Europe

On the whole, European countries are considered very safe for tourists.  

Most of the travel advisories in effect are Level 1 (normal caution) and Level 2 (increased caution) due to theft and threats of terrorism.  

Europe is a hub for worldwide tourists, which means WATCH YOUR MONEY because pick-pockets are looking for it.  Big European tourist destinations, like the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Tower of Pisa, etc. are notorious hot spots for thieves to target and pick-pocket tourists, and man are they GOOD, so good that you won’t even know you’ve been pick-pocketed until it’s too late.  Thieves look for places where a lot of tourists are gathered together or waiting in line because tourists are usually so busy looking at the attraction (or corralling their children) that they aren’t paying attention to their stuff. Always keep your valuables in FRONT of you, especially at tourist destinations.  At the Eiffel Tower, I carried my backpack on my tummy, just like I was babywearing, and this would serve you well, too. Very little theft happens this way, as the criminal will likely move on to an easier target…and believe me, there will be plenty to choose from. For other helpful tips on how to travel safely in Europe, see my Safety Tips page (found here).

Currently many European countries have a Level 2 advisory due to threats of terrorism and increased terrorist activity.  Intelligence suggests that terrorist groups are still continuing to plot possible attacks throughout Europe. These may happen with little or no warning and are usually targeted towards tourist locations, transportation hubs, schools, restaurants, or any other public locations with lots of people.

Terrorism is always a possibility when you travel to Europe, but it’s up to you to decide your comfort level with the actual probability of this happening while you’re there.  Stay up to date with current events and check the current travel advisories and safety recommendations (found here) for your specific destination.

While I can’t guarantee acts of terrorism won’t happen on your trip, I think Europe is still a safe place to visit with your kids.  When any kind of terrorism does happen, it’s of course extremely concerning but sometimes the media sensationalizes things a bit and that perpetuates fear.  

As long as you’ve gathered all the information and are aware of what’s going on out there, I wouldn’t let this threat alone keep you from hopping the pond…unless threats escalate quicker than I’m able to update this.  Then reconsider.