It can be a refreshing change, an interesting adventure and a change of pace to
leave our familiar work environment and take a trip for work. For some, this is
a welcomed change and for others, a way of life. Regardless, a business trip
can take you to another city or to places where the food, water, hygiene,
climate and environment are very different from what you are used to. Whether
or not you think you have "travel savvy," there are precautions you can take
and preparations you can make to ensure that you are safe, secure and healthy
on your trip, as suggested by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and
When you travel
If you will be travelling internationally, consult a doctor or travel health
clinic at least four to six weeks before travel so they can determine your need
for immunizations and advise you on what preventive medication precautions to
take to avoid disease.
When booking flights or travel times arrange whenever possible, to arrive at
your destination in daylight. If you must arrive late evening or early morning,
reserve a car service in advance to avoid having to find a cab. The conference
or hotel may be able to recommend a service for you.
Don't forget your meds. If you take medication for a pre-existing condition,
bring enough to last the trip, and some extra in case your return flight is
delayed. As a precaution, have a copy of your prescription, or a doctor's note,
in case you need to prove that the medication is necessary. Consider dividing
your medication supply and keeping it in two different pieces of luggage, in
case one piece of luggage is lost or stolen, or carry it with you.
Protect your documentation. Make sure your passport does not expire before or
during your trip. Some countries require that it be valid for up to six months
after your return home, so check the expiry date. Keep photocopies of your
passport and visa, and keep them separate from the original copies. Also keep a
record of credit cards, bank cards, and contact telephone numbers, and leave
copies with someone back home. At the hotel, store your passport, airline
tickets, extra money and other documents in the hotel safe.
Stay connected. Establish a check-in procedure and make sure your friends or
family back home know where to reach you. Give someone at home a copy of your
travel itinerary and check in with them when you arrive and periodically
Know your surroundings. Ask the hotel for advice on safe areas to visit or walk
through in the neighbourhood. They will tell you which areas to avoid.
Hide your valuables. Carry your passport, travel documents, plane ticket,
traveller's checks and cash in a concealed money belt worn around the waist. Do
not draw attention to yourself by displaying large amounts of cash, expensive
jewellery or electronic equipment. If possible, use the bank machine more often
or travellers' cheques instead of large amounts of cash. Consider carrying a
second "dummy" wallet, with some local currency, a few old receipts, and
expired credit cards to make it look real. Keep some money in an outside pocket
to avoid fumbling through your purse or wallet for tips and other small
Watch your luggage. Do not leave your luggage unattended or in the care of a
stranger. On your luggage tag, use only your first initial - not your full
name. To further protect your identity, include your business address (not your
home address) and use a luggage tag that has a flap that hides your name and
Safeguard your hotel room. Ask for a hotel room that is above ground level but
no higher than seven stories up, within reach of most firefighting evacuation
buckets and ladders. Ask for a room close to the elevators, and ensure it has a
peephole, dead bolt and chain lock. Don't let anyone know which room you are
staying in. Tell the hotel not to give your room number or name to anyone. If
the hotel clerk accidentally says your room number out loud, ask to change
rooms. For added security, bring a simple rubber doorstop to place under your
hotel room door to prevent it from being pushed open from the outside. Close
the door securely when you enter or exit the room, and check that any sliding
glass doors, windows and connection doors are locked every time. Do not invite
strangers or acquaintances into your room or accept invitations to others'
rooms. Arrange to meet in a public location such as the hotel lobby or
Prepare to act quickly. To avoid delays in hallways, have your key or card
ready to use.
Enjoy your trip and play it safe when you travel.
AplusA-online.de - Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety