Are you planning on traveling for business abroad? If yes, we thought it wise to introduce these international safety tips for business travelers. It is wise to take proper measures to secure yourself and your business.
Today, more than ever, business takes people around the world into foreign cities with different time zones, languages, and customs. Similarly, we’ve seen an increase in global political and social unrest, as well as severe weather events. All these have resulted in some adverse effects on businesses globally.
Business travel requires balancing safety and sticking to your plans, but it’s often difficult to know whether you’re traveling safely. As a result, whether traveling for business or pleasure, keeping safety a top priority is critical. That is why this article focuses on business travel, specifically business travel safety tips to help you travel more safely for work, including state department advice.
However, before we proceed, let us look at some important factors in safety tips for business travel.
What are the biggest risks for business travelers?
With international business travel come several risks, so it’s critical to stay alert and take extra precautions. For instance, you may be traveling to distant locations with political unrest or other issues, bringing sensitive or confidential information as well as costly office equipment.
It is important to protect yourself and your belongings during business travel in the same way that you would during personal travel. Females should also look for travel safety tips for women specifically to ensure they feel safe and comfortable before leaving and while at their destination.
Top Travel Safety Tips for Business Travelers
To make business travel as smooth and easy as possible, we’ve compiled a list of practical travel safety tips. While this is not an exhaustive list, it is a good starting point for planning a safe, secure, and productive business trip across the globe.
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Therefore, while you’re preparing for a business trip, don’t forget to think about the travel safety tips and precautions listed below:
1. Thoroughly Research your destination
Look into destination-specific dangers in addition to visa requirements, local culture, and seasonal temperatures. These can range from identifying dangerous areas to avoid to keeping track of potential local unrest and tracking potential major climate events.
2. Buy travel insurance: Travel Safety Tips for Business Travel
Business travel often entails transporting sensitive information and office equipment. Safety tips for business travelers: Purchasing travel insurance protects not only your trip in the event of cancellations and delays but also the contents of your belongings while traveling, thereby keeping you and your property completely safe.
3. Keep your important documents safe
When traveling for either business or work, you’re likely going to carry crucial documents—both personal and professional—with you. That might include the following:
- Work clearance
- Driver’s license
- Work visa documents or entry authorization
- Product information and/or competitive research
Safety tips for business travel: Keep your documents in your hotel room as much as possible, and use the safe to store important information for when you’ve left your room to avoid any problems. Save copies of the documents to Google Drive for added security.
Safety Tips For Travelers (contd)
4. Have an emergency plan in place – Safety Tips For Business Travelers
Keep phone numbers for local police, your country’s embassy, family, friends, and your workplace saved and secured in your phone. Make copies of your itinerary and travel documentation for your family and office staff, and keep copies in multiple places while traveling, including your luggage and hotel safe, for easy access.
5. Keep an eye on personal belongings
Personal belongings, like documents, should be kept safe. When possible, use the hotel safe, but also invest in travel equipment with a protective element for when you’re out and about in the city. For example, a tamper-proof day bag or something like a messenger bag that you keep close to you can help keep your valuables safe when you’re not in the hotel.
6. Never put all your money in one place
When traveling, keep your credit cards and cash separate. In general, keeping some cash and one card on you and leaving an emergency credit card and some cash in different bags, such as your suitcase and carry-on, is the safest bet. This ensures that you have access to emergency funds and other valuables, even if you are in an unfamiliar place.
7. Take the proper health precautions
In addition to getting the necessary vaccinations for your destination, bring extra prescription medications. Carry a first-aid kit for minor injuries.
8. Be extra careful when traveling alone
Solo travelers should exercise extra caution on these types of trips. When traveling alone, take extra precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. Safety tips for business travelers: Stay alert when out and about, and always trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, even if it’s as simple as making too much eye contact, walk away. It is also critical to be aware of your surroundings, especially when using public transportation. Also, try to learn some of the local language and customs ahead of time, it will be of great help.
9. Map your local transportation – Safety Tips for Business Travelers
Be wary of travel scams such as inflated cab fares and counterfeit “discounted” train or bus tickets. Pre-book your airport transportation and only use an accredited car, ride-share, or rental service with transparent pricing and accountability. If you’re taking public transportation, learn the routes.
10. Always ensure you have access to emergency money.
Emergency funds are extremely important and come in a variety of forms. As previously stated, make sure you divide your money and have a way to access your accounts and transfer money. Try out local ATMs with small amounts using your card, and always keep a few dollars in your pockets or bags—it’s better than nothing.
11. Take precautions against common theft
Pickpockets and scammers can prey on visitors. Requests that appear to be harmless (signing a petition, or purchasing a friendship bracelet) can be used to distract you while an accomplice steals your wallet or other belongings. Keep your passport and valuables safe and only a small amount of cash in your pockets. Be especially wary of strangers who approach you, even if they appear to be children or families.
