International SOS offers advice all international travellers need to know for a safe and healthy trip
“Travelers typically spend more time researching restaurants and activities than investigating potential medical and security threats,” said Matthew Bradley – Regional Security Director, Americas for International SOS and Control Risks. “The importance of advanced travel planning cannot be overstated. Travelers should be well-informed on health and safety resources prior to their departure and prepare accordingly.”
- Maintain a Low-Profile: Don’t draw attention to yourself while in public. Although travel is a great way to meet new people and locals, it’s not an appropriate time to share any personal information about your profession or financial stability. Minimize exposing personal facts and you’ll limit your risk.
- Be Aware of Cultural Differences: Many countries have different cultural attitudes and standards, so take the time to research the location to which you are traveling. By understanding local cultural practices prior to departure, you’ll be able to plan ahead and act appropriately in your environment.
- Always Have a Plan B: Vacations and business travel don’t always go as planned, and sometimes there’s a medical or security emergency. One of the best things to do prior to a trip is to have a back-up plan for how a possible scenario could be handled. Ask yourself things like: What are my potential risks? Will I have a local medical or diplomatic contact? Who can I rely on in-country for transportation, security assistance, medical help, or emergency funds? Make an informal checklist with these questions along with the answers to give yourself peace of mind prior to travel. Have access to good maps, learn a few phrases in the local language, and research any issues in advance. Also, be sure to follow the local area news.
- Communication is Key: Be sure you can make international calls, have a charger that will work in that particular country, and pre-program essential contact information. Make sure friends and family know where you’re going and how to stay in touch. Leave copies of travel documents – such as a passport and itinerary – with friends or family at home.
- Safety on The Road: The threat of terrorism and natural disasters is far exceeded by the danger of traffic accidents. In fact, vehicle crashes are the number one hazard for travellers. In many parts of the world, driving is chaotic, streets are crowded and roads are under-maintained. Do not try to drive on your own. Instead, look for a trusted driver, always wear your seatbelt and speak up if you feel unsafe.
Travelers should educate themselves on potential medical and travel security risks within their pre-departure routines as there are no global standards for healthcare or travel security. For further information on International SOS and why the company is so passionate about mitigating risks please visit www.internationalsos.com.
ABOUT International SOS:
International SOS (internationalsos.com) is the world’s leading medical and travel security risk services company. We care for clients across the globe, from more than 1,000 locations in 90 countries. Our expertise is unique: more than 11,000 employees are led by 14,000 doctors and 200 security specialists. Teams work night and day to protect our members. We pioneer a range of preventative programs strengthened by our in-country expertise. We deliver unrivalled emergency assistance during critical illness, accident, or civil unrest. We are passionate about helping clients put Duty of Care into practice. With us, multinational corporate client, governments and NGOs can mitigate risk for their people working remotely or overseas.