The routine of every business traveler probably goes something like this:
- Itinerary, check.
- ID or passport, check.
- Business outfits, check.
- Presentation, check.
However, the savvy business traveler also pays attention to whatever may stand in the way of accomplishing his or her objective and plans accordingly. Here are some suggestions to help plan for the unexpected when traveling on business:
1. Pay attention to anything or anyone that seems curious or suspicious. This goes for when you’re home or abroad. Many accidents can be avoided if you take appropriate precautions when you’re out and about. For example, do not leave any of your personal information in plain sight for any stranger to see. Someone who looks like an innocent passer-by could surprise you.
2. Do some research on the local food and water? Unfortunately, over one billion people in the world do not have access to safe water, and around 50 countries also suffer from “medium or high water stress.” Having information regarding the availability and safety of the water when you travel abroad can make all the difference in the world, and the same holds true for the safety of the local cuisine.
3. Be aware of how your insurance applies away from home, and know how to reach your agent in case of emergency. This is good advice for anyone who owns a home, car, laptop, electronics, jewelry or anything else of value. If you have any questions about coverage, be sure to speak with your insurance provider before you hit the road.
4. Pack an extra set of clothes because you never know. Think Steve Martin and John Candy in “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.” ‘Nuff said.
5. Keep an electronic backup copy of all your important documents and contacts. Again, you never know. Better safe than sorry. Remember, flash drives are your friends!
6. Let someone know where you will be and how to reach you. Leave your business mobile number, your hotel’s contact information, travel itinerary and any other info that could be helpful in case of emergency with people you trust.
7. Arm yourself with a reliable safety app. Thanks to recent advances in smartphone apps you can help enhance your safety when traveling for business or pleasure. For instance, the Gabe The Guardian app can alert your friends, family members or business colleagues whenever you feel threatened, or your safety is compromised.
As Michael Monahan, founder of Gabe The Guardian, notes “This app helps provide the savvy traveler with peace of mind. Whether you’re at home or traveling for any reason, this app can send an email with a photo and your GPS location as well as a text message directing the recipient to check their email for your location.” Gabe The Guardian allows you to pre-program your list of contacts so you can keep friends, family, and business associates up to date with your location whenever you want.
So remember, the smart business traveler expects the unexpected. Do your research, review your insurance, be vigilant, back up your documents, pack wisely and let those you trust know your plans and how to get ahold of you. And be sure to have a great safety app available on your smartphone.