Safe International Travel: What Americans must know about Traveling Abroad

In other countries around the world, Americans are stereotyped as wealthy individuals with a lot of money – especially those who can afford to travel abroad. Unfortunately, this makes us a prime target for attacks. But, not all criminals are looking to snatch your wallet. Some of them have found ways to rob you without laying a finger on you. Not only could you find yourself the victim of a kidnap for ransom plot, robbery or terrorism, but your identity is at serious risk of being stolen.

Security Tips You Must Know for Safe International Travel

Before traveling, it is crucial to educate yourself on the physical and informational security risks involved with your trip.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for safe international travel.

Plan Ahead

Before you even purchase your plane ticket, there are several things you can do to protect yourself from being targeted.

  • Get a travel risk assessment of the place you wish to go. Learn about potential threats and risks of travel and learn how to stay safe while visiting.
  • Learn the culture. Culture is probably one of the things that most attracts you to your travel destination, but it can also contribute to dangerous situations if you are not aware of the laws, customs, and acceptable social etiquette of the land where you are visiting.
  • Talk to locals. Gain an understanding of what you are up against by interviewing “friendly locals” such as local police stations, hospitals, or reputable businesses. These people can tell you about some of the common risks to tourists.
  • Plan to dress like a native. Tourists are notorious for sticking out like a sore thumb, most noticeable by the way they dress. Consider shopping specifically for your trip and try to blend in so you won’t stand out to locals with criminal intentions.

Practice Situational Awareness

When traveling abroad, situational awareness can help you mitigate your risk of petty theft, armed robbery, carjacking, abduction, kidnap for ransom, hotel room invasions and more.

  • Consider taking a travel safety training course before you go. This will help you more readily recognize potential risks and avoid problems. You will also learn how to handle risky and dangerous situations if they arise.
  • When you arrive at your destination, take some time to familiarize yourself with key areas and stick to those areas when you move from place to place. Avoid taking shortcuts as danger may be lurking on side streets and in alleys.
  • Know also where to go for help if you feel that you are being followed or notice suspicious activity. For safe international travel, you will need to know where the American Consulate is, including contact numbers to reach them.

Protect Your Identity

Finally, by taking some precautionary steps before you leave and practicing safety measures while at your destination, you can reduce the risk of having your data and/or identity stolen.

  • If you are taking work or personal devices such as a laptop or tablet, take the time to clear your browsing history, remove auto saved passwords, and unpin your favorite websites from your search engine.
  • Backup all of your data, including your phone data, before you leave the U.S.
  • Instead of bringing your devices, download what you need to a portable drive and bring a burner Notebook with you. Buy a disposable phone for international travel. Once abroad, buy a prepaid SIM card (usually available at the airport) and ditch it when you leave.
  • Keep a close eye on your things. Never leave your bags, laptop, USB Drive, Smartphone, ID, keys, etc. unattended. Keep them locked up securely in a briefcase when not in use.
  • If your card or wallet is stolen, keep your bank number on the back of one of your business cards to report it immediately.
  • Lock your phone. Something as simple as taking the time to put a lock on your phone could save your data if your device is stolen.
  • Use a secure connection such as a VPN (virtual private network.) Some countries do not respect your right to privacy and can hack your computer without you even knowing it.

Before You Travel Abroad: Learn about the Risks

Make sure you are totally prepared for the dangers that are lurking beyond our borders by consulting with a seasoned security professional.At Universal Safety & Security Solutions, we offer through travel risk assessments for corporate travel and travel protection services for high-profile individuals.

Contact us to learn about any risks associated with your travel plans and how to stay safe during your trip.