Traveling internationally for work has its perks. After all, you get to visit and explore places you may have otherwise never had the opportunity to see, learn about different cultures, and taste the cuisine from a wide variety of places. That being said, like anything, it has its downsides as well. One of them is that international travelers often neglect to take the proper safety precautions necessary for traveling overseas. Fortunately, we have compiled a list of the top safety tips every international business traveler should know before going abroad.
Before you leave, you want to make sure that you are healthy enough to travel internationally and that you have the appropriate vaccinations for your destination. Make sure you understand what the major health concerns are for the place you are traveling, and ensure that you have received all the required vaccinations, as many destinations will require certain immunizations before you enter the country.
Leave an Itinerary at Home
When you are traveling overseas, it’s wise to have at least one person back home who knows what you are going to be doing. If your schedule doesn’t allow for an exact itinerary, at least give someone your contact information and have them check in on you at certain points in time.
Make Copies of Your Important Documents
It’s a nightmare that every international traveler has had: your passport has gone missing and you have no way of proving your identity while you’re traveling abroad. Things can go quite awry without proper identification overseas, you want to make sure that you are entirely prepared for the worst case scenario. Make electronic copies of all your important documents before you leave, including your passport, visa, health insurance card, immunization record, travel insurance, itinerary, and plane tickets.
Program Important Numbers in Your Phone
In case of emergency, it’s important that you are able to reach the relevant people. Make sure you have your embassy’s contact information programmed into your phone. Also include a couple of emergency contacts, both back home and ideally at your destination, if you know anyone who lives there or will be there at the same time as you.
Sign Up for Travel Alerts
The U.S. State Department offers travel alerts through its Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). When you sign up, you are given alerts if any issues come up that may be relevant to your travel destination. Should there be an emergency in the country you are in, you will get an alert with instructions on what to do.
Research Your Destination
Before you reach your destination, make sure that you know everything you can about it so you are prepared in the event of an emergency. Start by finding the local emergency centers in the city where you will be so you know where to go in the event of a medical emergency or if evacuation is required for some reason.
In addition, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the culture, social norms, and language of the country you will be visiting. Everywhere you go, they have their own unique customs and socially acceptable behavior. Before you leave, research this so you can avoid offending someone at your destination. In addition, memorizing certain essential phrases in the native language of the country will help you just in case there is an emergency so that you can communicate with the locals.
Don’t Carry Everything With You
You want to be prepared, so it would make sense that you would want to carry all of your important items with you. However, this can majorly backfire in the event that you are robbed or lose your wallet. Offset this potential disaster by not carrying everything with you—only the essentials that you will most certainly need. Store some cash, an alternative ID, and your credit cards in the safe at your hotel just in case. When you’re out and about, make sure that you are keeping good track of everything in your possession.
Invest in a Sapphire Portable WiFi Device
One aspect of traveling internationally that many people don’t consider is the risk of identity theft. As we covered in a previous blog, international travelers are often vulnerable to this risk because of their use of public WiFi networks. Because they don’t want to accrue roaming charges, in order to use the internet, they must connect to unsecured public networks. Hackers often target individuals on these networks to steal their data, even going as far as to setup hotspots as traps to steal critical information. To protect yourself from identity theft, it’s wise to invest in your own personal portable WiFi. At Sapphire, our portable WiFi device finds the best 4G connection to ensure that you are able to safely access internet anywhere you are. No more fear of your private information being hacked through a public network because no one but you can access your hotspot! Shop Sapphire for our MiFi device today.