Local travel agent discusses safety concerns among travelers

Recent controversy in vacation destinations causes local travelers to be cautious before they go

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Planning a vacation is always an exciting endeavor, but with recent stories of travelers falling ill or being shot at like baseball great David Ortiz, some might be reconsidering their trips.

Sierra Higgins said her family has had a trip planned to the Dominican Republic for months, but now, knowing this destination has been one of the places involved, she’s looking at the trip through a different lens.

"We're not from there we don't know what really is going on, we don't know the stories,” Higgins said. “So when you're booking a trip so far in advance, like we did, you don't think these things are going to happen a month before you leave."

Tina Higgins is Sierra’s aunt, and also happens to be the travel agent for their family trip. She says the concerns she has heard from some of her clients are understandable. Higgins insists it is safe.

Higgins said there are four levels of travel advisories that the state department issues. Level one being normal, level two is use enhanced caution, level 3 is reconsider travel, and level 4 is don’t go at all.

"The Dominican has been and still is at a level two,” Higgins said. “Other countries that are at that same level are the United Kingdom, Mexico, Jamaica, we travel to those. But you have to be smart and know where you are."

Sierra says she believes fear should never stop someone from enjoying life.

“Even though things are happening all over the world, it should not stop you from traveling, it should not stop you from seeing the world,” Higgins said. “Still enjoy your trip and vacation, and hopefully pray for the best.”

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