Top Tips to Travel More Securely
There is always the possibility that something will go wrong when you’re travelling, and there are obvious things you can do to reduce the potential risks, like avoiding the water in certain countries.
But when you travel for work often, it’s easy to become complacent about travelling securely. So, we spoke with Travel Manager Adam Pamula from Flight Centre Business Travel’s South Brisbane office for his tips on safer corporate travel
Keep the necessities on you at all times
Before we go out anywhere, we check that we’ve got our wallet, keys and phone. The same applies when you’re travelling. But there are other important possessions to keep on your person as well, like your passport and some cash.
“If you’re travelling overseas, keep your passport on you at all times; that’s not a document to leave in your room, because you need to know that you can get out of the country at any time,” says Adam.
And having a stash of emergency cash is always a good idea, says Adam: “It’s useful if you catch a taxi or stop for food, and most places will take a card, but it’s always a good idea to have cash with you for emergencies or just a backup.”
Travel with multiple payment options
But don’t just rely on cash or your business credit card. Having a few options to choose from when it comes time to pay can help you to keep fees down if using cards and ensure you’ve always got access to money.
“I always travel with three ways to pay: cash, travel money card and credit card. I keep some cash in my wallet and in my bag and keep one card on me and one in my room. Having different payment methods gives you options and access to funds when you need them,” says Adam.
Use lockable luggage rather than the hotel room safe
As a general rule, consider the safe in your hotel room to be as secure as the room itself. Rather than putting your valuables in the safe or leaving out larger items that are too big for the safe anyway, a more secure option is having a lockable suitcase.
“Having a suitcase that you can lock with a code is the best option for the valuables that you’re likely to leave in your room, like your laptop, iPad or camera. Before you head out, put everything you want to keep out of sight and secure in there and lock it,” says Adam.
Make copies of travel documents
For travel longer than a day or two, or if you’re heading to multiple destinations or going overseas, it’s best to have hard and soft copies of your important documents, like your itinerary.
“Keep a hard copy of your corporate travel itinerary in your bag or carry it with you. This can be really useful if you can’t access the soft copy you have saved on your phone or in your emails. Leave a copy with your colleagues too, but your travel manager will also be able to access your booking. And send a copy to your mum if it helps keep her mind at ease to know where you’ll be,” says Adam.
Be aware of local customs and laws
Before you go interstate or overseas, make yourself familiar with the local laws and customs of your destination. Just because you hear of other travellers – particularly tourists – doing certain activities, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ok to do them.
And register with the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Smart Traveller so that you can be located and assisted if needed, says Adam: “It’s recommended to register your international travel with the Department of Foreign Affairs, and I’d say it’s a good idea. You never know when anything is going to happen anywhere.”
Know what your corporate travel insurance covers you for
Taking out corporate travel insurance is a no-brainer but understanding what your policy covers you for and what steps it requires in the case you need to make a claim is really important. In some cases, like if you’ve had something stolen, you might need to file a report with the local police department to have the best chance of getting a claim filled.
“Corporate travel policies can appear similar but at different price points. You need to look beyond the price and understand what you’re covered for, because you’re not paying for a piece of paper, you’re paying for peace of mind,” says Adam.
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