Kenya travel warning, plus the lowdown on redundancy cover for holidays
Q&A: Travel unravelled
Wednesday 11 January 2012
Q. We have booked to go to Mombasa in July for a week's safari and a week's beach holiday. How concerned should I be at the new security alert? Should I cancel? Marc Grant, Ilford
A. Halfway through last weekend, the Foreign Office took the unusual step of issuing a travel warning to Kenya, saying that terrorists may be in the final stages of planning attacks in the capital, Nairobi: "We strongly advise British nationals to exercise extra vigilance" especially in "places where expatriates and foreign travellers gather, such as hotels, shopping centres and beaches".
Kenya is no stranger to terrorist attacks. In 1998 suicide bombers attacked the US Embassy and more than 200 people died. A decade ago, an attack on an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa killed 13 people, while a simultaneous missile attack on an Israeli charter plane failed.
Holidaymakers are already warned to avoid the coast near the Somalian border after two attacks on tourists last year.
Having said all that, Kenya is a wonderful destination for beaches and wildlife, and I would not hesitate to make the trip. The specific intelligence refers to Nairobi and I imagine you are not planning to go near the capital. Also, since the Foreign Office stops well short of advising against travel, you would lose your deposit – and, if you cancel nearer the time, a bigger proportion of the holiday cost.
Q. I'm thinking of booking a package holiday. Are these "Redundancy Protection" offers worthwhile? Robert James, Northampton
A. That depends. A number of tour operators offer the right to cancel your holiday with a full refund if you get made redundant. In these difficult economic times, that sounds like a valuable benefit. But read the small print: you need to have been in the same full-time job for two years. If, before you booked the trip, your employer had announced that redundancies were on the way, you don't qualify – even if you had no reason to believe your job was to go. And should you be unfortunate enough to get made redundant less than four weeks before departure, there is no right to cancel and get a refund.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 2 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 3 Malnourished two-year-old found being breastfed by dog in Chile
- 5 YouTube video shows woman verbally abusing takeaway staff 'because they used green peppers'
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...
£7500 - £10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness chai...
COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Marketing / Digital Marketing Executive (CRM, Eve...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: The role is likely to be 4on 4 off, days and ...