Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Anyone worrying about 6/22/01 stated department travel alert? (

Lisa Jul 7th, 2001 10:43 AM

Anyone worrying about 6/22/01 stated department travel alert?
OK--it seems there is always something for a travelling mom to worry about these days! Has anyone cancelled a trip they had planned because of the State Dep't warning for Americans to be on heightened alert until late Sept? A good friend of mine just cancelled her trip --of course she was travelling first class where there is no problem getting a full refund on unused tickets...Our family is heading for Stockholm and London at the end of July and I'm concerned about dressing our two boys (8 and 12) so they are not conspicuously American. Any suggestions? I also will be grateful for all advice that tells me what an idiot I am for focusing on the improbable worries and not the fabulous time we have ahead of us! Thanks...

Kelly Jul 7th, 2001 12:54 PM

It is my opinion that the State Dept warnings are usually way overly cautious. I traveled in Greece a couple years ago while the conflict in Serbia was going on and State Dept warnings issued etc. We had no problems at all, being Americans, and many Greeks went out of their way to help us, all the while knowing we were Americans. Same trip we were in Turkey with warnings issued about the PKK targeting tourist areas in Turkey and again no problems. <BR> <BR>I really wouldn't worry too much about what you are dressing the kids in, everyone will know you're Americans as soon as you open your mouth anyways. I am currently living in Paris and I don't see anything to worry about here. You'll have a great trip!

Deb Jul 7th, 2001 05:44 PM

I just got back from Croatia and saw many families traveling with young children. You will have no problem in places such as london and stockholm.

elvira Jul 7th, 2001 06:04 PM

A State Department travel alert is just that - an alert. It's letting travelers know to be cautious and a little more aware of their surroundings than we are wont to be. As most European kids wear "global" stuff like Nikes and t-shirts with the latest musical group insignia, your kids won't look any different. We traveled during Desert Storm and felt perfectly safe, we just kept our eyes and ears open in case something looked hinky (nothing did). <BR> <BR>Big deep breath, Mom, everything's fine. Your biggest worry will be keeping the kids from saying "eeeyuuu" to new food.

tom Jul 8th, 2001 11:55 AM

It's always good to be on the alert when you are travelling abroad these days. However, I remember travelling in London at the height of the IRA bombings and being freaked by all the banners in the London subway system about what to do if you see a strange object. Many Europeans live with the fear of terrorism everyday; we aren't used to it in this country. However, you've picked two relatively calm areas these days -- London and Stockholm. Was in Stockholm last year and often am in London. As youtravel throughout Europe, you realize that people wear the same clothes (only different sizes and cuts). Some of the more popular stores in those areas are the Gap and Levis etc. So, I wouldn't worry.

Robin Jul 8th, 2001 02:10 PM

The current issue (July/August 2001)of National Geographic Traveller deals with this (although the article has to have been written before the June warning). What they emphasize is that the US State Department tends to use a blanket approach, ruling out whole countries when there might only be a threat in a couple of towns or even neighborhoods. Other countries such as Britain apparently are more explicit about specifically where danger lies. Anyway, you might get some comfort out of the article

me Jul 9th, 2001 12:57 AM

simply be polite to people, and you won´t have problems, wherever you go.

Lisa Jul 10th, 2001 08:53 AM

Thanks to everyone--I really do feel better. Also, read the National Geographic Traveler article--it did help. Off we go...

phil Jul 10th, 2001 09:49 AM

There have been outbreaks of racial violence in the U.K. between Asian and white British youths. However, these have been sporadic and have occurred primarily in industrialized working class areas and not in the tourist parts of London. <BR> <BR>I think your friend is being paranoid. With the U.S. Legal System the way it is, the State Department has no choice but to be cautious and overly conservative on travel warnings. <BR> <BR>Go have fun! <BR> <BR>

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:03 PM.