What the Paris Attacks Mean for International Travel

Three conclusions are apparent for anyone thinking about an international trip.

By committing the Paris massacre and, according to reports, also bringing down Metrojet flight 9268 over Egypt, ISIS terrorists have extended the Middle East battlefield to both Western and Eastern Europe.

Given that the several underlying Middle East conflicts are a long way from settled, it seems likely that we’ll see more of the same, not less, in the next year or two.

We’ll know a lot more in the next few days, but for now, three conclusions are apparent for anyone thinking about an international trip:

  • Expect increased airport security and renewed screening at the normally open national borders within the 26-country Schengen area in Europe and at other borders, generally.
  • Avoid as many nonrefundable prepayments and deposits as you can. That way, if future terrorism events make you uneasy about any trip, you can cancel without taking a financial hit. If you can’t avoid big prepayments or deposits, buy “cancel for any reason” travel insurance so you—not an insurance company—can make the decision about whether to go.
  • If European tourism takes a hit, you may find good short-term airfare and hotel promotions. And while it may seem distasteful to discuss “deals” in light of recent events, consider that what we get from travel—with its ability to enlighten us and open our hearts to other cultures—is anathema to the idolatry of hate preached by ISIS and its supporters.

By Ed Perkins

A nationally recognized reporter, writer, and consumer advocate, Ed Perkins focuses on how travelers can find the best deals and avoid scams.

He is the author of "Online Travel" (2000) and "Business Travel: When It's Your Money" (2004), the first step-by-step guide specifically written for small business and self-employed professional travelers. He was also the co-author of the annual "Best Travel Deals" series from Consumers Union.

Perkins' advice for business travelers is featured on, a website devoted to helping small business and self-employed professional travelers find the best value for their travel dollars.

Perkins was founding editor of Consumer Reports Travel Letter, one of the country's most influential travel publications, from which he retired in 1998. He has also written for Business Traveller magazine (London).

Perkins' travel expertise has led to frequent television appearances, including ABC's "Good Morning America" and "This Week with David Brinkley," "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," CNN, and numerous local TV and radio stations.

Before editing Consumer Reports Travel Letter, Perkins spent 25 years in travel research and consulting with assignments ranging from national tourism development strategies to the design of computer-based tourism models.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Perkins lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife.