Traveling to new and exciting places is a perk of business travel. You get to explore cities you may have always wanted to visit while working and getting paid. Unlike leisure travel, though, business travel comes with the need for added security, since you have to protect both yourself and your employer.
Business travel safety tips are often similar to leisure travel safety tips, but specific aspects require heightened attention, such as your work computer or phone. Additionally, work can take you to places you’d never dream of going for a leisure vacation, so researching the destination is crucial for business travel safety.
How to Have a Safe Business Trip
Your business travel safety checklist should include three pivotal parts: before, during and after. Doing research ahead of time will make the trip itself go much more smoothly because it’ll allow you to properly prepare and take precautions while on your trip.
Before Your Trip
Preparing for corporate travel safety can be relatively straightforward, since you likely don’t have to do thorough research on the hotel where you’ll be staying. Also, depending on the length of your trip, work obligations will fill your days. Nevertheless, there are things you can do to further protect yourself.
- Leave behind expensive items: Leave heirloom jewelry, top-tier electronics and anything else that has monetary or sentimental value in the safety of your home. Instead, pack substitutes that are still professional-looking, but bland enough to avoid drawing the attention of any would-be thieves.
- Locate hospitals and police stations: Before you leave, do some research and note the closest hospital and police station to your hotel. It’s always a good idea to know where the nearest help is. Save the addresses on your phone or email them to yourself for easy access.
- Share your itinerary: Make sure your close family or friends have a copy of your flight and hotel details, so they can check for any delays or changes without needing you to contact them. It’s also an excellent way to ensure people will raise questions if you are not at the airport when your schedule suggests you should be.
- Share your meetings: You likely have meetings and conferences set up for your business trip, and it’s a good idea to let people in your office know of your work schedule while traveling. Tell them when you have meetings, where and with whom. You can also notify them after the meeting to verify that all went well.
- Pack to blend in: Make sure the clothes you take with you don’t single you out as a foreigner. Bring clothes that will allow you to fit in with the locals, but also pack according to the weather at your destination.
- Back up documents: Regardless of whether it’s business or leisure travel, it’s smart to make copies of your essential documents — like your passport, hotel reservations and flight details — and store them in the cloud or a password-protected USB key. You might also want to provide a copy to a trusted co-worker, just in case.
- Pack a portable charger: The last thing you want is to get lost in a sketchy part of town with a dead phone, so pack a portable charger and carry it with you at all times, even if your phone battery has a full charge.
- Always keep your bags with you: Aside from decreasing the risk of theft, having your carry-on with you at all times — especially at the airport — also reduces the risk of someone sneaking something into your bag that may later get you detained by customs.
During Your Trip
Once you’re at your destination, you can relax a little — but there are still ways to be diligent and prioritize safety. A lot of it is common sense, requiring awareness about your surroundings, but there are some extra things most people don’t consider, which would-be criminals rely on.
- Reserve transportation: Instead of waiting in endless lines for taxis at the airport, reserve transportation before you arrive, so it’s ready for you. That way, you’ll get to your hotel sooner, and won’t have to worry about getting lost in a new city. Reserving a car or taxi will likely be the easiest way to travel throughout your trip, as well as being the safest.
- Bring backup cash and cards: An emergency reserve hidden away in your carry-on can become a lifesaver if you ever lose your wallet or purse. Keep an emergency credit card as well as some cash in a separate place, so you’re never totally empty-handed.
- Confirm hotel’s security: Ideally, you’ll be staying somewhere that offers security services 24/7, but if your hotel doesn’t have that, get the number of their security service either before you fly or when you’re checking in. Save the number in your phone, so you can call it if you have any concerns or problems.
- Explore alone in daylight: This tip is especially crucial if you’re traveling to a city you’re unfamiliar with. Instead of wandering alone in the dark and potentially ending up in a dangerous area, limit your solo adventuring to daylight hours. If you want to check out the nightlife, make sure to always travel with a trusted group.
- Use concierge services: If your hotel offers concierge service, take advantage of it. Concierges will know the city better than you do and will put your safety and comfort above all else. Use the service to book museum tours, restaurant reservations or schedule taxis. Concierge services can also provide insider tips on where to best explore as a solo business traveler, so take advantage of their expertise to make the most of your trip.
- Request an interior room: Having a hotel room that faces a busy street may not be the best, especially if you’re traveling with multiple electronics for work. Request a room with an interior entrance — one that is only accessible from inside the hotel. It’s also a good idea to request a room that isn’t on the ground floor to prevent break-ins.
- Bring a portable lock: You can never be too safe, especially when you’re staying in a hotel room in which thousands of people have previously been. For an extra layer of security for your possessions and yourself, bring a portable lock and use it in addition to the hotel’s lock. That way, you can ensure that only you and anyone you consent to let in will be able to access your room.
