Skip to content

Poll question: Would the travel alert for Europe keep you from traveling?

October 7, 2010
tags: ,
by budgettravelsac

With the recent State Department travel alert to Europe, many are wondering what effect this will have on travel to Europe.  Yesterday, I wrote about this (Should you ignore the US State Department travel alert to Europe?) and gathered evidence from local airports, European travel expert Rick Steves, and general information from a Yahoo story which says that most people aren’t affected.

While a travel alert is a warning to be cautious, I want to know what people really think.  I’m not going to get that from reading a story or quoting an expert.  I want to know what real people think.

No matter where you are from, cast your vote about whether this alert would keep you from going to Europe.  With the result of this poll, I will share the final results on the Europe A La Carte blog on Monday (check out my interview with Karen Bryan – founder and editor of Europe A La Carte).

Along with your vote, please add you comments as to why you would or wouldn’t travel to Europe.  You are a vital part of this story.  I don’t want media scare tactics telling people they shouldn’t travel.  I don’t want to think that this doesn’t affect people if it really does.  I don’t want hype to distort reality.  Your vote in this poll matters.

It will tell Americans, Europeans, Canadians, and people all over the world about our attitudes towards travel to Europe.  Do these alerts mean that terrorism wins?  Do we not even care about these travel alerts?  Do we take them seriously and is travel really affected?

Please vote and share your comments below.

Be the first to like this post.
33 Comments leave one →
  1. tnelson11 permalink
    October 7, 2010 4:10 am

    The alert is too vague. Europe is an enormous continent. If they had a travel alert for France or for Paris it would be one thing, but for all of Europe is a little ridiculous in my opinion. Next alert is going to say “people traveling on earth should beware of terrorist threats. Earthlings beware.”

    • October 8, 2010 12:46 am

      Indeed. That’s a lot of common sense. I guess the only thing that I would back them on here is that there has been stated threats. If we look at the world, we can be unsafe at any moment. However, the likelihood of anything happening with this is so low that people need to continue to live their lives.

  2. October 7, 2010 4:14 am

    No, no and definitely no. Half of these travel alerts are so over hyped they verge on the border of being ridiculous.

    Why do authorities keep doing this?

    Is it because the average tourist now wants baby sitting?

    The authorities are probably just covering their own back in case there is a terrorist attack but anyone has just as much chance as being blown up in their own home town.

    • October 8, 2010 12:49 am

      Agreed as far as not letting these threats keep you from living your life. However, the only reason this threat was issued was due to statements from Al Qaeda saying that would attack. Given the failures of 9/11 and what they didn’t do, you can understand being proactive on their part to warn Americans. It’s better safe than sorry. However, I just don’t believe the threats enough to stop living my life.

      I do think some of this stuff is exaggerated by the media into scare tactics. However, people need to make reasonable decisions based on good information to decide what is best. I think most are aware of this and these alerts aren’t stopping too many people.

  3. October 7, 2010 4:16 am

    I already had a trip planned for the end of November and I just booked a trip for New Years the day after the warning came out. I’m not going to live in a bubble. I think there’s just as much chance of another attack on US soil as there currently might be in Europe but you can’t live your life worrying about vague warnings like this that blanket an entire continent. Obviously you should always be smart and use a certain degree of caution when traveling anywhere, but this is probably the least scary travel warring I’ve seen yet.

    • October 8, 2010 12:50 am

      Good points! I hope you enjoy your trips. Your statements sum it up nicely.

  4. October 7, 2010 8:02 am

    I’m not buying into their scare tactics. I’m not sure why they continually try to scare people away from travel. You just need to travel smart and use caution no matter WHERE you travel.

    • October 8, 2010 12:52 am

      Agreed. I think the only thing that has to be done here in the wake of the failures of 9/11 is for the State Department to be proactive and at least warn people (With 9/11, they had warnings but did nothing). I am not even sure how much the State Department believes that these attacks will happen but giving people a heads up and letting them make their own decisions is good.

      I am like you that I believe people will go and travel wisely.

  5. October 7, 2010 8:28 am

    Cool quiz! Honestly, what are travelers supposed to do when this warning is so vague?

  6. October 7, 2010 11:42 am

    Travel Warning for Dumb People:
    Idiots stay in your cozy home and turn on the news (plenty of frightening things to entertain you there). Sane normal people, please travel.

