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Trip report: Travel despite US Travel Alert
Old 12-02-2015, 04:55 AM   #1
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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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Old 12-02-2015, 05:08 AM   #2
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Glad you gals had a great time. I'm flying into Rome 4/24 and getting on a cruise thru the Greek Isles with one stop in Turkey. I'm sure our cruise line would make some itinerary changes if things get too hot politically between now and then.

I agree to being a little more security conscious and to stay away from high profile crowded places. We retirees just have a few travel years' travel left in us, and the future's unknown given health challenges, etc. There are still a few places we've missed in the last 45 years' of travel.

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Old 12-02-2015, 05:43 AM   #3
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I guess you just have to play the odds and think about the billions of people who never experience terrorism. Sure, it could happen, but not likely enough to warrant a significant change in my behavior.
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:14 PM   #4
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Sounds like a wonderful trip!
Don't let fears ground you, that's the right attitude! I'm so glad we've been some of the places we have, despite worries about dangers. They are never as bad as we think, usually.
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by msbearkeley View Post
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.
My son just got back from a week in Istanbul on business. Flew Turkish Airlines both ways, non-stop from OHare going and via NY Kennedy on the return.

I'm delighted he's back to terra firma with no issues! Kinda worried me.
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:57 PM   #6
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That's the way to go!

Our friends visited Paris a week after the attacks there. They enjoyed themselves and felt that the Parisians were happy that they stuck to their plans.

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