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14 Safety Tips For Business Travelers

One of the amazing byproducts of travel is finding yourself in out-of-the-ordinary situations. In most cases, discovering a new food, meeting new people or experiencing a new culture is an exciting thing. But unfortunately, this travel byproduct can also lead to harmful situations; like natural disasters, burglary or worse. In a time that feels like danger is lurking behind every corner, most travelers are realizing more preparation is required to stay safe. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of safety tips for business travelers, We’ve also included a few recommended products to keep close while on your journeys.

14 safety tips for business travelers

Before you leave:

  • Research, research and more research. Know what to expect at your destination city, around your hotel, and which neighborhoods to explore.
    • Try different news and information sources than you typically check before travel or planning a trip. You might be surprised by the additional information you can find this way.
    • If you are traveling internationally, always check the U.S. Department of State travel and individual country information. Find best practices for traveling, as well as travel advisories you may not have been aware of for different regions of countries.
    • Check foreign news sources, like BBC, which can provide insights not highlighted in U.S. news sources.
    • Reading the travel advisories on the Canadian or Australian Department of Foreign Affairs websites may provide additional insight as well.
  • Participate in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Register and provide your travel details, so the U.S. embassy will know that you’re in the area. Download the Smart Traveler App to stay informed and in contact.
  • Always find medical clinics nearby when you’re traveling by registering with the International Association on Medical Assistance for Travelers.
  • Splurge for the international phone plan. It will be worth it in an emergency. And reap the benefits by staying in touch while you’re out of the country.
  • Take photos of important documents and information, like passport, driver’s license, and a credit card. Keep a copy with a family member or friend at home, or in a locked site like DropBox.
  • Always have a support system in place before leaving. We, of course, recommend a trusted travel management company or agency, who will always be available should something arise. But travel insurance or a family member with your itinerary and information is always a good idea too.

While traveling:

  • Try to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb and dress like a local.
  • Stay in groups if you are planning on going somewhere a little risky. By staying with a pack, you will likely avoid pickpockets, theft and even kidnapping. Even in light of the Las Vegas and Paris events of 2017, the most common threat to travelers will be pickpocketing or other petty crimes.
  • Don’t unplug. Unfortunately major events can happen at any time, even if you’re on vacation. Bring your phone, keep it on, and subscribe to major alerts in your area. Our favorite is our SecurityLogic® Travel Alerts, which automatically alerts users of events, weather, and emergencies depending on their location.
  • Travel light and cheap.  Avoid designer luggage that may draw attention and keep expensive items at home.

Products to keep with you while traveling:

  • Personal emergency alarm – This lightweight device sounds a high-pitched alarm if you find yourself in an uneasy situation.  It’s perfect to take while sightseeing or if going for a run in an unfamiliar area.
  • Alarmed door stop – Feel 100% safe in your hotel room with a door stop alarm. Take it with you when you travel, and simply place next to any door that may need extra security. Should someone try to enter unexpectedly, the door stop will be engaged and sound an alarm.

Business travel can expose travelers to new situations and locations. To take full advantage of these opportunities, it’s best to be prepared and aware of potential risks. We hope this post helped plan your future trips. If you are interested in learning more about how our business travel management services supports your employee’s travel risk, please contact us.

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Top Business Traveler Threats

When you think of ‘threats’ while traveling, you probably think of major catastrophes, like kidnappings, bombings, or terrorism. Fortunately, Buying Business Travel found the biggest threats facing business travelers are not nearly as ‘exciting’. These top business traveler threats are actually pretty commonplace. Regardless, it’s important to be aware of areas of concern and how to avoid them. 

Most common threats for business travelers

  • Petty Non-violent Crimes – These are crimes like pickpocketing or petty robbery. Even areas known for being safer to visit, like Europe, has their high risk areas for petty crimes. People seen as ‘weaker’, like women traveling alone of older individuals are often targets. The key is to stay alert and take precautions. Mitigate yourself looking like a target. Even if you are lost, don’t look it. Confidence can convey a lot. Keep your valuables out of sight, or leave them behind. Though it can be hard for business travelers, dress to blend in.
  • Road Traffic Accidents – The risk of being involved in a road accident while traveling is higher than when you are at home. Probably because you are in a variety of situations involving rental cars, taxis, car services, car pooling, etc. Looking internationally, the risk of road accidents goes up. Did you  know there are more road accidents in China than in all of Africa? The best way to prepare for this is with some research. If you are traveling abroad, make sure you are familiar with emergency response procedures. Also understand the car insurance if you are renting a vehicle.
  • Food Poisoning – Whether it’s from unhygienic preparation or just unfamiliarity, sickness from food is commonplace. The most common resulting from E. Coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria, found in meats, eggs, fruits and dairy. Water quality can be a factor in food poisoning in other countries as well. Try the “If you can’t boil it, cook it, peel it, than forget it.” mantra when traveling.

Though these aren’t the most interesting threats, they are important nonetheless. Before you head out on your next business trip, be sure to prepare for these potential hazards.

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World Travel Warnings

Remember the television series Lost in Space?  The one where a robot was always warning the Robinson family when danger was about to happen. Well, if that Robot were our warning source today for travel, repairs would probably be frequent due to the robot’s arms constantly waving!

But these days (in lieu of the robot) you can go the TSA website and immediately find countries where strong travel warnings have been issued.

Travel warnings are issued when long-term, protracted conditions make a country dangerous or unstable. This leads the State Department to recommend that Americans avoid or, at the very least, consider the risk of traveling to that country. A travel warning is also issued when the U.S. Government’s ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate or because of a drawdown of its staff.

The countries listed after the jump meet those criteria. Simply click on any country to find out why it’s not a good idea to travel there. Travel warnings will continue to be noted until the US Government feels it is safe to delete them from this list.

Mauritania 05/24/2012

Saudi Arabia 05/18/2012

Lebanon 05/08/2012

Algeria 05/04/2012

Iran 04/27/2012

Cote d’Ivoire 04/23/2012

Burundi 04/18/2012

Eritrea 04/18/2012

Mali 04/09/2012

Niger 04/06/2012

Kenya 04/04/2012

Chad 03/29/2012

Yemen 03/27/2012

Israel, the West Bank and Gaza 03/19/2012

Syria 03/06/2012

Nigeria 02/29/2012

Colombia 02/21/2012

Mexico 02/08/2012

Pakistan 02/02/2012

Iraq 01/19/2012

Congo, Democratic Republic of the 01/12/2012

Sudan 01/11/2012

Philippines 01/05/2012

Central African Republic 01/04/2012

Republic of South Sudan 12/22/2011

Afghanistan 12/01/2011

Guinea 11/04/2011

Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of 11/03/2011

Libya 09/22/2011

Somalia 08/19/2011

Haiti 08/08/2011