Trip report: Travel despite US Travel Alert
Just got back last night, safely, from a trip flying out of DC when the Travel Alert was issued to spend 2 days in NYC (Marriott Times Square), then off to Venice, Florence and Rome via Turkey (Turkish Airlines), the day Turkey shot down the Russian jets.
We definitely had concerns and seriously thought about calling off our trip. It was just a girls trip with my mom and a friend, off to the Vatican and an Italy vacation to celebrate mom's upcoming 70th bday. However, we decided that the generic alert issued by State didn't specify our itinerary so we decided to live our lives and enjoy our trip! So glad we did!
We booked with Gate1 Travel. We usually book my own travel but with mom around, thought an escorted trip would be easier - and it was! Highly recommend them for a mid-tier trip if you decide to go with a group. They were very aware of the travel alert and given scheduled entry to most sights, we totally avoided crowds....especially at the Vatican and St Peters. It was low season, but lines for public entry were still very long and really didn't seem to slow down despite recent events. Security was enhanced, causing lines to be slower, but people were all vey understanding and generally cooperative. Definitely saw a lot of armed police and military in key areas as well so we felt very safe.
We continued to be aware of things during our trip but truly glad we chose to live our lives. Seeing Rome and its beautiful structures withstanding brutality and wars for centuries, still standing and uniting people from all over the world, helped put things in perspective.
Be vigilant and live your life! Happy travels!
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