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Don’t leave your belongings in a rented car, which can be a tempting target for thieves. Don’t let ostensibly “helpful” locals keep an eye on you or carry your luggage.
12. Drink responsibly when traveling – Safety Tips for Business Travelers
It’s tempting to go out in a foreign country, but if you do, drink responsibly – especially if it’s your first business trip! It’s easy to get carried away, and that’s when someone will most likely try to take advantage of you. So limit your drinking to two or three drinks, and be mindful of your surroundings as you make your way back to the hotel.
13, Avoid being targeted for violent crime – Safety Tips For Business Travelers
Foreigners tend to draw attention, so don’t make yourself an easy target.
- To identify and avoid dangerous areas, use your planning tools and/or trusted local advisors.
- Don’t stand on the street with your phone or an open map. Plan your route in a busy café or shop.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption, which makes you more vulnerable.
- Don’t show off a lot of cash or credit cards.
- Avoid public squabbles, demonstrations, and political rallies, where you may become an unintentional victim of hostility.
14. Protect against cybercrime – Safety tips for business travelers
Ensure to connect your devices to the internet using a secure VPN. Avoid using free Wi-Fi networks in coffee shops or other public places; they are notoriously insecure and may provide cyber criminals with access to your personal information or even your company’s network.
15. Watch out for travel scams
Unfortunately, travel scams are fairly common in most parts of the world, and tourists are easy prey. Therefore, before you leave, double-check to make sure you’re aware of any specific scams. You can also ask other travelers for safety tips and read up on blogs and travel experiences to understand what professional scammers do so you can avoid them.
16. Look for travel advisories – Safety tips for business travelers
Some destinations are safer than others, so read any advice you can find before planning your next trip. Furthermore, the State Department and other government agencies frequently issue post-travel advice based on political, economic, or weather conditions. These are worth checking out before finalizing your travel plans.
17. Buy a local SIM where possible
If you don’t want to pay high roaming fees, you can still use your phone by purchasing a local SIM card. This ensures that family members can easily contact you and that you have data access. This allows you to use Google Maps and navigate public transportation without accidentally identifying yourself as a non-native.
18. Use a virtual private network (VPN) for business
When abroad, you should always use a VPN, whether you’re working at a local office or a coffee shop. This safeguards your work data while also preventing your computer device from being compromised, which is especially important when using open networks and public wifi.
19. Share your accommodation details – Safety Tips For Business Travelers
This is especially important if you are traveling alone for business, but it is also important when traveling in general. Therefore, always share your current location with a family member, as well as your general plans and any other information that may be useful in the event of an emergency.
20. Understand your company’s travel insurance coverage.
Regardless of precautions, the unexpected can occur, ranging from minor theft to a major medical emergency. While business travel insurance cannot prevent foreign mishaps, it can help to mitigate them.
Your company’s travel insurance is a valuable resource for your business trip. You can travel with confidence if your insurance is with Chubb. If you extend your foreign business trip for personal or family reasons, your Chubb cover will respond similarly.
21. Buy a money belt – Safety tips for business travelers
As a backup, keep a credit card with no foreign transaction fees on hand. Money belts and other travel accessories can help protect your cash and credit cards from thieves and pickpockets. When moving around the city, keep a dummy wallet in your pocket as a distraction and a money belt to keep your important items, such as cash and credit cards, safe and secure.
22. Do your research – Safety tips for business travelers:
Last but not the list, is to always research the happenings around you.
Most travel safety tips will always return to this one – research! While you won’t be able to cover everything when digging around, you can learn a lot just by doing a quick search on the country you’re planning to visit. Look up basic information, such as the most recent news, any laws that travelers should be aware of, and any context that can help you navigate as a local. Travel communities on websites like Reddit may also be able to help you with on-the-ground advice before and during your trip.
Watch the video below:
International Travel Safety Tips And Guidelines
Before traveling abroad, it’s always wise to check the State Department’s advice on other countries and whether it’s safe to travel there. Safety tips for business travelers: A complete list of no-travel zones can be found on the official State Department website travel advisories. It includes an updated list of safe countries to visit, as well as medium and high-risk countries, as well as detailed advice for citizens planning their trips abroad.
Below are some of the destinations listed as no-travel zones as of April 2022. Please keep in mind that this list is subject to frequent change, so double-check on official government websites when planning a trip.
- Burma (Myanmar)
- Burkina Faso
- Hong Kong
- South Sudan
- Papua New Guinea
- North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)
- The central African Republic
- Afghanistan Travel Advisory
Summary of the Safety Tips For Business Travelers
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Keep your belongings secure.
- Use reliable transportation services.
- Avoid sharing sensitive information in public.
- Have emergency contacts readily available.
- Stay informed about local customs and laws.
- Keep a copy of important documents.
- Use secure Wi-Fi networks.
- Be cautious with social media posts.
- Have a travel safety plan in place.
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