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Terrorism and travel: tips on staying safe while abroad

Published: Jun. 6, 2017 at 7:06 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2017 at 6:08 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Summertime is the busiest time of year to travel abroad, but two major terrorist attacks in England in just two weeks may leave some travelers to rethink their plans.

Local travel agent Sarah Hall says AAA as a whole has not seen significant cancellations or postponement of travel plans. In Wilmington, there have been no cancellations.

"People are still traveling which is a great thing for the economy," Hall said.

Hall acknowledged that while traveling abroad during this time is a personal choice, there are plenty of precautions you can take before and during your trip

  • Register with the U.S. Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)This program allows the U.S. Embassy to contact you in case of an emergency while you are abroad. It can also alert you to any travel warnings or precautions. 
  • Check the Department of State's travel warnings and restrictionsThis system allows you to search your travel locations for any possible hazards or threats.
  • Make multiple copies of your passport. Hall suggests keeping a copy of your passport at home with a travel agent or family member and also keeping a paper copy on you at all times while abroad. She also recommends keeping your passport locked and secure in a hotel room whenever possible.
  • Check the validity of your passport. Be sure that your passport is valid past the date of travel plans in case unexpected events cause you to increase your stay.
  • Consider travel insurance. Travel insurance often allows travelers to cancel their trip within 30 days of a terrorist incident. It's also an extra precaution in case you were to get hurt or sick abroad.
  • Be vigilant - especially while visiting popular tourist attractions. Travel experts recommend being aware of your surroundings at all times. 
  • Carry a cellphone. Check with your carrier before going abroad to be sure your plan will work. 
  • Know where to find the U.S. Embassy. It is also helpful to have the contact information of the U.S. Embassy in case of an emergency.

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