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State Department Travel Advisory: ‘Be Safe’

Predictably, the U.S. State Department has issued a travel advisory following yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels.

The advice for Americans traveling in Europe was equally predictable: “U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation.”

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Other recommendations:

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities, especially in an emergency.
  • Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
  • Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
  • Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

What gives these boilerplate warnings extra heft is this pronouncement: “Terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation.” No hedging there. No “might be” or “could be” or “alleged to be.” The State Department apparently knows that further attacks are planned, sooner rather than later.

The alert remains in effect through June 20.

I wouldn’t let the recent tragedy in Brussels derail a planned European trip. But neither would I dismiss the State Department’s warnings and suggestions.

Let’s be safe out there!

Reader Reality Check

How do acts of terrorism affect your travel planning?

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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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