In the rush to get ready to travel for work, it is easy to forget to take a few minutes to consider your safety. Here are 16 expert corporate travel safety tips to help you be safer and feel safer while traveling for work — or pleasure.
1. Stay on the second floor or higher.
To avoid areas with more people and higher foot traffic, request a room on the second floor for additional security. Plus, you’ll avoid some of the street noise too!
2. Choose hotels where rooms are accessed from inside hallways.
Hotels where the entry to rooms is outside may offer a bit less security than rooms accessed from hallways within the hotel. If you are not sure of the hotel configuration, call ahead or search for exterior images of the hotel online.
3. Resist the urge to walk home alone.
Sometimes after a long day of work or a lengthy dinner, walking back to your hotel on a nice evening is tempting. However, the safety you feel during daylight hours in a city can change quickly when the sun sets. Don’t take any chances. Walk with a group of people or take a cab, public transportation, or your rental vehicle back to your hotel.
4. Look for taxis at other hotels.
If you are having a hard time finding a taxi, look for the nearest hotel. This will provide a safe space with plenty of other people around to wait for or grab a taxi. There are frequently cabs waiting outside for guests — and, if not, the bellhop or front desk can certainly call one for you.
5. Come and go with a buddy.
It’s the rule your parents told you when you were a wee one, and it still holds true today: Always come and go from your locations with a buddy. This is especially true when you are in a new place and it’s the evening hours.
6. Know your healthcare options, and bring your healthcare identification card.
If you are traveling domestically, make sure you bring your healthcare card and any documentation you would typically present to a doctor or emergency room. If traveling internationally, research international health insurance for the country you will visit. Be sure to clearly understand what the insurance does offer, doesn’t offer, and what you would need to do in case of an emergency — before you leave.
7. Have proper travel documentation and vaccinations for international travel.
If traveling internationally sometimes different visas, documentation, and vaccinations are required to enter the country. Make sure you are properly prepared before boarding the plane.
8. Know local customs.
Understanding local culture, dress codes, and customs can prevent you from both sticking out and/or embarrassing yourself or others. A quick Google search on customs and things to know before you go to certain cities or countries should help prepare you for your visit.
9. Include a family member or friend on your hotel and transportation confirmation emails.
It’s important that someone at home knows your travel plans. When making your hotel, airline, or other transportation reservations, most companies allow you to forward the confirmation to yourself and others — do so to a trusted friend and/or family member. If you can’t add someone to your confirmation emails, make sure to at least forward any of this information to the designated person.
10. Arrive in the morning or afternoon.
Even the best laid travel plans can have hiccups. To give yourself extra time and to help get around in the easiest and safest way possible, plan to arrive at a time where you have plenty of daylight in case it is needed.
11. Get an international phone plan.
To make calling home easy in case of an emergency, contact your cell phone provider before leaving to get signed up for an international calling plan. Some options are relatively cost-effective and, if required, will be enormously appreciated.
12. Get a high-pitched personal safety alarm and/or an alarmed door stop.
Having the ability to quickly make a lot of noise can help you both feel safer in a new place and draw a lot of attention to a situation, if needed. Consider purchasing a high-pitched personal safety alarm prior to traveling. Many travelers also carry a door stop (some come with alarms) to place under their hotel room door for additional protection.
13. Check the State Department website if traveling internationally.
Know the travel advisories as published by the U.S. State Department before traveling internationally. It’s always better to have too much information, rather than not enough.
14. Talk to cab drivers, hotel staff, waitstaff, and police about areas to avoid.
People want you to enjoy — and love — their city, and most are more than willing to help you do so. When first learning your way around a new place, ask multiple people about the areas to both see and avoid.
15. Plan ground transportation ahead of time.
Especially important when arriving in the evening or later at night, know how you will be moving from the airport to your next destination. Download ride share apps ahead of time, check rental car office closing times, confirm hotel shuttle schedules, or reserve other transportation in advance to avoid unneeded stress — or being abandoned — at an unfamiliar location.
16. Verify rideshare license plates and car descriptions.
When moving around via a rideshare company, make sure you verify the car description and license plate number (provided when you have requested and been matched with a car) prior to entering the vehicle.