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How To Avoid Being A Victim Of A Terrorist Attack
If That's Possible

Avoiding Terrorism - The Wise Traveller

Terrorist attacks are a horrible fact of life in the 21st century.  For the traveller, it’s another hazard to consider when planning that perfect holiday.

 

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Terrorism is designed to instill fear, terror and shock, for political or spurious religious reasons and it is doing a good job with the general travelling public.  There has been 61,000 cases since 2,000 of terrorism according to the 2015 Global Terrorism Index, with a 80% increase in fatalities between 2013 and 2014 unfortunately an increasing trend.  Prime target areas include government and Western interests, places where people gather such as public buildings and tourist sites, known hangouts for Westerners and places of worship such as churches, temples and synagogues. It is psychological and lethal warfare. 

 

However, to put all this into some practical context, 78% of all terrorist related fatalities were in 5 countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria). This is not to say there is no reason exercise caution, as there is a very real growing concern to be wary.

 

Notwithstanding these statistics it is always prudent to take some precautions. 

 

So how do you minimize your chances of being blown up or shot whilst abroad?

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Statistically the number one precaution you can take is to avoid high risk countries.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Prior to going abroad, register your travel plans on your government's travel website.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Always check your government's travel warning website, pre-flying and during your holiday for any updates.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Listen to the current news of the destination you are travelling to, regarding public holidays and the political situation.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Keep on hand a mobile phone and emergency contact details at all times.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Blend in - dress like a local - don't wear religious or political "trinkets" at all.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Travel solo -v- group travel - There are two thoughts on this subject:  with group travel you are not alone if you get into trouble, but by travelling in a group you are more likely to present a "target" and get into trouble.  Solo travel may make you a target for kidnapping, but generally speaking solo travellers tend to be of the more savvy variety and know how to blend in.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Major tourist attractions - get in and out - don't linger, as these are prime attack areas.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Big tourist towns - see what you really want to, but then get out into the rural areas, as you are generally safer in the countryside.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Airports - again get in and get out: If waiting for flights, do wait in secure areas, avoid flights that stop in high-risk countries, take note of any bags or packages unattended and tell someone in authority.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Always know where the emergency exits are in any building you may be in.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Fight or flight?  If the weapon of choice is not a bomb but guns, and an opportunity presents itself for a safe exit, use it. If not, hide behind whatever will protect you as much as possible, flat on your stomach and don't stick your head up to see what is going on.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Be aware of what and who is around you - the person you think is a "flasher" may just be pulling the wires on a bomb, not jerking off.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

If something looks "off" to you or someone is acting suspiciously - tell a person in authority. If there is no cause for alarm, there will be no harm done, they will just think you are a crazy nervous tourist.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Do a basic first aid course - you don't have to be a doctor to help someone beside you.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Trust your instincts - if you are getting a bad vibe, go somewhere else.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Understand that really there are "no" safe places despite some sites saying to familiarize yourself with hospitals, hotels, schools, police or fire stations. Knowing where your embassy or consulate is situated would be worth remembering though.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Be wary of strangers and don't divulge personal information of where you may be going, your personal beliefs or details of your life.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

Check that the taxi drivers face is the face in the photograph on the license of the car.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

 If in a car, always have your doors locked and the windows up when driving in cities.

 

Avoiding Terrorism

When in a hotel, do not open your door to anyone that cannot prove by way of identification who they are.

 


Basically it is all about "personal" safety, which should be second nature when travelling. It is not about being paranoid, but of being cautious whilst travelling.

 

If we all stay at home cringing in fear, the terrorists have won, as they have taken away our freedom to travel this amazing world.

 

Gail Palethorpe, a self proclaimed Australian gypsy, is a freelance writer, photographer and eternal traveller.  Check out her website Gail Palethorpe Photography

 

 

Join The Wise TRaveller now.

 

Also On The Wise Traveller

Travel Tips For All Wise Travellers A Guide To Terrorism Cover In Travel Insurance - The Wise Traveller Long Term Business Travel - Hotels v Rental v Airbnb - The Wise Traveller

Most Underrated Cities In Europe - The Wise Traveller The Next Adventure Smartphone Free Travel - The Wise Traveller Are You A Tourist Or A Traveller? The Wise Traveller

Gail Palethorpe  | February 25, 2016
Categories : Travel Tips
Tags : Stay Secure, Safety, Terrorism
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