airporttwinsThere are many concerns parents have when planning family travel overseas. The food, the language, the transportation, even the air. But whenever there is a disaster it brings to mind the problem of safety, especially when children are traveling.

“It could have been me” are the words that any world traveler thinks when hearing of a disaster in a foreign country. Probably if that describes you, that was your thought when you heard of the fatal Egyptian air balloon crash. I’ve never been to Egypt, but I have taken a tourist plane around the Himalayas in Nepal. And I’ve heard of plenty of them crashing and killing tourists on board. And it terrifies me.

But do you let this put you off travel? These events give me pause even though rationally I know tragedy can strike anywhere. I don’t stop flying because there are sometimes plane crashes. And I still want to take a cruise despite the recent cruise ship disasters.

Now that I’m a mother I think more about family travel and the dangers. And yes, we’re living in China. Every time there is a high-profile shooting in the US, I hear about how dangerous it is there. I typically point out that even though I have little fear of crime beyond pick-pocketing, I feel in more danger every time I get in a car in China.

But I don’t feel I am putting my children in any more danger than those who continue to send their kids to school after a horrible school shooting like Newtown. You don’t deliberately put yourself or your kids in danger but you can’t live your life in fear either or teach your children to. Tragedy can strike anywhere

Have you ever let a disaster or tragedy or some kind affect how you plan your family travel? Please tell your stories!

Jenny Lin is raising 3 boys in Beijing while working as a writer/editor. You can follow her @twinlins or keep up with her sporadically updated cross-cultural familial adventures at