As much as possible, we want to travel safely and conveniently – we can only hope. There are times that our ideal travel is destroyed by unforeseen events leading to unfortunate ones, say terrorism. All governments are taking the initiative to protect their people as well as the tourists against the clasp of terrorism.
Terrorism aims to inflict pain and fear as a means to shake the government. We do not want to be victims but we have to accept the fact that terrorism can happen anywhere. Even the safest place on earth can be infected by terrorism because it will always find a way. The challenge here is that as tourists, we have to be vigilant.
However, terrorism should not keep us from travelling. We should not live in fear. If we stop travelling, it is like conceding to terrorists and terrorism will surely win. We can still travel but we have to do it smartly and vigilantly. Here are some things that we should ensure during our travel:
Before deciding where to go, it is important that we are aware of the current security status of the place. This can help us identify hostile and non-hostile places. If it is hostile, it is time that we have to consider other places. If we already made plans, the least that we can do is to keep posted for the current safety conditions at our destination. In the case of American citizens, the State Department has this Smart Traveller Enrolment Program. This program is the mechanism of the government for reaching citizens in affected places.
Capitalize in travel insurance
There is always this uncertainty whenever we travel and the best thing that we can do to protect ourselves is through travel insurance. When we decide to get travel insurance, we have to read the policy and scrutinize it. We have to be aware of the plans and know the difference between “terrorism” (which is covered) and “civil unrest” or “act of war” (which are not covered).
Possess a working phone
When we travel to other places, we do not check our phones because there’s no reception. This is one of the biggest mistakes we will make because we need a way to communicate with others. In case of emergency, we want an immediate action or response so we need a working phone. We can consider buying local SIM card and input the embassy’s phone number as well as the hotel.
Know the way
Wandering can be fun but we need to know the way to the hotel. If something happens, the safest place would be at the hotel. Before leaving our country, we have to make sure that our relatives or friends have the number of the hotel so when things get awry, they will know where to reach us. When all else fails, head to the local embassy. They can assist us with our needs.
During crisis, we have to refrain using public transportation especially during rush hour because terrorists prefer that. If we want to go to places, we have to consider taxis or if it can’t be helped, we can travel via public transport as long as it is not rush hour. We also need to remember to stay away from congested or crowded areas. We might be victims of stampede if people panic.
Stay in social media
Social media can offer rich information when something happens. If we constantly stay in touch through social media, people will know what places we visited and where we are. Social media is really the best source for information. The information can be helpful especially during chaotic situations. More importantly, we have to correspond with people back home. They will be worried and we have to appease them. Whether we choose phone, email or social media, it doesn’t matter as long as they know that we are okay.
We have to remember though that apart from terrorism, one cause of death of tourists is road accidents. This means that we should not solely focus on terrorism because road accidents can happen if we do not heed it. Travelling outside Singapore should be a pleasant experience especially if it is our first time. The bottom line here is to be vigilant and if things happen, we should know what to do and not let fear triumph.