sunscreen or mosquito repellent and keeping your belongings safe when traveling around. These elements are the ones that will keep you safe.
So pack your bags and travel without fear!
By Charlotte H.