Have you planned your summer vacation yet? I sincerely believe that you should. In any case, should you decide to travel, you’ll be joining the millions of others that are looking to vacation this season. In fact, it’s looking to be a record year for tourists, with Allianz Global Assistance predicting that London and Paris, both popular destinations for American tourists, will see a spike in visitors of 37% and 29%, respectively. This comes in the wake of European terrorist attacks, with an assault in London in early June fresh in public memory.
This has not stopped hordes of individuals from choosing to travel. And indeed it shouldn’t! The likelihood of falling victim to a terrorist attack is infinitesimally low, though sensationalism can discourage some travelers to go to cities such as London, which are tourist-friendly and very safe. That said, with the current global climate, there’s still plenty worth knowing about travel this summer and ways that you can make the most out of your well-deserved time off.
Just because a terrorist attack is unlikely does not mean that any place in the world is safe to travel; periods of unrest can cause concern for otherwise desirable travel destinations. The best way to find out if a country or area is safe to travel to is by checking the state department’s website. Beyond research, you can stay proactively informed of potentially problematic situations by subscribing to the Smart Traveler Enrollment Plan (STEP), which provides updates from the local United States embassy during your time abroad. Additionally, a harsh projected hurricane season makes it important to stay up to date on weather. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s app allows savvy travelers to receive weather alerts tailored to their location.
Consider travel Insurance.
Travel insurance is often something that travelers disregard, considering it an often wasted investment. And, for some people, it can be. It’s hard to advise that a healthy twenty something trying to travel as cheaply as possible purchase insurance because there’s less risk involved. However, for individuals with health concerns, or those that book expensive trips ahead of time, being insured may be a smart investment in case something goes wrong. Sites such as insuremytrip.com can help a concerned traveler compare options that are right for them.
Plan your mode of travel.
With the advent of ridesharing apps that allow tourists to both catch rides and rent vehicles from locals, there are more ways than ever to plan your transportation while traveling. Compare prices among apps, taxis, and car rental companies. Alternatively, examine public transportation in the area and assess what costs are. Many subway systems have extended passes available at a discounted rate.
You can even bring your own vehicle if you’re traveling relatively locally, but consider checking your tires and battery beforehand in case of disaster in an unfamiliar place.
Take time to relax.
This is an odd piece of advice; after all, aren’t vacations inherently relaxing? Well, sure, but dealing with logistics and travel can make some trips unnecessarily stressful. Because of this, take some time out of your itinerary to slow down, get some exercise, and restore your mental health. A bit of light exercise every morning does wonders for your body and gets you energized to enjoy the rest of your day. Consider your diet as well; junk food can contribute to unbalancing your body and causing stress.