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All of us want to travel as safely as possible. Here are some tips:

Consider State Department travel advisories…but don’t trust them blindly
While I travel right through many advisories which can seem politically motivated, other warnings for example, about civil unrest in a country that’s falling apart are grounds to cancel a trip.

Be patient. Be thankful for security measures that may delay you. Call airports to confirm flight schedules before heading out. Allow plenty of time to catch your flight.

Pack lighter than ever to minimize airport frustrations. New conditions at airports favor carry-on–size luggage. The basic limits have not changed (one 9″ x 22″ x 14″ bag plus a day bag). But, those checking bags will incur longer waits and less flexibility. Travelers with carry-on bags do better in the scramble to get through the flight-schedule shuffling that follows any major disaster or scare.

Avoid being a target by melting into Europe. Fancy luggage and jewelry impresses only thieves and gives you a needlessly high profile. Travel and look like a local. This is smart travel anytime. Likely targets are icons of American culture — towering American corporations, fancy high-profile American tour groups, military and diplomatic locations, and luxury hotels. Stay in local-style places. Terrorists don’t bomb Pedro’s Pension. That’s where they sleep.

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