Here are some simple ‘Dos and Don’ts’ for you to travel safe and sound as you depart for your business trips.
Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid high-crime areas.
Distribute cash in more than one pocket. Keep small amounts in a top pocket to hand over to a criminal or carry a dummy wallet containing a small amount of currency, an expired credit card and some useless receipts.
Where possible, obtain small denominations of currency and keep the bulk of cash and cards in a hotel safe or a money belt, which should only be accessed in private places.
Always carry a mobile phone programmed with emergency numbers (police, embassy, family, friends etc.).
Ignore verbal ‘bait’ from passers-by. Do not get into an argument. Avoid eye contact with strangers.
If you suspect that you are being followed, enter a busy public place and call for help.
Limit alcohol intake – individuals are more vulnerable to attack if they have been drinking.
Be wary of loiterers. Remember that attackers often pass their victim and then attack them from behind. If attacked, co-operate with assailants and do not make eye contact or sudden movements. Resistance is more likely to provoke violence.
Avoid disputes, demonstrations, political rallies and commotions on the street. Do not stay to watch or photograph them.
Use only accredited taxi services with radio communication as their drivers are officially licensed.
Never mention that you are alone or give out personal information.
Never accept food or drinks from strangers to avoid being drugged.
Don’t display signs of wealth, be it opening a wallet full of cash in public, wearing jewellery or carrying valuables such as a tablet or a camera. Dress as inconspicuously as possible.
If lost, do not stand in the street consulting a map on your smartphone. Go to a busy shop and ask for directions, or consult the map there discreetly. Always walk with confidence and look like you know what to do and where to go even if you don’t.
Do not be glued to your mobile phone as you need to be alert to your surroundings. If you need to use it, find a secure spot and then put it away after use.
Do not walk in city streets after dark, especially if alone. If you are walking, take only brightly-lit, busy streets. Do not use public transport at night unless absolutely necessary.
Source: Asia Assistance International, a 24-hour emergency service partner of Chubb.