You often research where you are going, but the transportation in between home and your destination is also a risk you need to be aware of. Especially those traveling internationally, you want to be fully prepared for the trip, from start to finish. Follow these tips to better protect yourself while traveling.
6 Tips for a Safer Trip
1. Do your research
Familiarize yourself with the security process of both airports so you can quickly get through security; know what items are prohibited and try to avoid wearing clothing that will set off metal detectors. Knowing how safe the surrounding area is can prevent you from wandering the wrong way and help you find a safe ride to your hotel. If you are arriving late at night, be wary of increased personal risk. You may also research emergency procedures if you are traveling to an area you believe is at risk of a terrorist attack or extreme weather conditions.
2. Be aware of your surroundings
Busy public spaces are ideal for pickpockets and scammers. The more you look like a tourist, the more likely you are to be robbed. Protect valuables and personal identification and avoid wearing anything that can be easily accessed. Backpacks can be convenient when traveling, but they are also a popular target. Secure your bag with locks on the zippers if possible, and avoid putting anything valuable in the pockets; besides slipping in and stealing your valuables, more bold thieves might steal your whole bag; there are many devices you can now slip into luggage to track in case it is lost or stolen. Never put your wallet in your back pocket, instead put it in your front pocket and avoid taking it out unless necessary. Always have your eye on your bag, and put it in front of you on public transit and between your legs at the airport; avoid putting it next to you on a seat where it is easily within reach of passersby.
3. Be wary of guest Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi can be very convenient, especially when spending hours waiting for a plane, but it is also just as convenient for hackers as it is to the unsuspecting user. When joining the network, there is no need for authentication, meaning hackers can easily access unsecured devices on the network. Hackers can gain access to your credit card information, social security number, email credentials, and other important data just by interfering between you and the network. Public Wi-Fi can also be used to distribute malware through file-sharing and pop-ups. Luckily, a VPN can protect your Wi-Fi connection while traveling and is especially important if you are traveling for work and accessing important files. A VPN encrypts your data so even if a hacker tries to attack, your data will be much more difficult to access. Otherwise, turn your Wi-Fi off whenever you are not using it.
4. Get past security upon arrival
Though security is everyone’s least favorite part of getting through the airport, you are much safer on the other side. Once you get through, you know that everyone else has also been checked and is less likely to pose a threat compared to the general public outside. Limiting your time in publicly accessible areas also reduces your chances of being pickpocketed. Try to get through security as quickly as possible; wear clothes that are easy to remove, slip-on shoes, and limit metal items. If available, check out the pre-screening options offered; not only does it benefit your safety, but it also reduces the headache of waiting in line.
5. Hide luggage tags
Luggage tags are important for identifying your bags and ensuring lost bags have a chance of returning home; however, you want to avoid including your home address. Instead, consider using your work address. Luggage tags can be used at your home airport to identify empty houses nearby. Listing your destination address may also help the airline reconnect you with your bag while abroad if it is lost in transit. Avoid luggage tags that reveal your nationality, as when traveling abroad this may make you a target depending on the area. You may also consider a digital luggage tag for increased security.
6. Only use official transportation
When leaving the airport, avoid taking unofficial transportation methods. Find out if the airport, your airline, or your hotel offers shuttle services; look for a bus or train that is close by; only use official taxi cabs and ask an employee if you are unsure of available official taxi companies. Your employer may also be willing to hire a driver depending on the circumstances of your destination.
Kathy is passionate about growing organizations, developing relationships and creating positive service experiences for our customers. With over 30 years of experience in the Travel Industry, she started as an agent, worked in Account Management, Sales, Training and Technology integrations. Her experience includes complex global travel programs for fortune 500 companies to first-time consolations for a technology startup. Kathy is proud to have gained a reputation of strong sales growth, building diverse teams, implementing complex technology solutions while remaining focused on the customer and service levels. She understands that service and technology is both an art and science and prides herself as being a lifetime learner with a positive attitude, focused, flexible and prepared to take on the next challenge in our industry.