Vulture travel is what I like to call “taking advantage of cheap travel deals to regions devastated by natural disasters, uprisings or conflicts.”
There are pros and cons to this type of travel.
- discounted prices on flights and accommodations
- fewer tourists cluttering the view of a photograph
- money is brought into the economy of the destination (and the locals may be especially happy to see you)
- well you could get seriously injured or killed for a start!
- travel insurance probably won’t cover your visit
- embassies are burdened with dealing with travelers who don’t take travel warnings seriously
If you insist on traveling to a ‘volatile’ region here are some things to keep in mind.
- Determine the level of risk involved and decide whether it’s worth it. Government-run travel sites often issue warnings on which countries to avoid. The Canadian site is: www.voyage.gc.ca
- Talk to other travelers who have recently been in the region. Sometimes the news report does not reflect the actual experience of being there.
- Register with your embassy in the destination. If something happens they’ll know you’re there in the midst of it all.
- Volunteer with a recognized organization that will be there for humanitarian aid.
photo: vulture in tree; Gondar, Ethiopia
credit: Kimberley, the Itinerant Introvert