Looking back over two decades of business trips, I can tell you I’ve learned a lot about how to better protect my personal safety. Some of the unsafe situations I found myself in were unavoidable, some were not, but I learned from each one. Examples include: a taxi ride where the car broke down on a New York interstate and I was on my own to find alternate transportation, getting really sick from food-borne bacteria, arriving alone in a foreign country after dark more unprepared than I realized, and sexual harassment. Planning ahead and knowing how to respond to these risks would have made a difference in my trip.
As I shared in the last blog, the companies we work for may have a super comprehensive travel risk management program, none at all, or somewhere in between. A travel manager who understands your unique safety needs might book your trip, or you may be responsible for making all the arrangements yourself. When it comes down to it, I’ve learned that no matter the level of support I have for my business trips, it’s ultimately up to me to be an engaged, educated traveler. The peace of mind I experience by prepping for potential risk is worth any investment of my time.
Preparation is the Antidote to Fear
Whether we’re traveling stateside or internationally, it’s not unusual for female travelers to feel vulnerable. According to Kathy Leodler, CEO of security firm Rampart Group, and former FBI special agent, SWAT commander, and corporate security director, “Female business travelers are at greater risk for assault, theft, sexual harassment, and kidnapping.” She added, “Prevention is key. It’s the advance work you can do pretty quickly that will help ensure your safety and well-being—so your ability to conduct business is not impacted or slowed down.”
By learning to avoid unsafe situations, we’re also protecting the welfare of our families at home—whether we’re single, married, a parent, or near retirement. There’s always someone counting on us to return safe and sound.
We’ve assembled an eBook, A Safety Checklist for Female Business Travelers, with resources, tips, and behavioral protocols to help you take more control of your safety when traveling. This guide includes expert tips from Kathy Leodler and trusted organizations and is especially helpful for the unmanaged female business traveler—those responsible for making their own business travel arrangements without the assistance of a company-wide travel program.
Here is what’s covered:
- Understanding Business Trip Insurance
- Trip Planning Essentials
- Packing for Safety
- Protecting Your Health and Welfare
- Lodging Safety Tips
- Practicing New Behaviors
- Social Media and Cyber Safety While Traveling
Next week, in my final blog of the series, Women: Are You Traveling Alone for Business? Keep Your Mobile Charged, I’ll review how mobile technology can be your travel safety best friend, especially when traveling alone in a location you’ve never been before.
1 The New Face of Business Travel: Unpacking and Redefining the Do-It-Yourself Business Traveler: Copyright 2018 The Upside Travel Company, LLC. All rights reserved.
2 Statista: Global business travel spending growth forecast from 2015 to 2020.