Awareness and Safety While Traveling
Many people travel as a part of their profession. Your personal safety is the top priority for anyone. Here is a basic awareness and safety checklist that has been made simple and actionable. Determine to make these practices habits, as these habits may save your life.
Other people go to conferences or have other travel assignments. The basic fact is that, when you are away from home, awareness and safety while traveling is essential.
Decide that your personal awareness and safety are your top priority. Making this conscious decision is the most important aspect of a Personal Protection Plan. We want you to go home safely at the end of your day.
- Tell as few people as possible your travel plans. Yes, family and good friends should be trusted, but everyone else needs to be on a “need to know” basis. This includes social media posts/updates.
- Have an alternative explanation ready for the inevitable question of “so, what do you do” or “what is your business”. Think of something relatively boring that won’t invite deeper questions. On that note, try to know some information about your “alternative career” just in case you are pressed for more information. The real trick is to redirect the conversation to a different topic or politely end it.
- When in an airport, boarding or deboarding a plane (this works with getting in or out of a car) put down your cell phone, magazine or book. Look around and be observant. Is anyone paying too much attention to you? If in a vehicle, is there another car seeming to follow you? This is not to invoke paranoia, but to pay attention.
- Again, before you jump back on your phone or grab that magazine, are you in a place where it is secure enough to focus on that? Use your judgement, and asking the question to yourself is great awareness training in itself.
At your Hotel
- Again, have your alternative career story at the ready. Think of that need to know basis.
- Do not stay on either the ground floor or top floor if possible. The ground floor is too accessible to intruders and the top floor has limited movement options in an emergency.
- When entering your room, keep the door open, and systematically check the closet, the bathroom, beneath the bed, and behind the curtains. Always have a defensive object at the ready (keys in your hand, book, an umbrella). If you feel the need, have hotel security escort you to your room.
- Know where your exits are. Have an evacuation plan in mind at all times.
- Always keep the light on in your room when you are not there, and keep the drapes pulled even when you aren’t there.
- Keep a flashlight (fresh batteries?) next to your bed within reach.
- Consider traveling with a motion alarm that can be put on your door knob. These are inexpensive (about $20.00) insurance.
- Keep the “do not disturb” sign on your door, even when you aren’t there.
- Never leave personal information or company material in your room.
- If you ever feel threatened, call “911”. Again, your personal safety is of utmost importance.
We hope this simple list helps you think through your own Personal Protection Plan. If you ever have any questions or need clarification, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.