Business Travel: Making Safety a Priority

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When you’re on a business trip, it’s natural to be preoccupied with making sure your work goes well. But staying safe on the road, domestically and internationally, is also key, for both men and women.

Your business travel may take you to places you’ve never been before, so it’s important to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. Research your destination before you leave home to learn about the area around your hotel. Whether you’re going out for a run in the morning or to a restaurant in the evening, consider carrying a personal alarm keychain, regardless of how safe you feel the area is. Your hotel concierge is also a good source of information on where to go and where to avoid.

Speaking of hotels, when you make your reservation, ask if the front desk is staffed 24 hours a day and whether you need a key card to use the elevator. Request a room on a higher floor, where there’s less risk of a break-in. Make sure your hotel room has deadbolt locks, an eyehole and evacuation procedures. Check that all locks are in working order. For extra protection, consider bringing a portable doorstop with an alarm that will sound if someone tries to enter your room. When you first enter the room, prop your luggage up against the door and do a quick scan to make sure no one is inside.

To avoid having to ask strangers for assistance, bring a suitcase that you can carry yourself, especially up and down stairs if you’ll be taking public transportation. And be sure to shield any contact information on your luggage so that it’s out of view. While you’ll likely be dressing conservatively for your business meetings, think about your casual wardrobe, too. Dress like a local, and leave expensive accessories at home.

While your physical safety is, of course, paramount, it’s also important to protect your personal and business information. Take some security precautions with your smartphone and laptop. Using public Wi-Fi can make it easy for thieves to hack into your devices. Think about getting a portable router to set up your own Wi-Fi hotspot. Password-protect your smartphone and install location tracking. And keep your smartphone fully charged.

Also, keep a record of personal documents. Write down the information from your credit and debit cards, driver’s license and medical insurance to make it easier to replace anything that gets lost or stolen. If you’re traveling abroad, make a copy of your passport. Carry the copy and leave the original in the hotel safe.

Finally, know your comfort level. Talk to your company’s travel manager about what you need to feel safe on the road. If you don’t feel like venturing out in an unfamiliar location after a long day of meetings, order in room service. If it’s late at night, ask a security officer to walk you to your car. Remember to go with your gut instincts.

For help planning a business trip, contact your travel agent.

Katie HoranComment