How to Reduce Your Risks When Visiting a Foreign Country
Whether you are a frequent traveler or a first-timer, travel safety begins with you. Some people view international travel as an essential component of their job. Every time they travel abroad, they risk being in danger.
People travel abroad for business for a variety of reasons, including:
– Participating in seminars, workshops, and business meetings,
– delivering lectures or presenting academic papers,
– taking part in trade missions, exhibitions, and cultural performances,
– executing contracts and memorandums of understanding (MOUs);
– gathering information for books or articles,
— taking part in student exchange programs; — doing the Hajj or Umrah; etc.
As a regular traveler, the author tries to include as many risks an overseas traveler can encounter. It can be divided into five sections: early planning; at the airport; while traveling to the host country and personal safety, hotel safety, and the return trip.
The rigorous security measures at hotels and airports should remind travelers to learn to travel with wisdom and caution. The ideas presented here are not all-inclusive, they are just meant to serve as a general reference, and readers should also consider travel safety advice from other sources.
According to the author’s personal experience, the only real risk here is not doing your homework. A passport, a two-way flight reservation, a hotel reservation, the necessary paperwork for the host country’s visa, money, immunizations, and travel insurance are typically included.
Your passport is regarded as your identity. When traveling, it is also the document that is used the most. It is used when applying for visas, at airport check-in desks, at immigration and customs checkpoints, at hotel check-in desks, while cashing travelers’ checks (if necessary), and more.
It is up to each person’s preference for how things are packed. The golden thing to remember is always to pack lightly. Small-time criminals and pickpockets like taking advantage of or preying upon weary passengers hauling big bags. Other safety tips for packing include packing your luggage, locking your checked baggage so that nothing can be taken out or put in, using plain-looking luggage (designer, fancy, or expensive-looking luggage attracts potential snatchers), using a luggage tag and placing another one inside the bags, removing old airline destination tags, and carrying the appropriate clothing.
If traveling with a notebook, you should always check for available plugs. The host country may use a British three-pin, European two-pin round, American two-pin flat, or another. Bring an international adaptor if you’re unsure. Travelers should put their notebooks in non-notebook bags to avoid drawing attention.
Perhaps you should also pack sufficient medication for common ailments like fever, diarrhea, cough, cold, etc. One more reminder: check-in at the airport at least three hours before your flight and avoid carrying sharp objects or flammable things.
It is advantageous if your company has a local contact to look after you while in the host nation.
During the airport
Travelers on business should be mindful of the following security and safety measures: Carry your cabin luggage with you when getting off the plane during a stopover or transit flight. Avoid discussing your office work, the reason you are traveling, your accommodations, your itinerary, etc., with strangers. Never leave your luggage unattended at the airport, even in a safe location like the Golden Lounge. Put your bags between your legs if you need to set them down.
Personal protection while in the host country
The first thing to do after completing all disembarkation formalities is to wait for the check-in luggage, if any. The luggage claim area is typically located right next to the immigration desk. When picking up the bags, thoroughly inspect them for any indication of tampering. Possibly at random, someone working in the airport complex may have attempted to tamper with travelers’ things. If this occurs with your luggage, report it immediately to the security counter.
If you have a local contact, phone them before you leave the airport. It is a good idea to convert some cash to the local currency. The cab fare from the airport to the hotel might need to be paid in local currency. However, there are several locations where you can use a respectable taxi company counter and have the fare added to your hotel bill.
Travelers may wish to be aware that some nations view US dollars as a commodity. The value of the exchange rate will be impacted by note tampering. The notes bill determines the exchange rate; a higher notes bill commands a higher exchange rate.
If your business meeting will take place somewhere other than your hotel, reserve a taxi through the hotel. Although it can cost a little more, it is safer. Always leave in pairs when you can. Taxis are dependable in many cities but be prepared with some modest change because many taxi drivers lack it. A small change can be used to leave a tip for the excellent service received conveniently.
