Let’s face it: we live in strange times. There is so much violence, chaos, and uncertainty in the world right now that it should come as no surprise more travel alerts are being issued.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, the world narrative quickly became “don’t go here”, “don’t go there”. War is ugly and always has trickle-down effects.
Now that Israel is at war after recent attacks, we are seeing the same narrative come back into play. The U.S. State Department just issued a ‘Level 4: Do Not Travel’ advisory for the historic country of Lebanon.
Whether it be fear-mongering or legitimate concerns, more travel advisories will probably be issued. In fact, the U.S. Embassy in France just issued a travel security alert for the most visited country in the world.
That’s right. The mega-popular country of France is raising alarms too. Let’s take a look at what’s going on:
France Issues Highest Level Of Security Alert
On October 13th, France issued the highest level of security alert via the Vigipirate system. And we all know what you’re thinking. No, it is not a bedbug invasion!
As unfortunate as that would be with wide reports of creepy-crawlies running rampant in France, what actually took place to issue an alert is far, far worse.
A terrorist attack took place in the small city of Arras, north of Paris and near the Belgium border. We’ll spare the details here, but it was a tragic, fatal event.
Due to this horrific act, it is widely expected to see an increase in security presence all across the country where necessary, particularly in airports, schools, churches, and large venues.
As it stands today, according to the U.S. Embassy in Paris, the highest level of alert is still in effect, labeled as “Emergency Attack” (Urgence Attentat).
Should Americans Visit France Right Now?
It would be difficult to convince someone not to visit the ‘most visited country in the world’. Millions upon millions of travelers check France off their travel bucket lists each year.
Of course, we all recognize the iconic Eiffel Tower, but there is so much more to see. That would be like going to New York City just to see the Statue of Liberty.
The recent security alert issued by the embassy was mostly a regurgitation of France raising their securing system to the highest level.
There is a difference between an official travel advisory issued by the Department of State versus a security alert issued by a U.S. Embassy.
Both should be taken seriously, but the State Department tends to cover a broader view of the security situation in a particular place.
As of now, there are no updates from the State Department for France. It remains at ‘Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution, which was last updated in late July of this year.
The U.S. Embassy, however, urges Americans to remain aware of their surroundings at all times, avoid large demonstrations, and do what they can to increase personal security.
Other tips from the U.S. Embassy:
- Keep a low profile
- Stay informed from local media
- Avoid areas with large police presence
There was no mention of avoiding France, but simply stay aware and know of potential threats.
Even though safety is a worry for travelers when venturing out into the world, the truth is most travelers make it back home unscathed.
Oftentimes, it is the well-seasoned traveler who becomes a little too comfortable settling in that is harmed, if they are harmed at all.
Safety can go by the wayside if you immerse yourself in a new destination for a lengthy amount of time.
In this case of terrorist attacks, these are very often random. However, the odds are in your favor when you take the tips provided above seriously.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide where you feel comfortable visiting. Dangerous situations can occur in places that feel like the safest in the world.
If it’s any consolation, the U.S. State Department just issued a travel advisory for the entire world. Yes, you read that right.
So, it’s up to you. Do you feel like the world is too risky to see or not?
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com