We’ve already echoed his reflections on why, for him, business travel is more enriching than pleasure travel; and today we share again this author’s reflection on how to keep business travel safe, the original text of which you can read in the Financial Times.
By recalling the last trip he made to Sao Paulo. The journalist wanted to take advantage of a sunny morning, and asked at the hotel reception if it was safe to take a walk around. When asked, the receptionist asked him to show him the watch he was wearing on his wrist and warned him that if it was good, he’d better leave it safely in the room. Then the maid took out a map of the city and marked the streets for her to walk through, but, above all, she remarked the streets that she should not even approach.
For Skapinker, it is difficult to know how to safely enter an unknown city, especially if a certain degree of insecurity is notorious. In addition, the journalist points to other factors that tend to make us targets of crooks. Showing disorientation, or jet-lag symptoms, makes us ‘easier prey’.
The UK Foreign Office and the US State Department point out some recommendations in this sense, as well as in relation to other aspects. Issues such as the entry of medicines into which countries, for example, may pose a risk to our safety from the authorities. In this line, Skapinker recalls that at Dubai airport he was required a medical prescription to enter the country injectable antihistamines.
Another issue is terrorism, a threat that, sadly, is present in every corner of the world today, as “random and unpredictable attacks are the purpose of their perpetrators,”
Thus, the columnist questions how we can feel safe in our travels, both business and pleasure. Because what most people want on a trip is to get experiences from the visit, get into the city, beyond the hotel street, without experiencing fear.
In this sense, relying on local warnings and official ones is recommended. However, let’s bear in mind that sometimes local people, especially in places famous for a certain degree of insecurity, tell us that these are exaggerated topics. Others, on the other hand, if they do not commune with the current government of the country, exaggerate the dangers themselves. This line is also common among hotel employees, for example, who prefer to avoid problems related to the safety of their guests.
It is best to follow the recommendations of others who have previously traveled to that destination. They already know the terrain in situ from a more objective perspective than that of the people who are immersed in that society. Also, entering the city with the professional contacts that we have in the place is another good option.
In the same way, recommends us to be guided by our common sense in aspects such as taking only taxis or vehicles with license or those that request us from the hotel. And, never, drive in unknown cities. A stranger driving around in a troubled neighbourhood can make us an easy target for certain criminals.
Concludes reflection by addressing the issue of additional risks to women, a topic that we have also addressed in our blog. To this end, it echoes some of the questions raised, head of Security Operations at International SOS, an entity that advises companies and organisations on security issues when travelling on business. It’s a fact that women on business travel face more risks than men. “From being harassed on the streets, to being bothered when using public transport,” she says.
At Diners Club we share reflections and recommend that business travelers guide their steps according to the following tips:
- Always have basic information on hand to know where to go in case of emergency.
- Consult the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with information on the country of destination.
- Attend to the security recommendations of our company’s travel policy.
- To be previously familiar with the frequent scams of the city or country of destination.
- Protect everything we carry of value and keep our belongings guarded outside the hotel.
- Be covered by travel insurance.
- Be cautious about what we have in conversation with strangers.
- Also be careful with the cash we carry and, if possible, have an additional credit card.