It is not uncommon for many global entrepreneurs who claim to be experienced travelers make surprising security failures trip after trip, putting at risk the result of the operation, confidential company information, and even themselves. Both the business trip and whoever does it are expensive investments and as such should be protected: for this we present a list of aspects that should never be overlooked when traveling abroad.
Always have at hand the number and address of the embassy or diplomatic delegation of your country closest to the town where you travel. In general, you should not have help in case of problems, particularly if you have broken the law; in case of theft or loss of the passport, the embassy can issue a new one, but they will hardly give money for transfer and repatriation expenses, for judicial bail or legal defense, or additional hotel days; Therefore, it is necessary to take out good travel insurance.
Familiarize yourself with the laws, regulations, articles allowed by customs (particularly when carrying commercial samples) and customs of the country where you go: the fact that in many places these are not complied with, it does not mean that you can do it. What constitutes an infringement or unlawful behavior is not always entirely clear to the traveler, for whom many times such infraction is perfectly legal in their place of origin. On the one hand, you are somewhat ambassador of your country’s brand, in addition to that of your company; on the other, it is not uncommon in some places for the authorities to take advantage of a biased interpretation of the law to extract fines and / or bribes to travelers.
Learn well the map of the area and the route from your hotel to the client’s office, fairgrounds, nearby restaurants, etc. Use tools like Google Street View to get a little more familiar with the environment. Never take out the map in public (there are not a few regular travelers who do, despite all the warnings), or look at the street map on your mobile while going down the street. Study also the area adjacent to the airport, particularly hotels, restaurants and means of transport, in case of delays or cancellation of your departure flight.
Although it is true that many devices do not need it, and in any case hotels (care, not all and not always) usually have these devices for customers, it never hurts to bring a proper voltage converter, whose operation you have previously checked and A universal plug adapter for different plugs. It also has a solar charger, in case you need to charge the mobile battery at any time (indispensable). Nor will a pocket lantern be too much; There are very small, powerful and rechargeable keychain models available.
Follow the news of the destination very closely: road conditions and / or transport strikes, weather forecast, alerts for natural phenomena or disasters, mass rallies, festivals and events, protests and / or local disturbances. This is another of those seemingly obvious sections that, for whatever reason, some travelers do not pay enough attention.
Clean your computer and mobile phone very well of any confidential information, and make sure you have updated antivirus, firewalls, etc. Do not carry more than the necessary equipment to work. In order to reduce risks, some companies have laptops and / or mobile computers for exclusive travel use, in which no information is stored, or only the strictly necessary; It is an option to consider.
If you travel to the US, remember to use the luggage locks authorized by the TSA , which can open and close without causing damage to it, in case you submit your suitcase to any random security check.
Finally, before leaving, make a list of contact information to take with you at all times, preferably with a copy in another safe and accessible place, in addition to additional copies for your family and company:
- Embassy of your country.
- Air Line.
- Hotel / accommodation.
- Car rental agency.
- Official Taxis
- Travel insurance entity.
- Authorized medical assistance center.
- Entity issuing credit cards / travel checks.
- Number of emergencies of the area or region you are going to.
Contact details of the planned itinerary: companies you will visit, congress center, etc.
At the airport
Be careful with the use of WiFi; in some places there have been cases of scammers who install connectivity points that are not different from legitimate ones, in places like airports, railway or bus stations, coffee shops, etc; By using these unauthorized points, any personal information can be viewed. If you are going to use your computer or tablet in the airport waiting room, make sure you are using the official protected connection, whose address should appear in the airport announcements; When in doubt, consult with the staff. In any case, it is preferable not to use these devices in view of others; They are usually the # 1 goal of friends of the alien in all its variants.
Travel as lightly as you can luggage, and do not leave your belongings unattended at any time, or allow anyone other than the duly identified airport personnel to touch them.
Find out in your country’s consulate how to proceed in case local authorities require access codes to check electronic devices, which can sometimes occur in certain places; also notify your company before giving the keys.
Have the point of official airport taxis located, and don’t let the pirate taxi drivers distract you. Alternatively, you can reserve a place in a hotel shuttle bus service for travelers, which is preferable to a private driver who announces your name with a sign; Often, criminals begin by evaluating targets from the airport.
If you rent a vehicle, they should give you instructions at the agency about what to do in case of an accident or malfunction; Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the operation of windows, lights, bolts, etc., before leaving the agency’s parking lot.