People know I always have my next big trip scheduled. That’s the case now, but my next big trip may or may not happen.
I’m scheduled to go on a trip to Turkey in May, but I know politics and instability in the area might keep me from going.
I’m not alone in facing uncertainty about whether or not to travel to a destination. A friend just postponed a trip to Australia because of the wildfires and the devastation from them. Another friend is concerned about the new virus in Asia as she gets ready to leave in a few weeks.
Uncertainly is part of travel, but if I can avoid it, I am not going to put myself in harm’s way.
It is often difficult to decide whether or not to proceed with a trip.
If you’re traveling with a tour company, consult them. They’re not going to put their people into a dangerous situation if they can avoid it. The day after tensions in the Middle East began rising, I received an email from the tour company running my Turkey trip that said:
“As you are most probably aware, there are heightened tensions in Iraq and the US has just committed to deploying additional troops to the region. We have been in close contact with our local travel partners and tour directors in Turkey regarding these events. We fully expect that your tour will proceed as scheduled and are confident that all services will be provided with our guests’ safety and security uncompromised. Please be assured that we will continue to monitor the situation closely. As always, the safety and security of our guests and staff remain our top priorities. If there are any changes to the status of your tour, we will contact you immediately.”
The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs issues travel advisories using a series of levels, rated one through five.
At the State Department web site, you can put in the country you will be visiting and see what advisories are in effect.
The same web site also has all kinds of helpful information about the county including embassy locations, emergency contacts, fact sheets, and visa requirements.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a web site that deals with health issues in each country. The Traveler’s Health site has a warning level ranking system on a one to three scale.
- Watch Level 1 (Green): Practice usual precautions for this destination, as described in the Travel Health Notice and/or on the destination page. This includes being up-to-date on all recommended vaccines and practicing appropriate mosquito avoidance.
- Alert Level 2 (Yellow): Practice enhanced precautions for this destination. The Travel Health Notice describes additional precautions added, or defines a specific at-risk population.
- Warning Level 3 (Red): Avoid all non-essential travel to this destination. The outbreak is of high risk to travelers and no precautions are available to protect against the identified increased risk.
You can put a country name into the site, and it will tell you any health advisories in effect.
Before making any decisions, consult your travel insurance provider to make sure you follow their process for canceling a trip and filing a claim for the money you have already paid.
Sometimes you get a feeling in your gut. Trust it. It’s usually right. If you’re feeling uneasy about traveling, don’t do it. You probably won’t be able to relax and enjoy.
How do you decided whether or not to proceed on a trip you planned?