Staying Safe

We’ll skip the “don’t lurk in dark alleys” speech and tell you what you REALLY need to know!

This site is AMAZING! Everything you’ve ever wondered about travel safety—and a bunch of things you haven’t !    http://www.corporatetravelsafety.com/safety-tips/

 Electronic Security

Keep your mobile and electronic devices safe—here are some facts.

#1 Fact: Be very careful using public WI-FI.  Assume that all of your information is at risk.

It’s worth taking the time to familiarize yourself with mobile device safety.

 These articles break it down–

http://www.pcworld.com/article/218671/9_ways_to_keep_your_mobile_devices_secure.html

http://www.pcworld.com/article/194062/how_to_stay_safe_on_public_wifi.html

http://www.techhive.com/article/227861/secure_your_tech_gear.html

http://www.techhive.com/article/190622/what_to_do_when_you_lose_your_tech_gear.html

Shopping: To buy anything, you’ll need money, which may make you a target for theft. To reduce your risks:

As much as possible, try to avoid looking like someone that a thief would target (remember, think like a criminal). To that end, don’t flash wads of cash, or wear or carry expensive jewelry or valuables (keep those in the hotel safe).

Follow local advice as to safe areas.

Have copies of the information/photo page of your passport. Leave your passport in the hotel safe if that is available and permitted.

Have an additional credit card and some cash separate from your wallet. Split everything up in such a way that if one wallet gets stolen you can still enjoy the trip.

Be aware of common scams. These are designed to get your money or business from you under false pretenses. They fall into three categories: overcharging you, deceiving you or coercing you into paying for a service you don’t want, and outright theft.

Take steps to protect yourself against pickpockets, which are a hazard in many tourist destinations.

Here are a couple of websites dealing with fraud and scammers. Check them out:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2011/june/money/credit-card-fraud/rfid-credit-cards/index.htm

http://voices.yahoo.com/5-tips-credit-card-identity-theft-prevention-5186977.html?cat=9

Common Sense Stuff…

Stay healthy–See your doctor and your dentist  before you travel. Ensure that you are healthy enough to do what you have planned, and check regarding disease exposure in the areas you will be visiting, and take appropriate precautions, such as getting vaccinated.

Local laws: Every country has its own different set of laws, and in some cases such as  the laws can vary between different parts of the country. As a result, something that might be perfectly acceptable at one destination can land you in jail at another. Always be aware of the local laws before you travel, as most countries will not entertain requests from another country’s government to exempt their citizens. Ignorance is rarely an acceptable excuse.

Communication

Let someone back home know where you are, and when you will next be in touch. Give them the contact info of your travel planner. And give us the names and contact info of the people we need to contact if something happens.

We’ll keep copies of your passport and travel insurance details. It’s also a good idea to carry a copy of your passport and any visas on you, ideally separate from your passport. This will ease your troubles with authorities if you lose it, and handing over a photocopy to potentially corrupt officials is a good way to deal with a potential blackmail situation.

You can take a digital scan of your passport and important travel documents and store it electronically – this can be a simple as emailing it to yourself, but the scan should be stored in an encrypted file.

Consider carrying a mobile communication method that will work in your destination. Check if your mobile phone will roam, and if there is coverage at your destination. Even a non-roaming phone can be used for emergency calls on a compatible network. Consider renting a satellite phone in remote areas.

Before you get  to your destination, you should consider the following:

It’s always a good idea to check your foreign ministry’s travel advisory for your destination, before setting off. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK, the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade in Australia and the Bureau of Consular Affairs in the U.S., are excellent sources of current information, even if you are not a citizen of those countries. In addition, the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security runs a Web site for the Overseas Security Advisory Council. Most OSAC content is members-only, but OSAC’s Web site does have publicly available Crime and Safety Reports for nearly all countries (and in some instances, multiple cities within a country). These reports are updated each year and include vivid details of current crime trends in each country.

http://www.usembassy.gov/

Register with your embassy or relevant government department – some countries provide an online facility for doing this. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.

STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency.

STEP also allows Americans residing abroad to get routine information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

We have an account with THE SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM and can register your trip details.  Here is more info. https://step.state.gov/step/

 

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