While you prep for getting business done, it’s important to also put some thought into travel safety precautions:
Thoroughly research your destination
In addition to visa requirements, local culture and the seasonal temperatures, look into destination-specific perils. These can range from earmarking unsafe areas to avoid, to keeping abreast of possible local unrest, to tracking potential major climate events.
Keep numbers programed on your phone for local police, your country’s embassy, your family, friends and your office. Give copies of your itinerary and travel documentation to your family and office staff and keep copies in several locations while you travel — including in your luggage and hotel safe — for easy access.
Have an emergency plan in place
Take the proper health precautions
In addition to getting the required vaccinations for your destination, bring extra prescription medications. Carry a first aid kit for minor incidents.
Map your local transportation
Be aware of travel scams such as inflated cab fares and counterfeit “discounted” train or bus tickets. Pre-book your rides to and from the airport and use only accredited car, ride-share or rental services, where the price and accountability are clear. If you’re using public transportation, familiarize yourself with the routes.
Take precautions against common theft
Visitors can be easy targets for pickpockets and scammers. Seemingly harmless requests (to sign a petition, to buy a friendship bracelet) can be excuses to distract you while an accomplice takes your wallet or belongings. Secure your passport and valuables away from easy access and keep only a small amount of currency in handy pockets. Be hypervigilant about strangers — even innocent-looking children or families — who approach you.
Don’t leave your bags in a hire car, which can be a focus for thieves. Don’t let seemingly “helpful” locals watch or carry your luggage for you.
Prevent being targeted for violent crime
Foreigners often stand out, so don’t make yourself more of an attacker’s aim.
- Use your planning tools and/or trusted local advisors to identify and stay clear of dangerous areas.
- Don’t hang around on the street with your mobile phone or an open map. Go into a busy café or shop to plan your route.
- Avoid over-indulging in alcohol, which makes you more vulnerable.
- Don’t flash a lot of currency or credit cards.
- Steer clear of public disputes, demonstrations, or political rallies, where you might become an unintended victim of hostility.
Guard against cybercrime
Make sure to connect your devices to the internet via a secure VPN. Avoid using free Wi-Fi networks in coffee shops or other public places; these are notoriously insecure and may offer cyber criminals a way to get your personal information or even hack into your company’s network.
Understand your employer’s insurance against travel hazards
Despite precautions, the unexpected can happen — from a minor theft to a major medical emergency. While business travel insurance can’t prevent foreign mishaps, it can help mitigate the misfortunes.
Your employer’s travel insurance is a partner in your business trip. If that insurance is with Chubb, you’ll be able to shorten your trip prep time and rest assured with access to: useful online planning tools and global health and security intelligence, as well as 24/7 Emergency Assistance for quick response in the event of theft, accident or illness — wherever you’re traveling. And if you’re extending your foreign business trip for personal or family pleasure, your Chubb cover can respond in the same way.