- Use the deadbolt: If buying a portable lock isn’t an option, there’s always the deadbolt or door chain of the hotel. While the lock may have multiple keys to access it, it’s much harder to get past a door chain or a deadbolt. If your hotel room possesses one or both of these, take advantage of them to keep safe while sleeping or working in your room.
- Check all the locks: A lock is useless if it’s faulty, so before settling into your hotel room, double-check all the existing locks to make sure they work as they’re supposed to. These include the door lock and any window or balcony door locks.
- Beware of public Wi-Fi: As technology becomes more advanced, so do hackers and their tricks. Public Wi-Fi networks — even the free Wi-Fi at your hotel — isn’t as secure as it should be. One of the best corporate travel safety tips is to invest in a virtual private network, especially if you plan to get work done in your hotel room or on-site at meetings or conferences where public, unsecured Wi-Fi is the only option. If you do decide to use hotel or public Wi-Fi, avoid using any sites or apps requiring personal information.
If you’re traveling within your home country, you can likely expect most things to be very much like the city you live in. However, international travel comes with a whole other set of business travel safety concerns to consider and prepare for.
- Don’t get lost: Before flying, make sure you have the address of the hotel you’ll be staying at and a contact number and contact person you can rely on if something goes wrong. This scenario is another reason reserving transportation from the airport is beneficial, because you can rest easy that a trusted driver will take you to the correct address.
- Be wary of food and drinks: Aside from concerns about food poisoning and ensuring your vaccines are up to date, you should always be aware of what you’re consuming in foreign areas. It’s best to rely on concierge services or room service, if available, to get your meals. If you do go out to bars or for social outings, never leave your drink or meal unattended.
- Be aware of local customs: When traveling to a different country, you often have to adhere to their local traditions, even if they differ from what you’re used to. Research your destination and learn about its social and business customs. A well-meaning mistake on your part could translate into profound offense for someone else and could risk the integrity of your business. It could also put you in danger. Ignorance can land you in hot water in more ways than one, so go prepared with knowledge.
- Know the laws: Similarly, each country will have different laws that everyone — residents and visitors alike — must follow. These laws may be in direct opposition to those of your home country. For example, consuming alcohol or tobacco may be illegal in other countries or only be OK in specific situations, so be aware of the legal differences to stay under the radar.
- Only use registered vehicles: Some countries are notorious for illegal taxi drivers who prey on unsuspecting tourists. If you need to hire a cab or rideshare, book one through your hotel. You can also research how to tell fake cabs from legitimate ones, in case you ever need to hail a cab when out and about on your own.
Corporate Travel Safety With Private Security
There’s only so much you can do to protect yourself during business travel. You’re only human, so there’s always a chance that you’ll make a mistake that will jeopardize your safety. Hiring private security for your business travel safety is a solution that allows you to live your life without worrying about keeping safe at the same time. With private security, you can focus on your work and your business and leave the safety aspect to professionals.
Not everyone needs a fleet of bodyguards or security personnel, which is why Inter-Con Security offers various security services to meet each client’s individual needs, based on factors such as a threat profile, area of operation and level of comfort.
Using the expertise of retired Secret Service agents and that of protective operation agents from the Department of State, Inter-Con’s Executive Protection services feature trained and vetted specialists who provide safety and security while maintaining the highest level of discretion.
We tailor services to suit individual clients and their specific needs to ensure top-tier service.
Whether you need security to safeguard classified information or security for specific events, the Specialized Services offered by Inter-Con Security are customizable to suit your needs, and are available for both domestic and international security.
Augment your existing security service with our trained specialists to take advantage of a wide spectrum of specialized security services.
The foundation of Inter-Con Security is the team of professional, experienced and trained Physical Security Specialists, who provide top-quality security for people and facilities. We thoroughly vet all potential hires following the highest standards in the U.S. — and then adapt their training to apply internationally as well, making our Physical Security Specialists ideal for corporate travel safety.
As with all other security services, physical security is fully customizable to each client’s individual safety needs and requirements.
Personalized Security Services From Inter-Con Security
Working with clients in four continents, Inter-Con Security provides customized security solutions for several industries, including corporations and organizations. With a focus on improving our services, we are continually updating and improving our staff’s performance by adding technology to aid with communication, surveillance and emergency response.
Established in 1973 by a former LAPD detective, Inter-Con Security started developing sophisticated procedures to secure sensitive information at NASA. Today, we bring the same respect to all our clients, from Fortune 500 companies to government agencies at the federal, state and local levels. With tailored solutions and expert security, Inter-Con Security offers invaluable peace of mind.
Inter-Con Security has a proven history of developing successful security solutions for various industries, based on their unique needs. We’ll work with you and your existing security service to develop a comprehensive solution catered to your threat profile.
Get in touch with our Solution Design Team to create your personalized security system.