Remember that it is common for security staff at a building to ask for your ID in exchange for a visitor’s pass. Any kind of identification is acceptable, but never your passport.
If you want to reduce your personal dangers while going abroad, it is advised that you follow these essential advice: notify or register with the High Commission of your nation; announcing or registering with the Country/Area Manager’s Office (applied to specific multinational businesses with abroad offices); keep a low profile and avoid bragging; exhibit neither cash nor jewelry in public; carry a phone with you at all times; learn not to trust anyone easily; Try your best to dress and act like a local as much as you can; learn to disrupt your routines; stay inside and avoid becoming involved in local riots; avoid driving to prevent accidents; Immediately seek assistance from your High Commission if you are arrested; utilize a shoulder wallet to store your passport, ticket for the flight, money, etc.; Never use drugs, limit your time spent on the streets, don’t go out alone, don’t walk alone as a woman to avoid unwanted attention, and be wary of thieves who act as police officers in plainclothes to rob foreign visitors.
Keep both hands free while traveling; keep your passport, aircraft ticket, and cash close at hand at all times; make photocopies of your passport and visa, but store the originals separately; use caution when using your maps, which may suggest that you are a visitor or a foreigner; if available, preserve your blood type identity in your wallet or purse; Place your phone safely, as theft is a problem in some places. Bring passport-size photos with you. Don’t make a lot of large purchases using credit cards. Before signing the credit card sales transaction slip, double-check the amount; if feasible, practice using the local public phone; bring a signaling device, such as a whistle with a neck chord; consume only cooked meals; and drink bottled drinking water or bottled mineral water. Learn to compartmentalize your valuables; avoid accepting food or drinks from strangers as they can be drugged; and ask for bottled or canned liquid only opened before you.
Hotels in certain nations have installed metal detectors or are screening visitors and guests with hand-held metal detectors to increase security.
If possible, request a room on no more than the sixth level when checking into your hotel as a safety precaution. It is more straightforward to flee in an emergency, such as a fire. Travelers should be mindful that accommodations on lower floors give robbers or intruders easy access. Place your bags in front of you while checking in.
Carry your luggage to your room after check-in. Late-night female tourists may want to ask the bellboy or porter to take the bags straight to the room while you follow behind. When you first walk into your hotel room, ensure the space is genuinely vacant and secure before closing the door (by looking in the bathroom, connecting the door, behind the curtain, in the closet, etc.).
The following dos and don’ts can help lower or eliminate risks at the hotel: select a brand-new hotel. The management undoubtedly put the latest safety devices on the market, looking at the fire exit, stairwell location, etc. When you need to leave the area fast during an emergency, such as a fire, bomb threat, terrorist attack, earthquake, etc., it can be helpful. In an emergency, remember that the lift is inoperable; for further safety of you and your belongings, think about using a rubber wedge or door stopper that you typically use at home; and always keep a torch light with extra batteries in case the electricity goes out. Some hotels offer a torch light, commonly held in the closet; ask who is calling before answering the door; post a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door; and inquire if drinking tap water is permitted. Even after boiling the water, you cannot drink the tap water in several nations since it may upset your stomach. Drinks can be made by boiling the provided mineral water; just put your items in one or two locations. Keep all belongings under lock when leaving the room to prevent hotel theft; if your meeting is scheduled at the same hotel where you are staying, it is to your advantage to check the room’s location first at your earliest convenience. If you need to leave quickly, such as in an emergency, it is easier to pack them again.
the voyage back
Direct transportation from your accommodation to the airport is safer for security reasons. Travelers should plan when to check out of the hotel because traffic patterns in some cities might be unpredictable.
Passengers leaving must complete the Embarkation Card. If airport tax is not included in the plane ticket cost, they must also pay it.
Once more, keep sharp objects and flammable materials out of your luggage and check in at least three hours before departure.
Remember that you are the first line of defense for travel security.
As it was prepared based on the author’s first-hand experience as a frequent traveler, it contains helpful safety suggestions for first-time and experienced travelers.
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