How to read travel advisories and travel warnings

Travel Advisories and Warnings are issued by several governments to tell their citizens which countries

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EDMONTON, Alta. Nov. 19, 2016/ Troy Media/ – Travel Advisories and Travel Warnings are issued by several governments to tell their citizens which countries or parts of countries might be of concern. It sounds pretty scary to say that there is an advisory or warning about going somewhere, but just because a government issues one doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad idea to plan a trip to that country.

With terrorism all in the news today, many people get nervous, but if you want to be a traveller you need to learn to weigh the warnings and the news. You may decide that it’s worth it to travel anyway. Terrorism is nothing new; different areas have had unrest in the past. Read those advisories and decide if what they are talking about will affect you and your trip. Don’t trust them blindly.

travel advisories travel warningsTravel advisories are issued for a number of reasons, terrorism being only one of them. They can be issued because of natural disasters, political unrest, disease outbreaks or high crime areas. You need to read to see if these are long-term warnings or short-term travel advisories.

It’s a good idea to check with several different sources. For example, check to see what the governments of Australia, Canada, the U.K. and the U.S are saying. They don’t always agree. So if there are differing points of view, what should you do?

Evaluate them for yourself.

Keep in mind your tolerance level: will that warning or advisory worry you all through your trip or is it something you can just keep vigilant about and still enjoy your travels?

Is the whole country affected? If there was a natural disaster in one part of the country, the part you’re going to may be fine. Health outbreaks and political unrest may be confined to only one area of a country, leaving the rest perfectly safe to travel in.

If the advisories are about violence, are the threats to tourists or tourist areas or is there violence in isolated and remote areas where there is less possibility of it affecting you?

Check to see how long ago the advisory was posted. Some warnings are long term, but you can check to see if the conditions that prompted the advisory have changed.

If you go, dress and pack to avoid calling attention to yourself. This is smart travel anytime, but especially if there is a travel advisory. Stay in local hotels, eat in local restaurants. Small places are generally less apt to be targets. Take the phone number for your country’s embassy so you can contact them if necessary.

Consider registering with the embassy to let them know you’re in the country. You might want to consider travel insurance, but this is tricky: there are many situations that cancellation insurance doesn’t cover.

If war is breaking out or if the local terrorists are targeting tourists, you probably should reconsider your travel plans. With a travel advisory or warning like that, you might want to find a country that is safer and friendlier or travel to a new part of your own country.

Almost all travellers can find adventure even close to home. So evaluate those warnings for yourself. Change your plans if you feel you need to, but travel somewhere. It’s good for you.

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