How to Evaluate Travel Warnings?
Do You Need To Change Your Plans?
Your travel advisory research shows that travel warnings have been issued for your preferred travel destination. How seriously should you take them? Should you change your plans? Go somewhere else?
All travel advisories are issued for a reason so you should always read them carefully. Some warnings are though more serious than others and some will have less relevance for your travel than others will.
Most governments issue international travel advice and warnings for their citizens. Their advice addresses the safety concerns for traveling to particular country or region.
These warnings typically cover the following issues: war or political unrest, risk of terrorism, high crime level, health concerns, and natural disaster.
Five Questions That Help You To Evaluate
The Travel Warnings For Your Destination
Following questions will help you to evaluate the travel alerts that have been issued for your destination. They will help you to make an informed decision about traveling there or not:
- Is The Travel Warning Issued For The Whole Country Or For Certain Regions Only?
Travel warnings, and especially travel alerts, are often issued for certain regions only, for example when natural disasters have happened. Other parts of the country can still be perfectly safe to travel to. You would not need to alter your travel plans unless you were planning to travel to those affected regions.
If the travel cautioning applies for the whole country you might want to reconsider your travel plans or at least be sure that you are comfortable with the answers to the remaining questions.
- What Do Other Foreign Office Travel Advice Websites Say?
Different embassy travel advice bodies can issue different travel advice. One reason could be that they are unduly influenced by politics but it's also possible that different nationalities face different level of risk in some countries. You might need to bear that in mind when viewing other than your government official travel advisory site.
- What Kind Of Warnings Are We Talking About?
Travelling to a country that is at war is never encouraged for the general public - while political unrest in a country does not automatically make the whole country a no go area. In those cases you might want to investigate the situation further before making your final decision about going or not.
When evaluating travel advice related to risk of terrorism or high crime level - then you should concentrate on who are considered to be most at risk. You should be more concerned if foreign tourists seem to be specifically targeted.
Health warnings should always be taken seriously but often necessary precautions or medicines can reduce - or even fully eliminate this risk. Ask your doctor for an advice before making your mind up.
Natural disaster travel advice is often temporary, for example during hurricane seasons. There might be some measures you can take to reduce the risk significantly, but you might want to do some more homework before making your mind up on this one.
- Can You Get Travel Insurance?
The availability and price for travel insurance is a good indicator on how risky your travel destination is considered to be. If you can't find decent travel insurance... then you might seriously want to consider altering your plans.
- What Help Is Available If Any Problems Should Arise?
If you consider the answers to the above questions to be satisfying and still want to go ahead with your travel, then investigate what help is available if any problems should arise. Most important is to check if there is a functioning embassy or consulate in the country you are going to - the key word being functioning.
To find out if travel warnings have been issued for your travel destination see Travel Advisories.