Bombings...again!

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Apr 30th, 2005, 12:11 PM
  #1
farflung
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Bombings...again!

We've put half down for our (2 adults, 2 kids) early June trip to Egypt. Now after three bombings within a month, I'm getting cold feet. Does anyone have any comments? Should we just cut our losses and abort? Are we crazy to still consider going?
 
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Apr 30th, 2005, 01:00 PM
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No, you are not crazy -- just temporarily rattled.

See our post on the other report re bombings in Cairo. Never felt safer abroad. Would go back any time you wish to pick up the tab. It's a wonderful country, a great city, and the people are simply marvelous.
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Apr 30th, 2005, 01:36 PM
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I agree with USNR. I have friends living in Cairo and if I hear anything from them (pro or con), I'll post it. You are facing a lot of dangers in the US you never think about. Because these things are played up in the press, they are magnified. If we published every mugging or homicide in Chicago like that, the streets would be empty. Best advice is to stay calm, read the reports and use common sense. Egypt is a wonderful country, and a visit there is a trip you will remember all your life.
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Apr 30th, 2005, 01:59 PM
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Pick a major US city and read the crime log - I bet more people are killed in any of them than have been killed in Cairo during the same time period.

You are not crazy to go - but your friends and family will tell you that you are.
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May 1st, 2005, 12:31 AM
  #5
farflung
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Thanks for your comments. I came across the thread from Spygirl who seems confident about her information. Since I don't have to pay the balance until we actually get to Egypt, I might just sit and wait and see what happens over the next month...
 
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May 1st, 2005, 08:52 AM
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Dear farflung: We are also planning to visit Egypt this year. I don't know if you have purchased trip insurance with terrorism coverage, but this is somthing you might want to look into. It will allow you a full refund (beforehand) and immediate return home if your trip has to be interrupted due to terrorist activity. This might give you additional peace of mind. We took the policy offered by our tour company, but you can do a search via insuremytrip, which will compare policies and coverage.
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May 2nd, 2005, 08:43 AM
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That is a very good point, our insurance covers a full refund if there is a terrorist attack within 30 days of your trip departure. I got the policy by comparing several on insuremytrip.com
This gives us the added peace of mind. But pending something really serious.. **knock on wood.. we still plan on going in September.
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May 2nd, 2005, 10:59 AM
  #8
farflung
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Thanks for tips on insurance - I hadn't thought of checking my policy. Unfortunately, the policy I have specifically states it does not cover terrorist acts. I'll look into possibly getting another just for this trip if it's not too late...
 
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May 2nd, 2005, 11:29 AM
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Hello

I agree with all. Yes you might face a lot of dangers in anywhere, and if you got worried you will not travel anywhere as this happen now in each place in the world, make sure about your travel insurance this is really the good point

Egypt is a great place to visit

Pamela
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May 2nd, 2005, 11:52 AM
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farflung- I think I'm one of the few people on the board who doesn't think you're crazy for cutting your losses and aborting your trip (I'm not saying you should do that, only that it makes sense to question the situation). I'm taking my son (will be 10 when we go) on safari next year. Yes, I realize there are dangers, but believe it to be a relatively safe trip.

Egypt is iffy in my opinion. Some have argued that it is more dangerous in many US cities or driving in a car. However, not all violence and crimes are the same. I live in Washington, DC. Believe me, we have PLENTY of crime, but I avoid bad areas, and try to excercise as much caution as possible in parking garages, etc. We're not talking about normal crime in Egypt, we're talking about violence aimed at tourists. It's not like you're going to go on a trip and avoid the big tourist sights. Of course, the odds are you won't get hurt, but when you're travelling with kids, do you really want to take the risk? Only you can make that decision for you and your family. Good luck in your decision!
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May 2nd, 2005, 12:02 PM
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No one ever said it wasn't, Pamela, but you have to make travel plans to exotic places with a healthy measure of common sense (well, one hopes!) and above all, knowledge of current events in the area in question, which clearly does NOT mean ignoring the reality of the situation.

And the reality of the situation right now in Cairo is that it is risky for tourists, tourists' ability to move about will be severely curtailed, with many more police and security services in tow than ever before. You have to weigh whether this is in fact the kind of travel experience you want at the moment- personally, it most assuredly would not be for me, but each traveler must make his/her own decision in this regard.

And no, you're quite wrong on the "this can happen anywhere" scenario. These repeated (emphasize repeated) attacks against tourists and tourist centers simply are NOT happening everywhere, only in a few places.

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May 2nd, 2005, 02:32 PM
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I missed being blown up at the Egyptian museum several years ago by a week. I missed being shot at Hatchepsut's temple in Luxor by two days. I've ridden through the heart of Islamic militant country to visit Dandara and Abydos and nothing has ever happened to me.

