Brush up on your business travel safety tips and enjoy your time on the road with this guest article on safe business travel.
THE BEST BUSINESS TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS
Whether it’s to secure global assets, meet with new clients, or attend sites in-person to oversee important work, business travel is vital in many industries.
However, whether you travel domestically or internationally, it is important that all travel is safe. Business travel can be full of unknowns and either you or you or your employees may be travelling on their own for the very first time. So, it’s imperative to prioritise safety and make sure that everyone is ready to have a productive - and good - time.
In this article, we will be sharing the best business travel safety tips to help ensure a smooth and secure business travel experience. We have useful information for both companies and individual business travellers, based on over a decade of experience of travelling on the road.
Common safety risks in business travel
You may be wondering what kinds of risks are associated with business travel. Well, if you are regularly travelling to different locations around the world, there are some potential risks you should consider. These include:
Political Instability in other countries
Political instability is something you should be aware of before heading off on a business trip. After all, the political standings of countries can and do change frequently, with riots and protests common in some areas. If you need to travel to countries that are politically unstable, it is important that you keep on top of the relevant travel advice for all countries so you can be aware of the risk level.
Covid-19 Infection Risks
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, many people are cautious when it comes to their risk of infection. Travelling between countries can significantly increase your risk of contracting COVID-19, so this is something to be aware of. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides access to a colour coded map that highlights the risk associated with travelling to different countries.
Mental Health Risks
Travelling regularly for work can take its toll on your mental health. From the stress of navigating the airport to the sleepless nights associated with time zone changes and jet lag, frequent business travel can have a negative impact on anyone's mental health, with many people experiencing burnout. According to LuxuryRehabs.com, burnout can result in the following symptoms:
- Mental and physical exhaustion
- Loss of interest in your job
- Interpersonal issues in the office
- Relationship and intimacy issues
- Irrational irritability
- Decreased productivity
Taking some time for yourself where possible is important. You could schedule a few hours rest, get an early night, limit the amount of time you travel by speaking to your employer, and stay connected with the rest of your team while you’re on the road. These small but effective changes could have a big impact on your mental health while travelling for business.
Business Travel Safety Tips
Now that you are aware of some of the risks, let’s take a look at the best business travel safety tips. Our tips will help you prioritise your safety while on the road, whether you’re travelling domestically or internationally.
Conduct a travel risk assessment
Conduct a thorough travel risk assessment before you or your employees go. Corporate travel safety policy needs to make sure that employees are safe and may need to adjust for differences on the road for male and female business travellers.
Think of public transport, local customs and culture as well as the business meeting and journey itself. Will there be medical support? Will people speak English? This pre-trip checklist was built for all travellers but it works just as well for business travellers.
Secure quality travel insurance
Travelling for business often requires that you carry sensitive information and expensive work equipment, such as laptops and iPhones. When you are travelling through airports, jumping in and out of taxis, and staying in different hotels, it can be easy for these expensive items to become lost, stolen or damaged.
This is why it’s so important to secure high-quality travel insurance in advance of your trip. Travel insurance will not only protect the trip itself from the impact of cancellations or delays, it will ensure your belongings are protected from loss, damage, or theft.
Bear in mind that if you are travelling for business instead of leisure, you may need a different policy to your usual holiday travel insurance.
Request a company credit card
It's never a great idea to travel with large amounts of cash. It makes you far more prone to theft and is an easy way for money to be lost. You should request a company credit card form your employer to make payments easier and more secure. Not only does this ensure your business expenses are covered without the stress of having to dig into your own finances, but it also allows you to take your own credit card as an emergency back-up. This ensures that you will have the access to the money you need while you’re away.
Use your business virtual private network
Working while travelling is convenient but it can make your information more vulnerable. According to World Travel Protection, “if you’re travelling for business or study reasons, you need to be aware of the potential increase in cybercrime [...] ensure your software is able to identify and mitigate hostile approaches and ensure the potential access to corporate networks is limited.”
In order to protect your data, and that of the company, while working abroad it is important to use your business VPN (virtual private network). This will prevent your computer and all the data it holds from becoming compromised as a result of using open networks and public wifi.
Only pack the essentials
If you’re going to be travelling from place to place and attending meetings and seminars in between, you don’t want a backpack that is heavy to lug around. You need to pack economically so that the process of going through security, boarding the plane, and unpacking at the hotel all goes as smoothly as possible.
When you’re travelling for business, we recommend that you stick with the essentials. You’ll need your passport and travel documents of course, as well as your work equipment and work attire. Keeping your packing as minimalist as possible will ensure your trip goes smoothly and will avoid you from lugging a heavy suitcase from place to place. Check out our ultimate packing list for more details.
Check in with family and colleagues
When you are travelling for business, it’s important to regularly check-in with your family and colleagues so that other people know where you are. Some employers require their employees to provide itinerary tracking tools. This allows your employer to identify where you are at any given time and allows fast action to be taken in the event of an incident.
However, you may not feel comfortable with something as full on as itinerary tracking. So, perhaps just consider sending a daily email updating your boss about your whereabouts and how things are going, as well as a text or call home to keep in touch with your family. While unlikely, if you were to become lost or get into some kind of trouble while travelling, having a couple of people who know your whereabouts can make it easier to get the help you need.
FINAL WORDS ON BUSINESS TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS
So, there you have it; the best business travel safety trips. We hope you have found this article useful and that it has highlighted a few key things to know about staying safe while travelling for business. By implementing these small changes, we hope your next business trip will be a lot more manageable.