Expert shares tips on how to stay safe on a business trip

A business traveller at the airport getting assistance from a travel service provider. Picture: Supplied

A business traveller at the airport getting assistance from a travel service provider. Picture: Supplied

Published May 17, 2024


Employees yearn for business travel as it offers a change of scenery, networking opportunities and the chance to extend by a few days or weeks for a cost-effective way to visit a new destination.

According to Bonnie Smith, GM of Corporate Traveller, a business division of FCTG, a trip for business is not a luxury but a necessity for many and they have thousands of customers travelling with them making their safety a number one priority.

She said that though it may be unlikely that anything should happen, its advisable to be prepared should any issue arise.

“By taking the time to research appropriately, identifying any potential concerns, and keeping connected with colleagues and your accommodation provider, travellers can avoid falling into any trouble,” said Smith.

The travel expert also said that with a travel management provider, business travellers have an expert travel consultant on hand to help and advise, from the initial planning stages and all throughout a trip.

So here are 7 top tips for travelling safely, according to the business travel expert.

Research your destination

Smith advised that before booking, you should research the destination and make yourself aware of any safety concerns or potential risks.

She said that you should check reputable travel advisories and local government websites, for real-time advice on the risks and requirements for your destination, particularly if travelling internationally.

“These websites also provide advice on business and social etiquette for their regions, as what is polite in one country, may be deemed unacceptable in another,” said the business travel expert.

Know your travel insurance information

“Even as a business traveller, it is essential to protect yourself and your company,” said Smith.

She advised that when travelling, it is important to have the following information handy:

  • Business or corporate insurance policy number.
  • Access to the 24/7 phone number of your travel insurance provider.
  • An understanding of what is/ isn’t covered.
  • An understanding of the insurance policy and what to do if something goes wrong.

Book a hotel with 24/7 security and concierge services

The business travel expert added that to feel safe on your trip, hotel security will not only prevent crime, but respond to any incidents you report.

“At any time, you can ask for assistance in booking safe and reliable transportation, navigating unfamiliar areas, and they can assist in suggesting a suitable itinerary for your independent free time,” she said.

Arrange to catch-up with colleagues in the destination city

Smith also recommended that before you arrive at your destination city, arranging a catch-up with work colleagues can lower the amount of time you will spend alone as a solo traveller.

Check any luggage for unknown AirTags

“Although AirTags, or other types of Bluetooth tracking devices, are a useful way of keeping track of our luggage, they pose a stalking concern when planted by a stranger,” said the business travel expert.

She said that to avoid this, you can search for any AirTags through your smartphone, and stay on top of notifications for alerts of an AirTag nearby.

Use reputable service providers

Smith also said that there’s nothing worse than being stranded in a new place with only one bar of service, trying to connect to nearby WiFi.

“To avoid having to WiFi hop during your trip, you can check with your service provider on whether they provide international roaming, or pre-purchase a travel SIM card to use on your trip.

“By having 24/7, reliable access to the internet through roaming, you can take advantage of travel apps, which can help you organise your bookings, itinerary, translations and a whole lot more,” she said.

Use your hotel’s business card written in their local language for better communication with cabdrivers

Lastly, Smith added that one of the top obstacles, particularly for female solo travellers, is the fear of getting lost.

“Once you arrive at your hotel, grab a business card to keep with you while you travel so you can always get back to your hotel, even in a country with a language barrier, by simply presenting the card to your driver.

“It is also recommended you carry with you the name, address and contact details of your accommodation, as this can be helpful when communicating with locals or in case of an emergency,” she said.