Sure there have been terrorist attacks aimed at tourists, who else do they aim them at? It is sad that a few people have died; however, the few who have died represent the tiniest fraction a one percent of all the tourists visiting Egypt.

There is always a risk wherever you go. I've been in London when the IRA was bombing tube stations. I've been in Paris when militants were bombing the RER. If you want to be completely safe, buy a used missile silo and move in; make sure it still has the bomb proof concrete lid.

Seriously, nobody knows if there are extraordinary risks right now. Keep yourself informed of what is going on and then make a decision that you are comfortable with. Nothing anybody here, including me, says makes any difference. You need to be comfortable with whatever risk there may be. If you go, you'll have a great time; the odds against anything bad happening to you other than upset stomach or paying too much for souveniers is so small as to be insignificant.
 
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May 3rd, 2005, 12:35 AM
  #13
farflung
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At what point does a country get a travel warning posted on the Dept. of states' website? How many people have to get injured or killed before a country makes the list? As of today, Egypt is not listed on the travel warnings website (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...w/tw_1764.html). I'm sure it's the kiss of death for a country's travel industry to be on that list so there's probably a lot of politics on who gets listed.
 
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May 3rd, 2005, 03:14 AM
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No answer to what criteria must be met to get posated on Dept. of State list, but some insurance policies cover only if country to which you are travelling or passing thru is on that list (again, check your policy). Ours had that restriction - said nothing about "terrorist activity" - wonder how they would determine if something was terrorist or just an explosion - realizing that no matter what the cause, if could harm you.

May I ammend my prior comments about whether or not to travel to Egypt. We all have different levels of tolerance for any number of things when we travel. They are just different - not right or wrong. So if you would spend your whole trip worrying excessively about terrorism, flying, crime, the water, losing luggage - or whatever your own personal anxiety trigger point may be - then you probably would not have a good time and would need to revise your plans.

I will feel forever blessed that we had the opportunity to visit Egypt 5 1/2 months before 9/11.
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May 3rd, 2005, 04:46 AM
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I am curious, was there any such warning about travel to Spain after the Madrid incident?
Also is Israel on that list or was it ever on that list?
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May 3rd, 2005, 04:54 AM
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JamesA -

It's called politics. Or else CYA!
 
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May 3rd, 2005, 06:35 AM
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Ah!
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May 3rd, 2005, 02:51 PM
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rfb
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James,
If there is ANY credible threat in a country the state department issues a travel advisory - unless there is a good reason not to ... See Sandi's answer.

Egypt used to be on the list but isn't anymore. I went when it was on the list and was totally safe; I went when it was off the list and was totally safe. Frankly, I could care less what the state department says, unbiased news reports are what matters. Unfortunately, you don't find many of those here. BBC World News is not bad as an alternative to the bias you find in the US.
 
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May 3rd, 2005, 03:34 PM
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I just remembered something.. when I lived in San Pedro ('91-'92).. there was a gang of youth's targeting tourists, they gunned down several at a popular seaside village and some poor German couple in front of an ATM machine. I don't remember the state department issuing a warning not to visit San Pedro CA...
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May 3rd, 2005, 04:53 PM
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The State Dept. has issued a Public Announcement on travel to Egypt as of today, May 3d, effective through August 2005. The wording of the Announcement warns Americans to stay away from crowds or places where there are crowds (like Khan al-Khalili bazaar). Egypt is a close ally of the US, and a staunch foe of terrorism, it is unlikely State will issue a Travel Warning at this point, because too many USG personnel need to conduct official business in that country, and when a Travel Warning is issued, no USG personnel are permitted to travel there except under very special circumstances. That is not to say, however, that a TW will never be issued, it depends on what happens in the next few months. The PA is here:

travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_egypt.html

And rfb-sorry, but I don't think you're any expert on the production and dissemination of Travel Warnings. I might add, if a Travel Warning was only a "CYA" move, as Sandi suggests, and you agree, then why aren't all the countries in the Middle East and particularly some of those in Southeast Asia, such as Laos, under a Travel Warning? The reasons are many, but it is centered on extent of the threat to citizens of this country. The Public Announcement today all but says that people should rethink their travel plans, because if you can't get out as a tourist and enjoy your trip, if you are to avoid public places such as the Bazaar, then what's the point of spending all that money when you're going to have your movements limited and feel under siege with the presence of an extraordinary phalanx of Egyptian security whereever you go? And I guezz it puzzles me no end: is there some problem in waiting it out? I guess I don't comprehend the overly-defiant attitude about waiting until the situation has stabilized to make travel plans to this region. It might well save your life, bbecause Egypt simply is NOT safe rright now, period, end of story.
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