Knoxville, TN – AAA offers its deepest sympathies to those affected by the terrorist attacks in Brussels. A ‘Travel Alert’ is currently in effect for all of Europe, outlining the potential risks; however, the State Department has not gone so far as to urge travelers to cancel vacations by issuing a ‘Travel Warning’.
“AAA travel agents have received numerous calls from concerned travelers, but very few have cancelled their vacations to Europe,” said Don Lindsey, Public Affairs Director, AAA Tennessee. “While AAA urges all travelers to stay informed and increase their awareness when traveling abroad, the decision to vacation in Europe is a very personal decision that is solely up to the individual traveler.”
Travel Alert vs. Travel Warning:
- Alert: Short-term event travelers should know about when planning to visit a country.
- Warning: Issued when travelers should carefully consider whether they should visit a country at all.
AAA Tips for Traveling to Europe:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Allow for Longer Delays in Transit. Airports, train stations and metro stations may have tightened security.
Travelers with plans to visit Brussels or other European destinations are advised to consult with their travel providers or travel agent for any changes to their vacation plans or requirements. In times of crisis, some airlines, hotels and car rental services may allow travelers to cancel or alter itineraries with no additional fee.
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to over 9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.
ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 56 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.