One of thing that you notice when you travel with a seasoned business traveler is that they have habits worked out after dozens of business trips to make sure they don’t have trouble on the road. Learning to be safe in this world has to become second nature for all of us. When you learn to drive a car, its second nature to buckle your seat belt and check your blind spot when you change lanes. But early in your life as a driver, you learned the need for those precautions, sometimes the hard way.
We don’t want to learn the rules of traveling safe on business trips the hard way. When you are on the road for business, you are just as susceptible to danger or accidents as any tourist. The difference is that as you have become “professional” at traveling to accomplish your business goals. And those safety measures that you have to focus on at first become second nature. Let’s look at some key safety precautions that must become part of that discipline of travel.
Avoiding crowds goes a long way toward taking you out of situations where thieves might lurk. Not only that, it makes life on the road so much easier. Check in lines may be one of the most frustrating rituals we have to go through as we travel. And it is a place where thieves can “case” you because you have your luggage there, you often open your briefcase or purse and take out your wallet to show id.
So too avoid the check in line entirely, use your computer at home to log in and check the status of the flight so you don’t have to go to the airport too soon if it is delayed. On your home computer, you can move your seat if possible and you can print your boarding pass and other important check in documents. By getting all of this done at home, you can skip the check in line entirely and proceed directly to the gate. Your homemade boarding pass will get you through security.
If you have baggage, don’t overlook the convenience of street side check in. There you can check your bags quickly. Show your boarding pass and your bags are safe as you head off happily to find the coffee shop to relax before your flight.
In addition to getting away from crowd situations at the airport, think about securing your financial information before you even go to the airport. For one thing, you many of the cards and documents in your wallet do not need to go on the trip. You don’t need your ATM card, your library card or your social security card. You only need one credit card and your driver’s license. So go through your wallet and cut down on what you are taking on the road. It helps you travel lighter and safer.
But don’t stop there. In addition to removing cards at home so they cannot get stolen, also remove valuables from where thieves would expect to see it. Put most of your cash and credit cards in your checked baggage or on a money belt under your clothing. You can still carry a wallet but it will only have enough cash for the day of travel and no additional documentation. If you needed your driver’s license or credit card for check in, go to the bathroom and tuck them away.
Along with these precautions, stay in a state of awareness about your personal effects as you travel. Watch your purse or briefcase and keep your head up at the terminal so if you see suspicious behavior, you can stay away from it. By keeping your own safety at a high priority, traveling safe will become second nature.
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