Travel Security Awareness and Training
There are three practical risk mitigation concepts to keep in mind when traveling:
- Travel Security Awareness
- Travel Security Education
- Travel Security Training
If you want to help ensure that you will not be victimized while traveling, the first item to focus on is travel security awareness. Of the three concepts, travel security awareness is probably the most important.
Maintain good situational awareness at all times. Remember, you are in a possible new and unfamiliar location. Unlike your hometown, what areas are and are not safe may be different, just like certain activities or ways of behavior that are acceptable at home may not be appropriate in a different city or country.
Pay attention to your surroundings. Research the location you are visiting and find out not only the specific criminal and terrorist risks associated with the locale but also any cultural differences that might affect your safety.
When you visit another country, it is important to remember that behavior norms and practices may not be the same as those in your home country. Even the way someone interacts with you, which you may think harmless in your country of origin, may imply something else entirely. Maintaining proper travel security awareness is essential to keeping you and those with whom you are traveling safe.
General travel security education courses that will provide you with good, basic information on safety and security practices germane to any environment are also available. These may be as simple as a one-hour seminar on staying safe while traveling. Many of these courses can be done online.
A general travel security education course is especially important for people who are not used to traveling. Topics such as hotel security, crisis avoidance, customs and immigration practices and common sense safety practices will help you minimize the risk to you personally while traveling.
Travel security training may be appropriate, especially for corporate travelers. Companies that do not have some sort of travel security training program in place risk potential liability issues if something happens to one of the company’s employees when traveling on corporate business.
Governments routinely mandate that employees deployed to certain regions or countries attend an appropriate training course based on the threat environment. Many corporations do the same.
Even individuals should consider attending a good travel security training course, especially if you are traveling aboard for the first time. Travel security education is an important component of your risk mitigation planning. Depending on where you may be going, there are various levels of training available.
Do not forget to include family members in the training as this will not only give them the tools necessary to help protect themselves, but will also give you peace of mind.
If you are visiting a very high-risk destination or somewhere that armed conflict is taking place, more robust travel security training may be warranted. This could include things like defensive and offensive driving, hostage survival, and even weapon’s familiarization.
Travel security awareness and training are becoming almost routine today given the threats facing travelers today. You should give serious consideration to including these three fundamental concepts as part of your travel preparation.