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Terrorism is a fact of life and potential travelers need to come to terms with how it will influence their travel plans.  In our article, we provide some thoughts on terrorism and the other dangers in life.  We conclude that you should continue to travel but recommend that you read our article and decide for yourself.


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Travel Advice -  Some thoughts on terrorism and travel                                          

From a practical standpoint, we live in a world where terrorism, while not common, is a constant threat. September 11, 2001, bombings in Turkey in 2003, Spain in 2004 and England in 2005 suggest that no country is  immune from the dangers of terrorism. Airport and port security stand as stark reminders that we continue to face terrorist threats. So, should the reality of terrorism influence our travel plans?

At ThereArePlaces, our answer is a resounding “No”. While we are not especially brave, we consider the threat and base our desire to travel on our estimate of its severity and likelihood. We do not disparage those who decide not to travel, as we believe all potential travelers should consider the personal benefits of travel when considering their response to terrorist threats.

Terrorism is a historical fact, not a modern invention. What changes in terrorism are the players, not the threats, and not the occasional acts of violence.

We live in a dangerous world but we need to place the threat of terrorism into context. According to the National Safety Council of the United States ( ), in the year 2000 there were

  • 97,900 deaths in the U.S. due to unintentional (accidental) injury.
    • Included in this number were 46,749 deaths due to transportation accidents,
    • 13,322 death from falls,
    • 12,757 deaths by accidental poisoning and exposure to noxious substances,
    • 3,482 deaths resulting from accidental drowning.


  • During 2001, the global, total for deaths resulting from terrorist attack was reckoned to approximate 5,000. In most years, the  average number of deaths due to terrorism is substantially below 2,000.

Many things in life are based on calculations. The amount that you pay for life insurance is based on tables of life expectancy. The cost of your medical insurance is based on calculations on the likely cost of services provided to the member base. Cars are equipped with safety devices when the benefits of doing so exceed the automobile manufacturers cost of installing the devices. Even safety modifications on airplanes are considered or rejected based on the time value of money, a calculation that assess cost across time with damages that might have to be paid out if an accident results from the lack of the device.


Maybe you should think about a “travel Safety calculation”?

Vacations  taken outside of the US are relatively rare. We think that this is a sad fact of life and one that we are working to change, but it is a fact.

  • Imagine that your potential for taking international vacations is represented by golf balls in a bottle. For most of us, there would be 50 golf balls in the bottle (one for each year starting at 25 and ending at 75 (based on the U.S. average life expectancy of 77.5 years).
  • Take one ball out for each year between your age and 25.
    • How many balls are left?
  • Now,  consider that most vacationers travel internationally infrequently, rather than every year.
  • We think that you might conclude that there are not that many opportunities for international travel.
  • We suggest you get on with it, time is wasting.

Whether you should decide to defer travel because of terrorism is an individual decision and should not be based on the  advice of a travel writer.  We suggest that you should consider the benefits of travel and weigh them against the potential threat of terrorism.

Life is full of threats and we make our way each day by deciding how to create an environment that provides us as much safety as possible while we pursue our existence. Travel is no different. Think about the threat of terrorism, consider how you would adjust your travel to compensate, and get on with enjoying your life.

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