To Fly or Not to Fly - Cheap Flights vs. Safety and Security

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Other sources include "review" sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, as long as you remember the old rule of thumb about tossing out the best and worst reviews to avoid partisan bias about attractions, hotels and such.

So the question remains: to go or no? As always, in the end, the decision is made by you and your common sense. Don't go sightseeing in the worst neighborhoods of America, and don't do it anywhere else.

I'm a little concerned, though, that cheap flights may cloud some otherwise clear heads.

For example, Mexico can be quite cheap compared to a lot of Caribbean destinations. In fact, data shows some Mexican beaches are even cheaper than similar U.S. resorts. And recent reports indicate bookings to Mexico are up dramatically (although to be fair, that's compared to previous years that were marred by outbreaks of H1N1 virus and the continuing drug battles).

Adding to the deal vs. security debate is the recent economic austerity in the U.S., putting deals at more of a premium than ever. In fact, deals are no longer prized for bragging rights; getting a deal is an economic reality for many -- the difference between taking a trip or staying home.

Of course, I cannot tell you to "stay" or "go." What I am saying is my gut tells me that for some travelers, deals sometimes trump security and safety. Don't be blinded by a deal. Do your homework. See what the government has to say. Talk to your fellow adventurers. Trust but verify.

And wherever you go, and that includes your travels in the U.S. -- stay alert. Stay safe.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and does not reflect the opinion of ABC News.

Rick Seaney is one of the country's leading experts on airfare, giving interviews and analysis to news organizations that include ABC News, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, the Associated Press and Bloomberg. His website, FareCompare.com, offers consumers free, new-generation software, combined with expert insider tips to find the best airline ticket deals.

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