According to the Global Business Travel Association, 503 million business trips were taken in 2016, which is up from 488 million the previous year. Many of those include solo business trips that can leave the traveler by themselves, in a foreign city, which can be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. Before boarding your plane, hopping on a train or hitting the road in your car make sure you equip yourself with safety tips that can help keep you out of danger.
Below are a few tips from Krav Maga Worldwide, a global leader in personal defense training, on how travelers can stay safe while on solo business trips.
- Research your destination and hotel. Most of the time travelers don’t have a say in what city they are traveling to or which hotel they are staying at so make sure to do your research before heading out on your trip to learn more about the area. Reading reviews online is a great way to get firsthand accounts of visitors’ experiences so you know what to expect or what to be aware of. It is also important to locate where the closest police station and hospital are to where you will be staying in case of an emergency.
- Keep in touch. Let family or friends know your itinerary and where you’ll be staying in case they need to get a hold of you or they notice something off and need to alert the authorities. It doesn’t hurt to occasionally check in with a text or email either to just to let them know you are okay.
- Don’t make yourself a target. Try to avoid having both headphones in when listening to music while traveling or getting around the city you are visiting. Not only can it be distracting and keep you unaware if someone is coming up from behind, it can also alert pickpockets to the fact that you have a phone or music player on you. Further, leave expensive jewelry at home. It is important to look your best while conducting business, but swap out high-priced jewelry, and jewelry with great sentimental value, for lower end items that would not be considered irreplaceable.
- Don’t overdo it. Sometimes business trips have down time where you can explore the city or enjoy a drink at a local pub. Make sure to stick to known safe areas of the city and don’t go overboard with the drinks. It’s important to keep your head on straight and stay alert, especially since you are alone. If you can, do your exploring during the day and stick close to your hotel during the night.
- Come prepared. Prior to heading on your trip, enroll in a basic self-defense class that will not only teach you physical skills, but verbal and body language cues that will deter assailants. Consistent training will ensure that so that you stay sharp and ready to defend yourself if you find yourself in a physical confrontation. It is better to have solid self-defense skills and not need them, than to need self-defense skills and not have them.
Business Travel Life is an online resource supporting the road warrior lifestyle. We give business travelers the tools they need to maintain their wellness and productivity when traveling. The topics we cover include business travel tips, travel workouts, healthy travel hacks, travel products, general travel tips, and industry trends. Our goal is to make business travel a healthier experience – and to make healthy travel practices more accessible to all road warriors.