U.S. issues Travel Alert for all of Europe

AP File Photo

The U.S. Department of State issued a Travel Alert for all of Europe following the March 22nd attacks in Brussels claimed by ISIS.

The Dept. of State says terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation. The Travel Alert expires on June 20, 2016.

They recommend avoiding crowded places, and being cautious while in public or when using mass transportation. It also wants Americans to be careful during religious holidays and at large gatherings and events.

But AAA reports many Americans are not cancelling their plans.

Here are some tips from AAA when traveling:

1. Know Your Destination. Visit the State Department website for a Consular Info Sheet which advises travelers on safety and security measures for the country visited as well as warnings and advice.
2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings. Pay attention to local news, never leave bags unattended, and if something feels suspicious, follow gut instincts to leave an area or contact local authorities.
3. Enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By enrolling, you make it easier for the embassy or nearest consulate to contact you in case of emergency.
4. Buy Travel Insurance. In addition, to covering missed connections and lost luggage, most travel insurance companies will cover travelers’ transportation to or from areas impacted by terrorist/emergency situations. It also provides 24/7 emergency assistance. Most travel insurance providers, such as “Allianz”, allow customers to cancel their trip if an act of terrorism has occurred at the destination within 30 days of their scheduled arrival date if the policy was purchased before the incident. Customers may then receive payment for their non-refundable trip costs.
5. Make Copies of All Documents. It’s advised travelers make extra copies of their passports, itineraries, emergency contact info, etc. and leave them with friends or family in the states. Also keep copies with you on a flash drive in case originals are lost.
6. Allow for Longer Delays in Transit. Airports, train stations and metro stations may have tightened security.

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