    The world can be dangerous. England and Spain have both been dealing with their respective violent groups for years. Add Greek riots and the crowds at Octoberfest.. woo boy look at the chaos.
    Blech. Travel where you want to.

    • October 8, 2010 1:12 am

      I am not sure what you are trying to say there Andrew! :)

      I think your comments are the point of this poll. So much of these warnings and the media can scare people. That is why I really want to find out if this does scare people. So far, it seems that people still want to travel and that’s a good thing.

      • October 8, 2010 1:17 am

        Meh, I’m just being sarcastic. Things are dangerous, but so is driving on the highway. Europe has had local terrorist groups for many years; why is it a big deal now?

        I see the travel warnings as less than helpful. They sound more like a CYA move. You mention that in 9/11, they did nothing on the warnings. Well now they have warned us, so it’s not their fault anymore. We told you. Bah.. I do agree it is better to have openness, but when is the openness a different kind of obscuring things?? Dunno actually.

      • October 8, 2010 1:27 am

        Trust me. I understand the sarcasm :)

        As far as the warnings, it’s really a catch 22. If something happens and they don’t warn people, everyone complains about the government not doing their job. If they warn us and nothing happens, then it is the government and media trying to scare people. I think the alert was stated in the right way saying to be cautious and that this doesn’t mean you can’t travel.

        I think being cautious and aware any time you travel is good. I think my perspective is much different now that I have kids. I do give a little more consideration to travel and safety than I would when I was on my own. However, it’s good to know how other people feel in light on the alerts and the media.

  7. October 7, 2010 12:19 pm

    If I didn’t travel to places there was a travel warning I wouldn’t be in Colombia and would have to skip most of Latin America. Sure I’m not headed to Iraq anytime soon but we need to have some common sense here.

    • October 8, 2010 1:16 am

      I think most places pose a danger in some way. However, started warnings of a possible attack and the government has to do their part to warn people (unlike 9/11). I think this poll is very important to distinguish between what people really feel about traveling and what the government and media want to portray about traveling.

      You are correct. We can’t live in here. Just be wise in our travels.

  8. October 7, 2010 12:29 pm

    No, it wouldn’t keep me home. But it might make me think twice before sending my kids there for an exchange program. Nah. Probably wouldn’t do that either. I suspect they’re in just as much risk in Chicago as they would be in London.

    • October 8, 2010 1:21 am

      Cindy, I agree it is a different perspective when you are traveling with those you have to take care of. While I may not think twice about it if it is just me, I would give it a little more consideration if I am traveling with my wife and kids.

      There is risk everywhere but a statement saying a group is planning an attack is another thing. Again, I am not sure it would make me stay home but that is why I really want to gather people’s thoughts on traveling to know how people really feel.

  9. October 7, 2010 2:43 pm

    I just put up a post about this subject today. No travel plans changing here and I’m leaving in about 3 weeks!

    • October 8, 2010 1:23 am

      Good luck with your travels! I am sure many people are thinking about this right now and that’s why I want to know what people think! :)

  10. October 8, 2010 4:38 am

    Nope, I live in Europe am heading to Slovenia next week and would be happy going just about anywhere. Of course I have a higher tolerance for “unsafe” areas but this warning has no specifics to change any of my habits.

    • October 8, 2010 2:50 pm

      Todd, I agree. In Europe, you have had to deal with terrorists for years – much more than here in the US. That’s a recent thing for us. I think the attitude there is different. However, it seems many Americans are still willing to travel there as well.

      Have fun in Slovenia! I loved that country! Ljubljana is an underrated capital city and Lake Bled may be one of the most beautiful places in Europe.

  11. October 8, 2010 5:44 pm

    I’m living in the UK, tbh there’s not much going on. If an attack was imminent the alert height would be maxed out. An attack is only expected, it’s been this way since I started my career break over a year ago. If anything we are currently better off as there are now some known specifics and a higher state of public vigilence.

    • October 9, 2010 12:30 am

      It’s sad this is the world we live in now. While the UK may be prepared for this, I think the alert was to bring attentions to Americans who may be traveling who may not pay attention to this stuff at all. I think this is nothing more than a warning to be cautious. I think it is something we are getting used to in this world, regardless of where we live.

