Travelling to high-risk destinations can be incredibly daunting, but there are many steps you can take to hopefully reduce the chances of finding yourself in dangerous scenarios if you do need to make the journey.
Whilst many of us would not travel to a high-risk location, there are people around the world who will do so for work purposes and other reasons.
If you are a frequent traveller or have an upcoming visit to a dangerous part of the world, you need to be aware of the potential risks you may face and take action to avoid them.
Unfortunately, as is the case in many situations in life, no amount of preparation can completely prepare of for unexpected events or developments. However, as journalists who have travelled to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and other hotspots will tell you, taking certain precautions can save your life.
In this article, we have included some tips on how to significantly reduce your risk when you go to one of these places.
1. Stay informed about the location
Always keep up to date with the latest news about the country you are travelling in. Online, you’ll be able to quickly assess whether there are any possible threats present that you could take steps to avoid. For example, if there is a crime problem or if violence is more present in one city than the rest of the country, you could, if possible, avoid that area.
However, don’t just focus on the news. Ask people who have been there. Perhaps there are online forums or communities where you can read comments, or even ask questions.
The more information about your destination you have, the safer you will be when you get ther. Also, you will be in a better position to decide whether to go ahead with your plans or abandon the trip altogether.
3. Create a plan and stick to it
One of the most important things to do before you travel is inform the embassy in advance. Make sure people back home know about your plans. If your friends and family know where you are heading, they can take action if they don’t hear from you. Security and diplomatic personnel will ask relatives or friends where you were when you went missing, or where you were heading.
If you are travelling with others, it is essential that you all collaborate to create a plan to address any of the concerns you may have. Whilst it is generally much safer to head to volatile regions as part of a group, you want to make sure everyone is comfortable with the action plan should you be placed in a high risk situation.
Make sure you have contact numbers for each member of your group. Locals who know the area well, i.e., guides, can be of great help. They will know which routes to take, what to avoid, and how to behave in certain situations.
3. Do you require training?
You might need to attend a security training course before your trip. Training courses exist for all types of professionals, including, for example, journalists, human rights representatives and activists, military personnel, medical professionals, and diplomats.
If there is a likelihood that you might have to leave the country suddenly, you should seriously consider taking out an evacuation insurance policy.
4. More safety tips
Make sure you keep all important documents safe and carry a first aid kit. Carry physical cash with you and use your mobile devices sparingly so you always have power when you need it. Many entrepreneurs, job seekers, doctors, nurses, diplomats, military personnel, and businesses head to high-risk regions all the time and come back safely. Things may not always be as dangerous as they seem.
About Driven Worldwide
At Driven Worldwide, we manage over 100 secure financial roadshows each year, transporting VIPs around various high-risk locations. Our operations director signs off all decisions on bookings, following FCO advice to the letter. We have vast experience in keeping our clients safe in regions such as Africa, the Middle East, South and Central America, always declining bookings when risks are deemed to be too high.
Interesting related article: “What is Risk?”
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