Do you know someone who lost his passport while on a trip? Or maybe it was their laptop or wallet. Was there anyone whose personal data was hacked while traveling? God forbid, has it ever happened to you?
There is always some risk associated with travel. The fact is almost everyone, even frequent travelers, have felt unsafe sometime or the other. So it makes perfect sense to be prepared before you embark on your next trip. When travel is for business, companies can also do a lot to make their employees feel safe. Yet, a lot depends on your own awareness and behaviour while on the road. Based on our experience as well as using inputs from few road warriors, here is a list of dos and don’ts to keep in mind during travel.
1. Know Your Destination
Read about the city you will be visiting. Get to know it’s crime rates and localities that are generally considered unsafe. Understand the local customs. And don’t forget to check up on the weather as well as any travel advisories or warnings issued by your government.
One of the best sources for information regarding international travel advisories is the US State Department travel advisory page. It is good if you have access to a travel management tool that gives personalized alerts and advisories for your destinations.
2. Secure Personal Items
When you are at the destination, unless absolutely required, do not carry any personal items or documents with you. Keep them locked in your hotel room safe. It is also a good idea to keep copies of important documents such as your passport. If you have valuables, ask the hotel reception for a deposit box.
Many of us are not aware of the typical storage options available at hotels. If you want to know, read this interesting article.
3. Be Careful About What You Eat And Drink
Sampling local cuisine is very much part of the joy of travel. But always find out what is on your plate before eating it. Ask someone if you are not sure. Drink responsibly. Alcohol not only impairs your judgment, too much of it can also make you vulnerable as a target for crime. Finally, always carry basic medicines with you, in case you unfortunately fall ill.
If you are wondering what medicines to carry on a travel, here is an advisory from the US CDC about how to pack smart for a healthy trip. And of course, ensure you have a suitable travel insurance.
4. Try To Blend In
Interact with the locals. Watch and learn how the locals do things. And don’t do stuff they consider offensive. Dress appropriately, but not necessarily in the local costumes. Try not to be too flashy, especially with jewelry.
Here are some fine pointers about how to blend in with the locals.
5. Carry Just What You Need
Do not carry too much money on your person. Take only what you may require. Everything else, keep locked up in your room safe. If you need to go to an ATM, use those located inside banks, shopping centers, hotel lobbies etc. Do it when there are people around. If you get mugged in spite of all precautions, don’t try to be a hero.
Read this fascinating article from Reader’s Digest on how muggers choose their targets and try to avoid those pitfalls.
6. Stay Connected
When you are traveling, it is important that you share your itinerary including hotel details with family, friends or colleagues and update them as often as you can. If you are traveling for work, always stay connected with the travel team in your company. Also ensure that you are familiar with the processes and tools to be used in case you need help during travel.
7. Be Cautious About How You Connect
Staying connected requires access to Internet. Always use trusted wi-fi networks like that of a workplace or your hotel. Avoid use of public wi-fi networks. If you have to, then be aware of the risks and try to use a VPN.
This article describes the risks of using a public wi-fi and how to stay safe if you have to use one.
Many companies do have robust travel risk management (TRM) programs to address traveler safety concerns. A TRM program is not just about policies, guidelines and awareness trainings. A robust TRM program also necessitates tools that provide travelers with contextual information & alerts. It requires capabilties that enable travel teams to understand where travelers are and to offer support when there is a need. The trip management feature in TCat is designed to do just that. If you want to know how, please do reach out to us.