Today’s world may feel like a tinderbox, only one strike away from flaring up again. Where war zones once appeared isolated, the threat now exists nearly everywhere. It may come through attacks on airports, such as the bombing in Istanbul or even the attacks Belgium. It might take the kind of mass shooting sprees, like the Bataclan tragedy in Paris or a single person, intent on causing a maximum number of deaths like on Bastille Day at Nice, which saw 80 people dead.
Traveling in 2016 appears more fraught with dangers than ever, even the most seasoned traveller is not immune to an attack or even a freak accident such as a bus crash or crane collapse. One colleague’s worried fiancé pushed her to think about trimming a long-planned three-week world trip a month. “Why?” she asked. His response was heartbreakingly easy: “We will be targeted as Americans, will not we?” The feeling of unease and unknowable risks is not restricted to travel abroad either.
Pause for a minute, however. In 2015, the U.S. State Department logged over 28,000 deaths because of terror attacks globally. It is tragic, however, the figures can be a little misleading: nearly three-quarters of these deaths happened in five troubled nations (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Syria). What is more, political extremism, not Islamic fundamentalism, compels most lone wolf strikes in the West, between 2008 and 2014, 67 percent of deaths caused by such attacks were a result of the likes of Norway’s neo-fascist Anders Behring Breivik. To put it differently, the danger of attackers acting alone doesn’t correlate with the present geo-political climate; it is also not lesser or greater than decades before. It just is.
And yet, somehow, we still feel just a tiny bit more fearful today, particularly when we travel. The answer is not to hide out or run away: terrorism’s purpose lies in using fear as a tactic to forcibly alter others’ actions. Just how do we counter this instinct, combat the strain that political doubts have birthed? When we travel, what causes us to feel secure? What’s out there which may help us better protect ourselves in the future?
Concentrate on Communication
Smartphone technology has changed the humble phrasebook, the TripLingo program does not just supply a run of emergency phrases from the local language of your choice, but provides quizzes and games so that you may practice, along with a voice recorder function. All of function offline to reduce roaming costs. Alternately, there is always Google Translate, which also recently started offering offline performance. If you get stuck on any of the IT-based aspects you can always contact an it service company for assistance.
Download a tracking program
The free-to-download Companion was invented by a group of undergrads at the University of Michigan as a digital manner of walking buddies home at the end of a night out. Its attributes will also be tailor-made for adventures overseas. Imagine you are researching a new town and would like to feel assured: Publish the program and then designate one of your contacts as your ‘companion’ that will be given a message which enables her or him to follow your path live through their internet browser, whether or not they have the program. The program will then ask you from time to time if you are okay, requiring one to tap on a button to automatically dismiss the notification. If you do not respond within 15 minutes, then it is going to alert that specified ‘companion.’ It is also movement sensitive, maybe you also need to have an alert sent should you start running instead of walking, also if you have headphones ripped out of the phone plug, it activates a 15-second countdown prior to sending an alert to your companion if not dismissed.
Keep it on the Cloud
When it comes to passport security, the U.S. lags behind several advanced countries like Australia, that will be researching and testing a cloud-based passport this short-circuits pickpockets. But you can home-hack a simplified one for now. Take photos of any important power work such as passports, resort bookings, emergency contacts, or insurance before leaving the house then upload them to a service such as Dropbox. This enables cloud computing security to be at its peak. This will work as a digital security deposit box you may get from anywhere, as required. Do not forget Global Entrance, do your part and use this app, as it is a win-win. Not only will you accelerate through customs and immigration any moment you arrive stateside, but the more people pre-vetted by Apps such as this (you get a known Traveler ID), the easier it is to get The TSA to concentrate on travelers with possibly murkier intentions.
Use an Uber (or Even a 99)
When I had been traveling to Rio this summer to cover the Olympics, I was worried how best to get around safely in a town with a reputation for risk especially, the anecdotal evidence of muggings on buses, while still in transit. Turns out, the response was a rideshare app – in this scenario, Uber. Not only was it cheap but also suitable. I really could summon a vehicle, to the doorway of a restaurant if need be, anytime I needed it. Language was no barrier, as my destination has been automatically entered prior to the driver reaching you. There was a limited chance of a motorist going rogue, as our whole trip was recorded and satellite-mapped. It allowed me to research Rio in-depth without stressing, even in areas like Santa Teresa, a website of my favourite restaurant discovery, Aprazivel. It isn’t as hard as bus hire or in the construction industry crane hire. Do not forget, also, that lots of cities have neighbourhood counterparts to Uber or even Lyft, which frequently have bigger fleets (in Rio, there is 99, together with English-language support).