Business Travel Safety – Must-Know Tips for Leaving the Country

Tips one should consider while both preparing for business travel, as well as during the business trip itself.

Los Angeles, CA, October 12, 2006 --( Business travel is a fact of life for many professionals. According to the Domestic Travel Market Report, business travel accounts for up to 18% of this country’s domestic personal trips. More than 210 million business trips are taken each year in the US. However, with the increased concerns about air traffic safety and terrorist activity, many professionals are taking a more critical view of their professional travel experiences. This stems largely from the fact that professionals seem more vulnerable to threats of mugging, carjacking, explosives, biological agents, blackmail, kidnap, and even murder while traveling. When on business, though, many professionals do not have the resources and comfort level enjoyed at home and some of the world’s top business destinations have frightening crime rates and terrible records of violence against foreign professionals.

Staying Safer on Business Trips
Any business traveler can do a few things to stay safer while traveling on business:

Get past the language barrier. If you are traveling somewhere where you will not know the language very well, be sure to invest in a good phrase book or take classes ahead of time. Have a reliable contact in place who is fluent in English and the language of your destination and learn where English-language services can be found. Surrounding yourself with a language you can understand facilitates understanding and improves your comfort level. When you know what is going on around you, you are also less of a target.

Take only what you need and learn to keep it with you. You will have an easier time if you have only a few expensive items that you can keep with you. Tuck your wallet away where it cannot be easily accessed and carry your laptop or other valuables close to you at all times to prevent theft. Always keep a close eye on car keys and hotel room keys. Carry ID with you in case you do run into trouble.

Watch out for common ploys and schemes. Be on the alert any time it appears that someone is trying to distract you. Do not simply hop into taxi cabs – some cities are notorious for fake taxi cabs driven by criminals who prey on tourists. Do your research ahead of time to find out what the dangers are at your destination and plan accordingly. Take advantage of your hotel concierge and let them organize all of your taxi cab accommodations.

Know where to turn for help. Have a list of phone numbers in your wallet – places you can contact locally for assistance. Register with your embassy or consulate so that you can be found in case of a problem. Also make sure that someone knows where you are at all times and when you should be back.

Choose accommodations carefully. It also pays to have an idea of what neighborhoods to avoid, as well.

Be careful who you trust. Criminals will often pose as someone non-threatening, so be careful who you speak with and who you allow into your hotel room or office. Always meet strangers in public, well-lit areas.

Think about whether to bring your family. If you do not have to bring your family, consider leaving them as you travel. Criminals will often use the family of a victim as leverage.

Use locks and keys – on your luggage, hotel rooms, hotel room windows, cars. Keeping yourself open makes you vulnerable.

Do You Need More Support On Your Business Trip?
Even with these sound tips for travel safety, there are still many things that can go wrong. Business travelers simply present a huge temptation to criminals at many destinations. Professionals often travel with abundant amounts of money and valuables and many terrorists target foreign professionals specifically due to beliefs.

Do you need a bodyguard? If you are traveling to an unsafe destination, the answer is yes. Any area that has a high rate of crime or has a history of attacks against foreign travelers may be simply very risky, no matter how many precautions you take. Even in “safer” areas, you may be in danger if you work in a high-risk industry such as financial services, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and energy industries. All the safety tips in the world may not protect you if you are headed into a dangerous situation.

If you are at risk or are traveling in riskier areas, executive protection and bodyguards can ensure that you stay safe. These professionals can run threat assessments, can offer surveillance, and can physically protect you – and your family – from harm as you travel. A bodyguard can be a stay-safe travel expense, much like travel insurance. Unlike travel insurance, though, executive protection services can actually keep you safe before a problem strikes. Finding a bodyguard can be as simple as booking your flight. The Worldwide Directory of Private Investigators lets you search for professional investigators simply and quickly. Now there’s no excuse to ignore safety the next time you leave town.

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