Security Tips for the Solo Traveler
The primary concern of the solo traveler should be travel safety with increased vulnerability to criminals and scam artists when traveling alone.
The following article offers security advice to improve your personal safety whether traveling abroad for business or pleasure.
DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU DEPART
1. Read blogs, consulate, Embassy and FCO websites for news worthy travel safety advice in that area.
2. Use Google Maps to locate business meeting addresses, restaurants and shops, as well as local police stations or the nearest Embassy.
3. Ensure you are familiar with your Corporate Business Travel Safety policy if applicable.
DEMEANOUR AND CONDUCT IN COUNTRY
1. Be proactive about public transportation. Schedule your arrival early and before dark. Always stay in public. Before you leave a city, visit the train or bus station you are leaving from so you know where it is. Cafés, including busy Internet cafés with long hours, are a safe and productive place to wait.
2. Be self-reliant and well prepared: ensure your phone is working and charged, carry a guidebook. Learn key words in the language of the country you are traveling. Be cautious and walk purposefully – look like you know where you’re going but always have a sense of what is going on in your periphery.
3. Avoid appearing like a tourist. Don’t draw attention to yourself by wearing flashy clothes or jewellery. Research the local dress codes and dress conservatively and appropriately.
VALUABLES AND DOCUMENTS
1. Always keep your most important items in the same secure place such as a money belt and have a simple check for passport, wallet, camera and phone.
2. Give someone at home copies of your documents. Keep a photocopy of your documents in your suitcase, separate from your original documents.
3. When you use cash machines, withdraw cash during the day on a busy street. Don’t take out large sums at one time. Consider a pre-paid credit card. Keep emergency back-up funds in a separate place from your regular funds.
IMPROVE YOUR PERSONAL SECURITY
1. Carry a whistle or personal alarm on your person. If you’re in danger, this is an alert signal recognised in every country.
2. Stay Connected. Communicate your plans and location to someone. Leave a copy of your itinerary with someone. BUT limit the amount of information shared on social media about your travel plans. If you’re a physician, don’t use the title. In some countries it is an open invitation for kidnapping as it advertises ‘wealthy.’
3. It sounds obvious but stay well rested and sober. It is important to have your wits about you when you travel solo. Watch your drinks, take them with you so they cannot be spiked.
If traveling in a High Risk Country consider using a Travel Chaperone Service. Priavo Security offer Close Protection Operatives with travel safety and logistical expertise to manage itineraries including bespoke travel planning, financial management, in-country risk analysis and visa requirements thus allowing you to enjoy a relaxing holiday or successful business trip.