If you're thinking of traveling to Europe this summer, we have good news and bad news for you. The good news is, there are plenty of cheap fares to be found on both foreign and domestic carriers, all looking to outdo each other at every turn.
The bad news is, as Travel + Leisure reports, that yesterday the U.S. State Department issued a travel alert for all of Europe, citing the potential risk of terrorist attacks.
This doesn't mean that you cannot — or should not — hop the pond if you wish. But you should exercise caution, especially while in public places. The alert says U.S. citizens "should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning." The alert expires on September 1, 2017, though it may be updated or extended.
"Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets," according to the State Department. "In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports, and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks. U.S. citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations, in particular during the upcoming summer travel season when large crowds may be common."
The State Department advises to check the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate in the city where you're traveling for more information, as well as to follow the instructions of local authorities and stay updated on the news. It's also a good idea to stay in touch with family and let them know how and where to reach you during an emergency.