Our hearts go out to the people of Belgium and all those affected by the recent attacks. These are stark reminders of the importance of standing strong, carrying on, and embracing the people and beauty within our reach. We are still proponents of leisure travel for learning about and engaging with people of other cultures. But taking precautions must be a top priority. There are things you can do before and during a trip abroad, to take care of yourself and those traveling with you, and to keep your friends and family apprised of your whereabouts should a serious incident occur while you are traveling.

Sadly, there are times when tragedy befalls travelers despite the best planning and diligence. If no catastrophes occur – as is still the vast majority of trips – you can focus on enjoying the trip secure in the knowledge that you’re prepared.

Photo: Polo match at the Campo Argentino de Polo in Palermo, courtesy of Tina Montana.