International Travelers Closely Watching Turmoil Overseas - myfoxcarolinas.com

International Travelers Closely Watching Turmoil Overseas

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 The latest unrest in the Middle East and the attack on the Malaysia Airlines flight, Thursday, has international travelers on edge. World Travel Mates, a travel agency in Charlotte, said lately, interest in booking trips has boomed.

"We are busier than we've ever, ever been," explained agent, Candy Geiler. She said after 9/11, the majority of her clients have become numb to the issues abroad and here in the U.S. but of late, "there are levels of fear that change depending on the conditions on the ground and the issues that have happened the last two weeks, I think have brought more attention to it and more fear."

 President of World Travel Mates, Cathy Reavis said she recently returned from Israel and never felt at risk. "There are certain places in Israel that you just know not to go, just like we do right here in Charlotte." However, for those people who would like to change their trips Reavis explained, "for the first time in probably 10 or 15 years a lot of airlines are actually allowing you to change your tickets to Tel Aviv without penalty."

The agency's local client, Dick Osman, said his fall cruise, which stops in Russia, has already canceled plans to visit Ukraine. "Our reaction is that Ukraine is not a smart place to go, and much as I would like to go to the Ukraine, now is not the time to go." Osman has visited more than 60 countries and said he has every intention to continue his travels, "we want to travel. We have limited years left to do that, so we want to continue to see the world."

Osman said his best advice is to avoid large demonstrations where violence can break out and stick with locals when you can, "who know the situation on the ground and who are not going to put themselves in harm's way."

 


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