There is political turmoil almost everywhere nowadays — while the Gulf countries currently have Syria on the boil, Pakistan, India and China constantly seem to be skirting around the issue of border incursions. Europe too sees regular ethnic clashes, and they are becoming prevalent in almost every country these days. The causes for such unrest are plenty, and they range from racial wars to unbalanced social hierarchy to demand for freedom, religious extremism and more. On one side, a nation may be welcoming tourists while on the other; it may be fending off a war.
In the midst of it all, the desire to travel to different countries has not waned. The average tourist would still like to visit a country even if there may be some trouble going on there. As a traveler, the onus is on you to check for political unrest before you travel to ensure you do not walk into trouble in a foreign nation.
Here are some things you can do:
Understand basic linguistic patterns of the country: When there are multiple such distinctions, it is often difficult to keep tensions down between different communities. Check local news sources online for any trouble that may be building up to epic proportions and which could spiral out of control when you are there. Put together a news pattern to check for anything that could blow up.
It’s not always about the brochures: While the brochures may sell you a wonderful holiday, they do not tell you the current economic situation of the country or clue you in on the possibility that protests could erupt in a big way. With economies taking a beating currently, follow the news to see if there is a chance of your being caught in the midst of an internal riot or protest. If nothing, it can help you avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Making use of travel advisories: Now this is something that many people are unaware of. These are basically warnings issued by the government to people who plan to visit any country. These alerts can be on bad weather, health based concerns, possibility of war, local violence that can escalate and anything that can pose a danger to citizens. While you may be given this information if you are traveling locally, on the international sector, the onus is on you to find out about the safety of heading to a particular nation.
Travel advisories can warn you of something short term — a natural disaster, a volcano erupting, epidemics and the like. Then there are the ones meant for long term — when a war has been waging on for a while, and it is overall dangerous to head there.
What you can do is check with the local airlines and their web page for updated travel advisories. Local governments will also be able to provide you with updates and changes in situations. This is generally done at the time of booking your tickets. Should the information not be given, you can easily ask for it. Also, check the advisory page to find out if all is well.
If you are headed for troubled areas, then a few things can help you be prepared even before you land there. For starters, travel light. This will help you get through massive security checks if they are suddenly brought into play or if you need to move fast. Find out beforehand what can and cannot get you into trouble in terms of what you carry into a country. Try to be inconspicuous in a nation you know may be on the brink of trouble. It is safer to blend into the crowd than stand out like a sore thumb. Keep an eye on the advisories even after you get there. This can help you get out in time if needed.