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3 safety considerations for winter travel to europe

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September 27, 2022

The orange and yellow hues of Fall have arrived and that means it is time to start thinking about Winter vacation plans. Those devoted to Summers of sun-kissed beaches are missing out on the majesty that is a Europe this time of year. We’re dreaming about holiday markets with friendly faces and warm drinks to be enjoyed while snow lazily tumbles around us. As we consider our plans, we are keeping a watchful eye on the impact that the conflict in Ukraine might have on the broader region. In response to Russian actions, energy sanctions aimed to reduce hostilities pose risks to business and leisure travel safety.

Background

In 2020, Europe imported 54% of its coal, 75% of its crude oil, and 43% of its natural gas from Russia. In 2021, energy imports purchased by Europe made up 45% of Russia’s entire budget. The sanctions passed breakdown the supply and demand relationship between Russia and Europe. The result is potential perfect storm of travel consequences for some areas of the continent. Leisure and business travelers should brace for increased costs, civil unrest, and increased cyber terrorism.

Increased Costs

Leaders across Europe have declared proactive warnings related to voluntary and involuntary cuts in energy use at public buildings with additional advice that costs are set to rise. Travelers should expect increases in costs by up to 20% or more in some locations. Because economic policy and strategies for dealing with the energy crisis vary from country to country, prices across sectors and goods could be affected. To stay ahead of rising prices, consider taking advantage of Europe’s vast and high performing public transit system. You will be able to avoid the expense of gas, time in traffic, and stiff parking fees.

Elevated Civil Unrest

While it might be normal to splurge a little on a vacation, those who are forced live with these increases are taking to the streets to make their voices heard. Across Europe we have observed civil unrest activity grow over the following concerns:

  • Cost of Living
  • Climate and Environment
  • Labor Strikes
  • Russia / Ukraine War
  • COVID-19 Restrictions

As civil unrest emerges, you can count on the OZZI travel safety app for timely and relevant updates on incidents that might impact your security. We don’t want to disturb your travels, so we only send you an alert if we have verified that an event near you has the potential to disrupt your safety.

Cyber-Terrorism

In response to sanctions, cyber-terrorism has been on the rise with most of Europe seeing higher than usual amounts of cyber-attacks coming from Russia. Attacks generally come in retaliation to policy announcements and impact Government services, energy sectors, and healthcare. Denial of service and ransomware attacks can temporarily disrupt travel plans or throw a wrench into your vacation. If the internet or other public utilities face any type of widespread or unauthorized disruption, tune to OZZI for the latest advice and tips to avoid getting caught up in something that might affect your travels.

Conclusion

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine plus the subsequent energy sanctions have created the potential for a difficult winter in Europe. This conflict doesn’t mean that you should cancel your travel plans, it means you should be ready to adapt to changes in circumstances that might affect your travel. Plan ahead if you want to avoid high energy costs, and tune to OZZI for up to the minute information to help you book and explore Europe safely this Winter.

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