Wales' Premier Independent Travel Magazine

Global Travel Safety: Seven Things To Consider

Global travel challenges in 2024: Seven key concerns and safety tips.
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In an ever-changing world, business travel faces unprecedented challenges in 2024. Last October alone witnessed eight significant events*, including unrest, conflict, and adverse weather conditions, highlighting the need for heightened awareness among all travellers.

Kate Fitzpatrick, Regional Security Director EMEA at World Travel Protection, a leading global travel risk management organisation, shares insights into critical risks affecting not only business travellers but all globetrotters. Here are seven key concerns and practical tips to stay safe on the road:

Weather Woes
Research shows 2023 was the hottest year on record. As climate change continues to impact the globe, adverse weather conditions are on the rise. From hurricanes to floods, these events pose threats to travel schedules, safety, and finances. In 2023, 80% of World Travel Protection’s calls from France were related to fires and floods, underlining the urgency for individuals to adopt comprehensive risk management strategies.

Global Conflicts
Modern conflicts, cyberattacks and geopolitical uncertainties contribute to the complexity of international travel. Border tensions, sanctions, and diplomatic disputes can disrupt travel plans, emphasising the need for robust security measures, up-to-date intelligence and contingency plans for all travellers.

The escalating threat of cybercrimes, including identity theft and data breaches, poses a significant risk to traveller security. To protect yourself, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), disable the ‘auto-connect’ setting on your phone, and, if possible, use mobile data (4G/5G) instead of public Wi-Fi.

New Age Travellers
The post-pandemic era has given rise to a new era of travellers seeking efficient trips that blend work and leisure. While enjoying ‘bleisure’ travel or ‘workcations,’ individuals need to remain vigilant, securing valuables and ensuring leisure activities are protected with travel insurance cover.

Changing Destination Landscapes
The international business travel landscape is evolving, with new destinations opening up due to increased demand for resources. Formerly high-risk zones are now unavoidable for many businesses. Pre-travel education and briefings from trusted sources, along with continuous monitoring of global situations, are essential in this new environment.

Travel Scammers and Fraudsters
Scammers and fraudsters are rapidly evolving, refining their tactics to rip-off travellers. They employ a variety of schemes from playing the Good Samaritan to distract travellers while their accomplices rob them, to fake taxis and counterfeit cops. Travellers should remain vigilant and take precautions to protect themselves against these scams, including keeping showy jewellery, watches and gadgets out of view.

Physical Crime
From theft and pickpocketing to robbery and mugging, physical theft remains a significant threat, especially in crowded tourist destinations. Travellers often let their guard down amidst the holiday hustle and bustle, making it an opportune time for thieves to strike. Travellers need to stay vigilant, secure valuables such as passports, wallets and purses, phones, etc. ideally in a concealed money belt or pouch. However, try not to store all your important items in one place. Divide your cash and credit cards across multiple pockets or bags.

Kate Fitzpatrick said: “I can’t stress enough the importance of prioritising personal safety and making informed decisions in the face of rising global uncertainties. Many people have a different mindset once they are in another country, and without consciously thinking about it, start taking more risks than they would at home, even on business trips. Always remain vigilant, do not take risks that you would not take in your own country and protect your personal safety at all times.”

World Travel Protection is a 24/7 travel and medical assistance provider offering Travel Risk Management Solutions, supporting travellers with pre- and during-travel assistance through their portal, app, and in-house experts.

* In October 2023, Israel declared war on Hamas; at a Euro 2024 qualifying match in Brussels a terrorist suspect killed two Swedish nationals; severe flooding was experienced in the UK (Storm Babet) as well as in Portugal and Spain (Storm Aline); New Zealand experienced severe winds; national elections took place in Argentina; two deadly earthquakes hit Afghanistan; Vanuatu Cyclone Lola, the strongest off-season tropical cyclone, tore through the Southern Hemisphere; and Queenstown Airport in New Zealand was closed due to a bomb scare.

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