How To Mitigate Risks When Traveling To A Foreign Country

The writer, being a frequent travelguidecompany, tries to list down as many types of risks as possible that are likely to be faced by an overseas’ traveler. It can be categorised into five parts, namely early preparation; at the airport; while in the host country & personal safety; hotel safety; and return journey.

Travelers should bear in mind that security precautions are tight at the airports and hotels and thus they must learn to take wise and prudent precautions when traveling. Readers should also take note that ideas given here are not exhaustive, they are intended to be used only as a guide and safety traveling tips derived from other sources should also be considered.

Early preparation

Based on writer’s own experience, there are not many risks involved here except for a careful preparation. This will usually include: a passport; two-way flight reservation; hotel reservation; host country’s visa requirement; currency; any required vaccination; and travel insurance.

The passport is considered as your own life. It is also the most frequently used document whenever you travel. It is used during visa application, check-in counter at the airports, immigration & customs counters, check-in counter at the hotel, cashing of travelers cheques (if applicable), etc.

In terms of packing, it is up to an individual’s taste. However, the golden rule to follow is – always travel light. Petty thieves and pickpockets love to exploit or prey on tired travelers burdened with heavy luggage. Other safety reminders when packing: pack your luggage yourself; lock your check-in luggage, so that nothing can be put in or taken out; use plain-looking luggage, (designer, fancy or expensive-looking luggage attracts attention of potential snatchers); use luggage tag and place another one inside the luggage; remove old airline destination tags; and carry the appropriate clothes.

For those carrying a notebook, always check first the type of plug the host country is using – it can be British three-pin, European two-pin round, American two-pin flat or others. If in doubt, bring along an international adapter. To avoid attracting attention, travelers are encouraged to place their notebooks in non-notebook bags.

Perhaps you may also want to bring along reasonable supply of medicine for common illnesses, such as fever, diarrhoea, cough, cold, etc. One last reminder, do not carry any sharp object, inflammable items and check-in at the airport at least 3 hours before departure.

It is to your advantage if your organization has a local contact to take care of you while you are in the host country.

At the airport

Business travelers should be aware of following security & safety precautions: refrain from carrying luggage or packages for others; never leave your luggage unattended at the airport, even in perceived safe place, e.g. Golden lounge; always carry your cabin luggage with you when getting off from the plane during a stopover or transit flight; avoid talking about your office work, purpose of travel, accommodation, itinerary, etc. with strangers. If you need to put down your luggage, place them in between your legs.

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