For the better part of the last 30 years, my  husband has affectionately called me “Safety Sue”.  I’ve worn that moniker proudly. To date, my only child has never had a broken bone, my family has never been in a car accident, my house has never burned down, and …. well, you get the picture. Today, I wear that safety hat as a Travel Agent and I’m proud to do so.

We live in tumultuous times with things such as terrorists attacks, world medical advisories, and global warming.  These things have caused me to think a lot about safety and travel. How can I keep my client’s safe as they travel the world? I find the answer is in the focus of my business … cruises and tours. I believe strongly that in today’s uncertain world, cruises and tours are truly the safest way to travel.


Viking River Cruise & Tour – Bordeaux, France

I cannot guarantee a client’s safety every time he or she goes on a cruise or tour any more than I can guarantee their safety every time they leave their home. Did you know that 37,000 people die in road collisions each year while another 2.35 million are injured or disabled?  In fact, road collisions are the “single greatest annual cause of death of healthy U.S. citizens traveling abroad”. Yet, what we all hear about is terrorist attacks, turbulent airline flights, Zika Virus, Norovirus or extreme rough seas encountered by cruise ships. These are the things that strike fear into us and give us pause before deciding on a trip.   (For more on road safety statistics, go to

The issues we all hear about and worry about are real but, in my opinion, should not stop people from traveling the world.  Why?  Because I  know the companies I recommend to clients.  It isn’t just that I know the company names, I know the company faces.  I’ve met the men and women whose families wait for them to come home each night. Not only those who work on the cruise ships or on the tours but those who are head of the companies and make daily decisions to protect travelers.

You see, I trust them.  I know that they have a vested interest in the safety of those who travel with them, those who work for them and the infrastructure that is their company.  These cruise and tour companies have “boots on the ground” in the locations where they travel.  They know what to do when there is safety or health concern. They are able to adjust a traveler’s trip if that need arises.  No traveler can do that on their own; and while I will attempt to help in any emergencies, I am not nearly as well equipped to handle crisis from Austin, Texas as those who are right there traveling with you or have people on the ground wherever you are traveling.

And yes… cruises and tours are sometimes more expensive.  If you live a premium or luxury lifestyle, they can be quite a bit more expensive than if you traveled independently and just “did your own thing”.  But isn’t it worth a little extra to make sure you come home safely to your loved ones?

Some reading this may just decide not to travel.  I reject that proposition. The world is an amazing place.  I believe it can be experienced through cruises and tours in a safe and secure manner.  I leave in 9 days for a trip to Barcelona, Spain and a cruise on the Rhine River.  I will admit I am a little nervous because of recent terrorist events but I would have been a little nervous getting on a plane or going to New York 15 days after 9/11 also. It is just human nature. However, I know that I am traveling with a tour company, an airline  and a cruise line that has a vested interest in my safety. As of 7:55 a.m. CST on March 24, 2016, there is 7.3 billion people in this world according to  I believe that the majority of those 7.3 billion people are nice people.  It’d like to spend some time getting to know those nice people through travel.  Together, if we don’t live in fear, we can make our world a better place.

Wishing you all happy and safe travels,

Tina Shands