I travel a great deal for business and even with the heightened global security I feel safe because one has to continue with one’s life but be cautious even in one’s own country of residence. To stay home and be fearful just allows the negative forces to win. I am in the travel business and believet that travel more than any other medium allows cultures to merge and for people to interact with one another which allows them to understand each other on a more human level.
My tips for secure international travel are as follows:
- I check to make sure that my passport is valid for six months after the completion of my trip and I have enough blank visa pages in my passport. I am fortunate that my companies, Travel Document Systems and Pinnacle Travel Documents can process my passport renewal in 24 hour if the need arises.
- If I am traveling to a country that requires a visa, I make sure to obtain my visas in advance and check to make sure my visa(s) are valid for my intended stay.
- I swear by my global entry card which allows me to skip long entry lines upon return to the US and qualifies under TSA Pre-check domestically. For $100 for five year it is a bargain! Certain credit cards like the Amex Platinum will reimburse the fee.
- I take photos of the informational page of my passport and visas in my passport to have on hand in case I lose my passport or it is stolen. Having copies assist in the replacement process of the US Passport.
- I have enrolled in the US State Departments STEP program. I enroll each of my international trips and if any major event happens in the country that I am traveling to the State Department can reach me with emergency information.
- The Travel Documents Systems Document Profile Locker is a great tool that keeps my visa & passport information on file electronically and in case of a theft overseas I can access the information. Further, it can securely store all my contact information and alert me via e-mail when my passport and visas are about to expire.
- I usually check to see if a car/ride service like UBER is available in the international destination I am visiting. This allows me to use the app to call a car and pay for the ride with my credit card on file. For security reasons I love this system because I know the name of the driver, the model of the car and the license plate number. The app tracks pickup and drop off so I feel more comfortable internationally.
- I make sure my mobile phone is tuned on for international calls. This gives me great peace of mind knowing that anywhere internationally my family, business or friends can reach me immediately in case of an emergency or I can quickly make a call out.
- I don’t carry lots of cash or expensive jewelry with me so I am not a target for robbery.
- I make sure my bank ATM card works overseas so I can get quick access to my account and local currency after hours.