Travel and Terrorism

The terrible events that have happened recently in Manchester, London, Tehran and elsewhere have made me think a little more about this subject. Where is it safe to take a family? Should we be put off from going anywhere that has suffered a terrorist attack?

In recent years, I have taken my family to Paris after the Charlie Ebdo massacre, to Munich in the wake of an attack on a restaurant there, on a German train when a random stabbing attack on a nearby line had occurred shortly beforehand, and to Fuessen on the Romantic Road after a similar town on that tourist route had been victim to an attempted suicide bombing. If that wasn’t enough, we visited London this year not long after the Westminster Bridge attack. Am I being reckless and irresponsible exposing my loved ones to such danger? I think not.

We need to put these appalling events into some sort of perspective, and think about it rationally. I heard some statistics recently relating to the UK that compared to a terrorist attack, you are 10 times more likely to die falling out of bed and 1000 times more likely to die crossing the road – and I’m not aware that British beds and roads are less safe than elsewhere! So avoiding the country because of terrorism makes less sense than insisting on sleeping on the floor or avoiding crossing roads. I’m sure you could come up with similar stats for Germany, France or for that matter Iran. Of course, we shouldn’t be flippant about our safety, and there are still more risky parts of the world that maybe best left avoided for now, as far as family travel is concerned. Government travel advice can inform citizens of these places. We should also be careful if tourists are a particular target of terrorists.

Another reason to keep travelling is that if we are afraid to do what we want, it does hand the terrorists some sort of victory. The less effect they have on us, the less they have achieved.

It’s probably stating the obvious that you’ll miss out on some wonderful experiences if you choose to stay home

So be sensible, but if the risk is low, don’t let terrorism put you off your travels. When you look into it, your destination might be safer than home.

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