An ever increasing number of women are taking business trips with each passing year. This trend is expected to continue into the future as women continue to advance in the workforce.
The desire to equalize the workplace between men and women does not alter the fact that women have at least some unique safety considerations that are not necessarily shared by their male counterparts. There are some specific safety strategies and protocols that women need to bear in mind when they travel for business.
No, a woman does not intentionally invite inappropriate conduct by men. With that clearly understood, when traveling, a woman should attempt to dress conservatively. Taking a conservative approach to dress serves a number of reasons.
Dressing conservatively does minimize unwanted attention, oftentimes from the likes of an individual intent on theft. This can particularly be the case if you wear flashy jewelry while traveling for business.
Avoid A Backpack
Many travelers, including women, take backpacks along when they travel. These can be convenient.
Despite the convenience of a backpack, they can present safety issues. A woman enhances her safety by traveling with a handbag that can be worn across her body. Select a handbag that zips shut.
Get A Virtual Private Network
Now that the world is connected, the Internet is becoming more accessible to international travelers. However, it is also becoming more accessible to hackers, who can access your internet activity on public wifi hotspots while you are traveling. They can potentially steal your login info and credit card numbers.
The good news is that you can keep your information safe by using a virtual private network (VPN) when you travel. VPNs make you anonymous while online, so no one can track your activity. A subscription is only a few bucks a month (many providers are often offering various VPN discounts for subscriptions) and you can use it both at home and abroad. The following is an excellent breakdown of all the different options available: https://proprivacy.com
Pack A Doorstop Alarm
Another technology worth having on a business trip is a doorstop alarm. This provides an added level of protection to a woman in a hotel room.
Bring Along Backup
When on a business trip, a traveler should take a spare credit card and cash. This should be kept in a separate location from the primary card and cash. Also, make a copy of a driver’s license or passport. This ensures the information on these documents is available if the originals become lost or stolen.
Protect The Home Safe
A business traveler has an easier time if she is not worried about what is going on at home. Use a smartphone app that permits the ability to turn lights on and off at home. This leaves the impression that the residence is occupied.
Suspend Mail Delivery
Unless a person is only going to be gone for a day or two, suspend mail and newspaper delivery. Mail and newspapers that pile up represent a huge red flag when it comes to burglars and others.
Provide Itinerary To A Loved One
Make sure a loved one knows your itinerary. Check in with that person daily.
Reserve All Transportation
In addition to making hotel reservations, make reservations for any ground transport you may require. Consider registering with Uber or Lyft as well.
Reserve A Hotel Room With An Interior Entrance
Whenever possible, reserve a hotel room with an interior entrance. Select a hotel room above the ground floor as well.
If renting a car, obtain one that has a GPS tracking system onboard. Nearly all newer models do in this day and age. A person struggling with GPS on a phone can send a message that she is a visitor and exposes that individual to someone who might be inclined to commit a crime.
Use Valet Parking
Take advantage of valet parking when in an unfamiliar city or at night. Yes, a person spends a bit of money for valet parking sometimes. However, it adds a layer of protection.
Request Two Room Keys
Always request two room keys. Never send out the message that you are staying alone.
Do Not Not Give Out Your Room Number
Do not broadcast the hotel room number. If a reservation desk staff member states your room number out loud, rather than writing it down, ask for a new room.
Check All Locks
Once in a hotel check to make sure all locks are functioning correctly. Make certain that windows close and lock properly as well.
Take Advantage Of Concierge Services
Concierge services in hotels are invaluable. They can assist in a wide array of things associated with the city in which a business meeting or conference is occurring. They can also provide useful information that address safety issues and questions when traveling solo in a city for business.