  12. October 9, 2010 12:16 am

    I’m really disconcerted by how these kind of information and related warnings are exploited.

    The media are playing a crucial role in spreading out similar news and feeding or generating fears without foundation. If you look at the statistics, there are far more chances to be the victim of a car accident or of ‘common’ criminality than blowing up due to a terrorist attack.

    There are many reasons behind scaremongering.

    From the media point of view, a bad news is much better than good news. It catches much more attention, which means more readers/viewers and higher advertising revenues. More in general, generating fear of the fat chance of terrorist attacks is an excellent way to divert attention from the real issues. Last but not least, overdrawing vague terrorist menaces is doing exactly what terrorism is about and one of its main objective: spreading the fear.

    • October 9, 2010 12:28 am

      Simon, the media which promotes this fear is the reason I did this poll. I want to see what real people, those who travel and make vacation plans think of this. I don’t want to read media reports about scare tactics. I don’t believe there is misinformation being spread. However, the more this is out there, the more fear there is. It’s why I wrote the things I did this week.

      I didn’t write about the alert. I wrote about whether people should follow the alert. And I gave evidence to many people who aren’t going to stop traveling because of this. But I really wanted to know what travelers, the community we have, thinks. I think that is the biggest voice.

      On the flip side, I mentioned this earlier about the government. It’s a catch 22 for them. During 9/11, they had evidence that their could be attacks and not even a warning was given. Afterwards, they received a lot of criticism for that. Now, they are putting out information about possible terrorist attacks that could happen as mentioned by Al Qaeda.

      I think with the mistakes that were made with 9/11, they feel they couldn’t sit on this information. They’ve done the “right thing” by not repeating mistakes from 9/11 and they stated this is an alert and not a restriction on people traveling to Europe. If nothing happens, then they could be blamed for hyping this and blowing it out of proportion. What are they supposed to do?

      Now I agree the likelihood that anybody would die of an attack is rare. However, this is why I did this poll. What do people who actually travel think of the alert and what effect does it have on their plans? Forget the government and the media. I want to know what people think.

      The media will make this a much bigger deal and it will get headlines. But I want to hear the voice of people. Yes, my efforts to get a reaction on this are small. However, there is media and there is truth. Sometimes they may be the same and sometimes not. Regardless, I find it hard to blame the government for the warning as they are in a no win situation.

  13. October 10, 2010 12:12 pm

    thanks for the poll and the chance to gab on about an inane travel warning…. I don’t know about y’all, but I am done being bullied into cowardice by my Gov.

  14. October 10, 2010 10:02 pm

    Ack! I dunno what to do! I am supposed to spend 20 days visiting Friends in Holland and England at the end of NOV…

    • October 11, 2010 2:56 pm

      I would still go if it were me. I think things will be ok. Where will you be traveling?

  15. asalvesen permalink
    October 19, 2010 11:41 pm

    I would definitely still go. The truth is, anywhere you travel is potentially dangerous. And I picture the US State Department getting this constant stream of information indicating that there might be trouble in countless cities and countries (let alone continents).


  1. Poll question: Would the travel alert for Europe keep you from …
  2. Travel photos of the week: Kauai « Budget Travel Intentions
  3. Despite the travel alert, Americans still willing to travel to Europe
  4. Britains Hotels » Blog Archive » Despite the travel alert, Americans still willing to travel to Europe

Leave a Reply to Todd | Todd'sWanderings Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <pre> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Contact Me!
    If you have comments, suggestions, or questions, I would love to hear from you. So email me at
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Travel blogs and writers

  • This is my happiness - Jenna Francisco
  • Mexico Unmasked - Mark Guerra
  • No Onions Extra Pickles - Ashley Harrop
  • Velvet Escape - Keith Jenkins
  • Traveldudes - Melvin Boecher
  • Sharing Travel Experiences - Andy Hayes
  • LeslieTravel - Leslie Koch
  • Runaway Juno - Jiyeon Juno Kim
  • Grounded Traveler - Andrew Couch
  • foXnoMad - Anil Polat
  • Cumi & Ciki
  • 501 Places - Andy Jarosz
  • yTravel Blog - Caz and Craig Makepeace
  • Todd's Wanderings - Todd Wassel
  • Visits

  • free counters