In part I of our two-part series on the recent European travel alert issued by the U.S., check out our top tips for traveling internationally. Regardless of the destination, business travelers should exercise vigilance when navigating unfamiliar areas. Given the number of safety and security issues facing travelers now, companies should consider stepping up their crisis preparedness and duty of care programs as business travel continues to pick up pace. When traveling or sending employees to high-risk areas, individuals and their companies should keep the following practices in mind:
- Register the itinerary with the state and make sure your whereabouts are well known to your company before you depart.
- Use sanctioned booking channels to help the corporate travel manager access information about you should any crisis situation occur.
- Be sure your passport is signed and leave copies of your itinerary, passport and any required visas with your company and an emergency contact.
- Never leave your bags unattended while traveling, and as any traveler knows, do not accept packages or bags from people you do not know.
- Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs before you land in an unfamiliar country. The state department has information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country.html.
- Heed any travel warnings issued by your company.
- Assess travel risk levels in each of your major business destinations; stay on top of travel alerts and warnings issued by the government.
- Enforce stronger mandates around booking channels.
- Investigate options for tracking travelers in very high-risk destinations, including real-time data reporting opportunities, TMC services, specialized security services. Consider options built on mobile platforms that include geo-location of travelers and/or geo-fences if appropriate.
- Implement a crisis preparedness program and communicate it to your travelers. This goes beyond policy restrictions that limit the number of company members permitted to fly on a single flight. It should include traveler tracking, evacuation and communication plans should social unrest, terrorism or extreme weather conditions affect a traveler.
- Understand duty of care standards in your industry as well as the legal obligations—in both the corporation's headquarters country and the traveler's destination—regarding a corporation's duty to protect travelers while conducting business.
Do the European travel alerts issued by the U.S. government affect your or your organization’s business travel plans?