U.S. travel alert warns Americans in Europe

FRESNO, California

Fresno's Pakisa Tshimika is an American missionary who frequently travels to Congo in Africa. His travels take him through Germany or France or the U.K. on his way to Congo. He just returned from such a trip ... passing through Germany a few weeks ago. He says the travel alert will have no affect on future mission trips. "Yes, I have to be careful ... but at the same time ... careful about what? I'm always careful when I'm traveling ... so what else am I going to change? I really don't see a single thing I can change."

Stephanie Matts of Pro Travel in north Fresno says her clients who have booked trips to Europe still plan to go. "I have some clients that have had some concerns but nobody seems to be overly concerned yet. We're kind of used to this with 9-11 the last ten years."

The state department has issued the following suggestions for travelers headed to Europe under the current alert. First, be aware of your surroundings and any suspicious packages. Second, be cautious about talking about travel plans in public. And third, do not wear conspicuous American dress ... anything with an American flag on it would not be a good idea. Matts says the suggestions are mostly common sense. "Go have fun. Enjoy your vacation ... your sightseeing ... whatever it is you're doing. Just keep your wits about you, pay attention and don't panic."

Matts says with the alert in place ... travelers should make sure they set aside plenty of time to go through security.

Some travel agents suggest that Americans going to Europe register their travel plans with the state department. Go to https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/index.aspx to sign up.

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