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Personal safety tips.

Personal safety tips

Safety when travelling

Unless you’ve been living on another planet, COVID-19 put the brakes on domestic and international travel. The worst year for travel on record, with a drop of 73% in 2020. As life moves towards a new normal, it pays to re-visit some basic personal safety tips and tactics for the international business traveller.

Preparing for travel

  • Make photocopies and a softcopy (phone or laptop) of your passport, travel insurance and travel details. Store them in a secure location.
  • Keep a copy with a trusted source before you travel.

At the airport

  • Watch for your suitcase as it appears on the carousel. Don’t hang back and wait for the crowds to disperse – you might find that someone else has already taken your bag.
  • Avoid changing money at airports, as thieves could be watching you.
  • Don’t share taxis with strangers.


After hours in unfamiliar locations, the aim is to blend into the environment and not draw attention to yourself, particularly in less developed areas.

  • Wear non-descript clothing. Avoid wearing clothing with bright colours.
  • Wear minimal jewellery and high value items.
  • For more developing locations, wear sturdy shoes with grip. Often pathways are uneven or earthen.

On the street

  • Read the street landscape. As a general rule, city streets that include children and women suggest the area is safe for families. If people are absent from an area you would expect to be populated, leave the area.
  • Don’t overuse your cell phone in public. It shows you are not aware of your surrounds. It attracts attention. Move to a more discreet location to check your cell.


  • If there is a distraction or crowd in your path of travel, block around (3 sides of a square) and continue on.
  • Don’t stop walking if someone asks you for a cigarette. It is an often used tactic by thieves to you slow down and either pick pocket or commit a robbery. The internet has plenty of examples.


Travel is and should be exciting. It’s not your daily normal. Just take a moment before you step aboard the aircraft, think about safety basics and how you can minimise disruption to your trip.

Your organisation should have a security policy and travel resource for staff to draw upon, when they need help. If not, start the conversation.