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When travel plans are impacted by terrorist threats

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by heavenlyjane, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. heavenlyjane

    heavenlyjane Level 2 Member

    Oh my. Big sigh.

    We are headed to Paris two weeks from now and will be there before and after this growing hotly contested election. Just a few hours ago, there was a shooting on the Champs Elysees that wounded several police officers and killed one. ISIS is taking responsibility for the attack.

    We will be in the heart of Paris for 5 nights, staying at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome and Intercontinental Le Grand. Both my husband and I are feeling apprehensive and not sure what to do. We have booked walking tours, private museum guides, concerts, plus our precious Hyatt certificates expire a few days after our reservation.

    We fly back to the US on May 10, 3 days after the national election. If the far right party wins the election, there could be riots and maybe even marshal law.

    Am I being overly imaginative? Overly anxious? What would you do if you were in our shoes?
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  2. italdesign

    italdesign Level 2 Member

    I would proceed with caution. Paris has been "unsafe" for a while - a terrorist attack every few months and I don't see that changing. If you were willing to go before, I don't see any new deterrent on that front. The election will likely be OK, just have a backup plan in case there are protests.

    I flew into 2 possible hurricane zones last year. A little rain is all I got. I did monitor updates frequently and had a backup plan (stay indoor on high ground) just in case.
  3. Panache

    Panache Level 2 Member

    It is important to keep in mind the relative risk. You are thousands of times more likely to die in a car wreck on the way to the Hyatt. I'm sure we know dozens of people terrified to set foot on a plane and drive 1000 miles instead, yet we know it is about the safest form of transport.

    We were in Istanbul during the Taksim square riots and visiting the Blue Mosque, etc was all normal.

    Some food for thought: https://qz.com/898207/the-psycholog...gh-guns-are-3210-times-likelier-to-kill-them/
  4. heavenlyjane

    heavenlyjane Level 2 Member

    Thanks for these perspectives. I've been subconsciously uneasy about this Paris trip for a while so it's probably what is making me jumpy now.

    I had a co-worker who ignored the weather forecast and flew with his wife to a romantic getaway in New Orleans a few days before Katrina hit. They ended up stuck in a high-rise hotel in downtown surrounded by deep water for many days afterwards. Our employer finally went in and retrieved him, at no small cost, I am sure. I don't want to be that stupid.

    Our contingency plan is to be watchful and take day trips out of the city, if the touristy areas are tense.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  5. Panache

    Panache Level 2 Member

    Disaster can strike any minute, on the road or away from home. A friend of mine in her mid 30s was killed by someone driving through a red light at 60+ mph a few blocks from work on a fine Sunday afternoon in quaint small-town America.

    Sure, be cautious and vigilant but the sad fact is that nothing is guaranteed so better enjoy every good moment and opportunity!
  6. italdesign

    italdesign Level 2 Member

    It's all about risk calculation. I was too young during Katrina to remember much, but the possible hurricanes I flew into had low chance of impact, so I was OK with the low risk. Had it been a high risk area on the storm path, I would have cancelled it.

    In Paris, you probably have a higher chance of being pickpocketed/robbed than the once-in-a-few-months terrorist activities. The election stuff, just be watchful as you say.
  7. kaipoman

    kaipoman Level 2 Member

    FWIW, I've been to Paris twice in the past 3 months with the wife and 4 year old. With the amount of heavily armed French police keeping watch on every other corner you'll feel secure relatively quickly.
  8. heavenlyjane

    heavenlyjane Level 2 Member

    Marine Le Pen loses - what a relief. Not expecting riots now.
  9. smittytabb

    smittytabb Moderator Staff Member

    I just saw this post and missed the initial one. I was in Paris a few months ago and stayed at the same two hotels you are staying at. While I was there there was an attack at the Louvre. Life went on as normal with kids taking the metro home from school that day. I don't know how well you know the city, but I hope you really enjoy yourself and don't let the worries impact your trip.

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