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Still a good time to travel to Europe despite concerns

During these troubled times of terrorist attacks and the recent events in San Bernardino, people are worried about their security. Most people are staying home from tourist destinations like Paris, France or not traveling abroad at all.

As world traveler, Pahrump resident Regina Joerger believes the opposite and thinks it’s safe enough for Americans to travel abroad.

Despite the fact that Time magazine reported in November after the Paris attacks that, “luxury hotel bookings are down 50 percent, and overall hotel bookings are down 30 percent, according to Charlotte Lumoniet, a spokeswoman for France’s main hotel union, UNIH.”

Joerger and her husband Val would go back to Paris tomorrow if she could afford it.

The two just returned from France two weeks before the attack in Paris and have been to 20 countries in the past three years and have some great tips for Americans traveling abroad. Her first tip is Americans need to keep traveling.

“We can’t stop traveling because of terrorism or the terrorists have won,” she said.

The couple even visited Israel last year despite the rocketing of Israel by Hamas.

“I feel safer more in Europe than I do at home and my husband and I felt even safer in the Holy Land,” Joerger said. “I think rates are also coming down and it’s cheaper to go to Europe now. I think people in the United States should not fear the terrorism for that’s what the terrorists want.”

She said Americans can’t live in fear and says the best way to travel in Europe, or anyplace abroad for that matter, is with a tour group.

“We prefer tour groups because you are touring with a competent bus driver and tour guide,” she said. “You are safe and secure and in the hands of a qualified tour guide who knows the area. In addition, the buses are clean and comfortable with large windows for picture taking. These tours know where to take you and go to the best places for sightseeing.”

Joerger said crossing borders can be a pain when you are on your own.

“The best thing about being with a tour is you go through the border safely and with no problems,” she said.

In addition to being safe and having a guide, the tour groups will also pick good eateries.

“They will also take you to eateries where the food is good and one shouldn’t get sick,” Joerger said.

The world traveler said prior to taking any trip research is paramount.

“Research, either by asking friends who have traveled to the destination or through the Internet,” Joerger said. “Find out about the weather (when is the rainy and cold season) and the type of clothing to bring, luggage fees, what meals are included and check if they offer senior discounts.”

Also she says people should be aware of insurance for cancellation refunds and insurance if you get sick overseas.

Another good tip is do all the currency exchanges in the United States.

“Usually you get a better rate with currency here than you will in the country you are visiting,” she said.

Contact reporter Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com




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