International TravelThings You Should Know


After the evil murders last week in Paris, the thought inevitably occurs to me: At what point would I consider cancelling a trip due to something that has already happened or some concern that it might happen?


Many iconic buildings worldwide paid tribute to Paris with the colors of the French flag.  Click here to see more.


This is especially relevant as this Friday, the hubby and I are on Air France flights stopping in Paris (both directions) en route to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I’m not sure what it is about, but we have had more than our fair share of travel and major catastrophes colliding.
For years we have taken our big trip of the year right after tax season ends on April 15.   Witness what horrific events have all happened in April:  Boston Marathon bombings (4.15.13); Virginia Tech murders (4.16.07); Oklahoma City bombing (4.19.95); Columbine murders (4.20.99).  For that matter, President Lincoln’s assassination and the Titanic sinking both occurred in April, but I’m focusing on more recent events … 



Obviously not in April, but the mother of them all was on 9/11/01, when we were in Washington, D.C. We had just entered the Capitol building for a tour on that splendidly clear Tuesday morning when reports started coming in from NY.  Many of you know the rest of the story: being evacuated, seeing the smoke from the Pentagon, then driving across country to get home (we left Thursday and got home Saturday). Nothing could have gotten me on a plane in the days that followed.  Roughly two months later, I took our then 12-year-old son up to San Francisco for a few days via a short Southwest flight. We were about to depart for home when we heard of a plane crash out of JFK. Even though terrorism was ruled out, I immediately cancelled our return flight, rented a car and drove us home … 
With all the trips, only once did we cancel — to Greece in 2011, but that was because of their chaos and instability.  We went to the UK instead and had a great time.  
So that brings us back to the present.  Air France’s website has daily updates: All flights are status quo except allow more time for security (FINE with me); no closures or cancellations; if you choose to cancel or change your flight within France, there are no change fees.  In answer to the question I posed, it would have to be more than these horrific events.   Were my mother still alive, she would be begging me not to go.  But you know what?  We don’t have a helluva lot of control over our fates, so I’m going to continue checking out the best information available and then go about seeing the world ….