Terrorist Threat and Vacations: Can You Safely Travel Abroad?

According to Rick Steves, the host of public television’s “Rick Steve’s Europe”, the odds being killed by a terrorist attack overseas or in the air are 1 in 2,200,000. The odds of being struck by lightening are 1 in 600,000 and the chances that you’ll be killed by gunfire in United States are 1 in 18,900. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise caution, however.

Unless you have an overwhelming fear to travel (in which case you should cancel or postpone your trip), it’s generally safe to travel to most countries. It’s probably a good idea to avoid those areas known for consistent and multiple terrorist attacks. Even if you’ve chosen a relatively safe destination, however, it is important to make sure that travel warning doesn’t arise before you depart.

There is also the question of airline safety. While stories circulate throughout the media about people being able to breach airport security and are able to get bombs and other weapons onboard airplanes, how common is this? Before the September 11 attacks, according to Douglas Brattobo, the airport security system was in “complete shambles.” Because contractors were trying to save money, they cut as many corners as they could and this caused a high turnover rate in airport security employees. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), put into full control of airport security after the 9-11 attacks have begun a more standardized, controlled method of ensuring airport and airplane safety. With that said, it’s still up to you to use common sense when traveling and to report any suspicious behavior to airport officials.

Once you arrive at your destination, you can take some steps to help you stay safe. If you are still concerned about the possibility of a terrorist attack, remember that most terrorists will attack places known for high traffic (such as tourist attractions) or of high prestige or power (such as embassies, high-end hotels and political buildings). Avoiding such areas can help reduce your risk of becoming a victim of an attack.

There are other things you can do to help increase your safety while traveling in a foreign country. While it’ll be nearly impossible to hide the fact that you are a tourist, do what you can to not stand out in a crowd. Follow local customs of appropriate dress and behavior to not draw attention to yourself and be wary of discussing your travel plans with strangers. Be sure to scope out a few safe havens so that you’ll know where you can turn if trouble does arise.

If you take the right precautions, do your research, avoid highly troublesome areas, and exercise caution while on vacation, you’ll soon find yourself on your way to a fun and relaxing vacation!

Sources: U.S. Department of State (travel.state.gov)

Rick Steves Europe (www.ricksteves.com)

Douglas M. Brattebo (“Federalizing Airport Security is a Necessary Response to Terrorist Threats”. Debating the War on Terrorism. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.)

Tips to Help You Protect Yourself from Terrorist Attacks and Their Aftermaths

1. When traveling, make two copies of your passport and leave one with a trusted friend or relative. Take the other with you and keep it in a separate place from your original.

2. Before traveling to a foreign country, take some time to learn about the culture of your destination so that you don’t find yourself violating cultural norms and getting the “locals” upset with you.

10 Things to Look for in Purchasing Discount Travel Club Memberships

As memberships in travel clubs, like Coastal Vacation Club and Prestige Travel Club increase, many are turning to lifetime travel memberships to save up to 74% off their travel for life.

Here is a list of 10 things to look out for if you are considering joining any vacation travel club.

1. Licensed and bonded travel vendors

Make sure your club uses licensed and bonded vendors. These are recognized by the state they do business in, and will make sure you are dealing with real and legit travel agencies who want to see your satisfaction as priority one.

2. No time share gimmicks, sales presentations or tours

Many vacation club vendors are veiled time-share pitch fests. You are required to attend long sales presentations just to use or activate some of the discount portions of your trips. Make sure tours are not required as a pre-requisite for activating a trip or staying in a condo.

3. Years in service

Vacation clubs can crop up in an instant by some “slick willy’s” just to make a fast buck, and they sell you something that is not originally what it seemed and before you realize it and try to get your money back, they are gone, off to the next deal. So make sure you look closely to see if the Club has an established track record of industry credibility and integrity.

4. BBB Reports

Do your due diligence on the travel clubs, looking through scam reports and BBB reports. You’ll find many independent agents represent the “mother” travel club and they can be unscrupulous, while the parent company acts responsibly, so take note that individual resellers might have a bad track record, while the parent company has a spot less record. Stay away from problematic vendors.

5. Terms and conditions of use: Holidays, Singles/married couples, blackout dates

Many travel clubs often limit availability to non-holidays, or have blackout days. One vendor I know of, for example, will not let you travel 7 days before or after a major holiday. Since there are major holidays almost every month, you are missing 14 days a month or around 160 days a year which are off-limits. So make sure you know the terms and conditions, age limits, and if those traveling must be 2 married couples or if the trips apply to singles.

6. One time membership fees

Some travel clubs will dock you a monthly fee, some will dock you a yearly renewal fee. Be careful of those who hit you hard upfront and then bleed your money slowly over time. Good travel clubs offer you a low, one time fee to get started and no further renewals or back end fee.

7. Variety of discount types

Does your travel club only offer 2 night 3 day trips? Or does it offer a lot more like unlimited week long condo stays, Unlimited discount cruises, ski discounts, dining discounts, or golf discounts? Make sure your travel club membership has many varieties of trips and vacation styles to fit all personality and travel types.

8. Location choices

Domestic membership or International. Does your travel club only cater to the USA or does it have benefits far and wide reaching into the best vacation destinations across the planet? Make sure you know the values for local or international experiences.

9. Education on how to consume membership

A good travel company will offer CD’s, videos and literature to help their membership consume their club benefits and get the most out of taking their trips. If your travel club does not offer some training or help in showing you how to use your package, you might want to look else where.

10. Transferability

Will you be allowed to give away some of your trips in your travel club or will your name and address be hard coded into every voucher to only be used by you? Some travel clubs have over 40 trips included, and no one could use that many trips in one year. So make sure your travel club will allow you to transfer trips and packages to family and friends, with no extra costs and simple order fulfillment.

Traveling around the world as an exclusive travel club member can sure have it’s money saving advantages, and for the more pricey clubs out there, like Coastal Vacations Club, for example, some people choose to share one membership among a small group and divide out the trip benefits.

Why Choose Prestige Chauffeur Hire?

Nothing portrays luxury such as prestige chauffeur hire, which is ideal for special social occasions and the fantastic sporting events that will run throughout the New Year. For many people, the stress of driving to an event can ruin the overall experience but with a professional service to take care of the driving and ensure that you arrive to your destination safe and sound. There are many reasons why you may consider chauffeur hire and here in this article we shall look at why people choose to use a chauffeur service.

Many people do not just a prestige chauffeur hire for special occasions, for some the need for reliable form of transport in their busy business life is critical. It is a cost effective service for those that have many different meetings each day to attend in various locations. City driving can often be a nightmare and add extra stress to an already stress-filled day. A chauffeur can remove the extra worry to those that need to travel around and do not need the hassle of public transport or need to present a prestigious image for business.

Other people may decide to find a prestige chauffeur hire company for a wedding day or other important personal event. A VIP service can provide your special day with the ideal vehicle that will suit any opulent event and give a luxurious feel to your entrance. Every bride should feel completely spoilt on her day and arriving with a personal driver and a stunning car is definitely one way of making her feel particularly spoilt.

Finally, a chauffeur service is also used for people that want to sight see around the city but are not familiar with the places that are a must-see. A top quality hire company should be able to offer experienced drivers that will cater to those that want to experience wonderful places in London. Public transport is good for those that know where they are going, but for tourists it can be difficult to find places and particularly stressful. A chauffeur will be able to stop all the stress, take you to the best parts of London and enable you to see as much as you can in the time you have. Companies can also organise itinerary for your trip so that you can balance your time efficiently and visit places such as restaurants, the theatre and shopping places all with ease.