This is something we gotta address.
For the past few months I’ve been asked what feels like a dozen times a day, “Do you feel safe travelling right now!?”, “Do you think I should change my travel plans?”… and so on, and so forth. Most of these questions (I’d throw a rough guess and say 90%) centre around travel to and within Europe.
First of all, I get it. I get the concern and I get that sick feeling at the pit of your stomach every time you switch on the news and hear, see or read something terrible has happened. Nobody enjoys that.
But is it unsafe to a point where you should change your travel plans or avoid travelling right now altogether? Lets talk about that.
I know I’ve been avoiding the topic for some time, because from the way I see it there’s a right and a wrong time to voice your opinion. For me, the right time is when you’ve stepped back, taken some time to yourself and to think before you speak.
To have answered this topic in a timely manner would have felt insensitive to all those effected in any of the attacks that have occurred this year, so I wanted to let the dust settle and come to terms with how I felt about everything before speaking up.
As many of you know, I’ve been talking a lot lately about a number of “safety first” matters related to travel on my Youtube Channel and here on the blog. This is part of my ongoing collaboration with Southern Cross Travel Insurance, who have been really great in helping me get the message out about important considerations for travellers – especially those new to travel, new to solo travel, or nervous travellers who just want a little more beyond the pretty photos (I hear you!)
It is important to talk about these things and get real about travel, because at the end of the day there is much more to a travel lifestyle than a likeable instagram photo, an inspiring video or a nice outfit to match your backdrop. Yes, there are downsides to travel and I believe it is important to touch on these subjects and stay realistic.
So about Europe.
These questions I tend to receive in the immediate aftermath of an event and as mentioned earlier, it seems insensitive to comment at the time. Now, in this video, I want to break it down for you how I really feel about travel in 2016.
Travelling does not make you more or less susceptible to an unfortunate turn of events. You never know what will happen in any place, at any time and you will never be able to completely control all situations.
My advice is to take precautions always (not just when the media jumps on a story). I would never travel anywhere without travel insurance and I would never suggest anyone do so – I have made multiple claims on flight delays, cancellations, and that time I wound up with a 5 figure hospital bill.
It is also important to read your policy clearly and understand what you are covered for. For instance if you travel with thousands of dollars of camera equipment, you may wish to pay a little extra to cover these items. Similarly with random acts of terror you may not be covered to fly home, but if you are injured your medical bills would be covered. Take a few minutes to read through and know what you’re entitled to!
And my final opinion on the matter is not to live in fear of what may happen to you. Life is to live, not just exist.
Thanks to WOW Readers for encouraging a conversation on the topic, to Southern Cross Travel Insurance for being generous enough to give WOW Readers 10% off (use the code “WOW” – Australia only) and to everyone out there who is still travelling, still supporting the tourism industry and still living.