Paris, Brussels, and Turkey: Is it Safe to Travel With Kids?


The reality is that much like other popular tourist locations in recent months, terrorism has struck those hoping to travel to one of the greatest cities in the Europe. My family has been planning and discussing a future trip to Turkey recently so yesterday’s event hit close to home.

I often see people saying that the best way to combat terrorism is to not give in to fear and travel as you would regardless. This is a philosophy that is more difficult to espouse when you are traveling with young children. Traveling with children limits your ability to react in dangerous situations and it also raises philosophical questions as to the right of parents to expose their children to regions where increased risks of terrorism exist. This is a question to which I can provide my personal insight, but which all must answer independently.

Will I continue to travel with my kids, including to Turkey in the future?

I am writing a travel blog so you can probably guess the answer. It is not as a political act and it is not because I throw caution to the wind and let my life be run by passion, it is actually the opposite. Logic and perspective.

Hypothetically, if you woke up on the day you are reading this with a trip planned, you would be more likely to die in a car accident on the way to the airport than in a terrorist attack. You would also be statistically more likely to die in a household accident involving your furniture, in a house fire, by a dog attacking you while loading luggage in the car, or by drowning in the bathtub while bathing that morning. If your trip happens to be to Yellowstone Park in Wyoming USA, you are also about as likely to die from a bear attack than in a terrorist attack en route.

I don’t wish to minimize the horrendous loss of life that occurs in terrorist attacks, nor do I wish to examine the root causes and effects of terrorism, simply to offer some perspective for travellers. Terrorist attacks like the one that occurred at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul yesterday catch headlines because of the magnitude of the incident but the odds of being involved in a terrorist attack are minuscule compared to the risks each of us take everyday to which we don’t give a second thought.

I suppose you could say I will not let fear win, but as of writing this, the reality is that I am no more frightened of a terrorist attack than I am of dying in a car accident. I take reasonable precautions, such as wearing a seatbelt, however, like driving, I will not be giving up traveling with my kids anytime soon.

Happy and safe travels.

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