Many South Floridians Still Traveling Despite Global Alert

Many South Floridians said they were going ahead with their travel plans despite a global travel alert issued Friday.

The United States issued a global travel alert Friday, warning Americans flying overseas to be alert to possible plots by Al Qaeda and its allies in the coming weeks.

At Miami International Airport, there are no visible signs of heightened security in light of the alert. Still, the State Department urged international travelers to take every precaution to be aware of their surroundings.

"There is that additional concern, but it's not reason to panic and for me it wouldn't be a reason to cancel travel. I'm going to Paris next Monday," traveler Gustavo Araoz said.

The government suggests travelers sign up for alerts and register their travel plans with the consulate in the country they are visiting.

Araoz said taking such precautions has become second nature, especially when he is abroad. He works as a consultant to the United Nations and often flies to the Middle East.

"It's just about being careful in the hotels, being careful in the taxis, be careful where you park your car," he added.

Friday's global warning comes at the peak of the summer travel season, when thousands in South Florida are boarding planes, trains and cruise ships, which are prime targets for terrorists.

"I think you just have to be cautious and keep an eye out. I work with the police, so we're always cautious," said traveler Ileana Murias, who works as a 911 dispatcher.

Traveler Steven Thomas said he is always careful, even if an alert is not issued.

"When 9/11 happened there was no threat, no alert nothing, and it happened. And that's the worst thing that's ever happened to us," he said.

Though travel alerts are not uncommon, Friday's is unusually broad. The U.S. government also ordered 21 embassies in the Middle East and Northern Africa to close this weekend.

Yet, most local travelers are soldiering on with their plans.

"Once you get on the plane, you're at the mercy at whatever happens," traveler Julian Roebuck said.

The warning extends through the end of August, though U.S. officials did not specify any particular location or event that prompted the alert.

For travel tips from the State Department, click here.

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