This post was written by Ralph Starks, a blogger and traveler who enjoys exploring the world in the best ways possible.
Considering doing business abroad and have to go somewhere you’ve never been before. Here are some tips to stay safe when doing so.
- Get To Know The Area
Before going out on your trip to a place unfamiliar, get familiar with it. Go onto Google Maps and figure out where your hotel is and how far it is from the airport. Check out what restaurants are near your hotel and even locate a local police station nearby. All of these things will help you get increasingly comfortable with the place.
- Don’t Look Like A Tourist
Even if you are a lost tourist, don’t look like one. Don’t go walking around with your face down at a map or your smartphone while navigating the streets. Rather, head to a close by cafe and sit down to assess where you are and where you need to go. Ideally, you’ll avoid getting lost in the first place. You can do this by using a ride-sharing service like Uber or even a bike sharing service to cycle from place to place. You could even ask the hotel to get you a cab so you can travel to your destination anxiety free.
- Get a Room
When you are booking your room, you should try to get one that has an interior entrance that’s above the ground floor. Ideally, you want to situate yourself close to the elevator and not directly next to the stairwell.
If the desk clerk tells you that room number you are staying in close to others, you might want to request a new room. That way, they can write the room number down on a piece of paper. They will be happy to do so to make you feel more comfortable.
This is also something that you should be doing when you are charging your bill to your room. If someone asks for your room number, try to write it down for them so you don’t have to say it out loud.
- Under Double Locks and Keys
When you are just getting checked in, you might want to ask for a couple of room keys to mask the fact that you are a solo traveler. That way, you can keep one in your purse and one in your person. Likewise, you might want to request a room that has double locks on it. Also, you should check the locks before accepting the room. From there, you can hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your hotel door. That way, you can keep it there throughout your say so you don’t have a room that looks unoccupied. You also should keep all of your curtains fully drawn at all times.
You will also want to think about using the door stop alarm if possible. That way, you can keep someone from entering if they do manage to get in. If someone tries to get in, the alarm will get activated and will induce a high pitch sound that should scare them away.
- Be Safe
When possible, you should be arranging a trip back to your hotel before it getting dark. Ideally, you don’t want to be somewhere unfamiliar when it’s dark. If you are returning to your hotel room after a late meeting, you can always consider using a ride-sharing service to keep you off the street.
If you must cab, ensure that you are taking a cab from a licensed driver. Try to have a hotel business card handy. That way, you can show them the address so they don’t get mixed up if there is a language barrier.
Ensure that you have international healthcare insurance. Healthcare abroad can be expensive if you are not insured.
- Remain Connected
Before heading out on a business trip, you will want to give the itinerary to someone that you know. It could be a friend or a family member.
You also want to ensure that you get a phone service that works abroad. You can tell your current company that you will be traveling or you can get a service that offers it. That way, you can ensure that you have service as soon as you land. You also want to ensure that you are carrying sufficient power banks with you at all times. This can help you avoid a situation where your phone runs out of power when you need it the most. Try to get the numbers to the local police and even your embassy. You also want to use your credit card’s travel assistance provider if you have one. Lastly, find out the local emergency hotline.
- Keep Your Sensitive Information Safe
If you are going to be bringing a laptop or a mobile phone with you, try to set a fingerprint for it. That way, you can keep unauthorized people out. If you have sensitive data, you are going to want to contact your business’ IT department before leaving the country. That way, they can ensure its properly encrypted.
You can always use a laptop lock when you are leaving the laptop behind. This can keep someone from stealing it.
- Fit In
One of the last things you want to do is stick out like an outsider. Try to fit in with the locals. You can do this by wearing the same type of clothing. You can usually tell who is a tourist and who isn’t based on what they are wearing.
If you are traveling to a new country that speaks a different language, try to learn a couple of phrases to ensure that you can ask for help. You can always use your cell phone and translate apps for assistance. Download languages so you can use them offline in case you don’t have Internet access at some point.