How to Assess Security Risks While Traveling
Those who bought future trips to the island were offered free rebooking or a full refund, he said. The company always follows the advice of the governments where its divisions are based like Germany, the United Kingdom and France.
“If any foreign office imposes a travel warning, we won’t fly there,” Mr. Riecken said.
Consider the power of your phone
Many corporations and nongovernmental organizations enlist travel security and risk mitigation firms to help protect staff abroad, and some of those services are available to leisure travelers.
International SOS offers medical insurance and travel assistance that includes access to its app, with safety reports on each country, and advice by phone from its analysts. That could include recommending options for secure hotels and for safe transportation after an extreme event. For two people traveling to Egypt for a week, for example, this package costs about $200.
There are a number of mobile apps that track users and send out alerts on changing security conditions. The Sitata app lets you enter trip dates and location and view reports by country on personal safety, extreme violence and political unrest. Sitata, which is free, and Safeture app, to be available to consumers this summer for around $40 a year, send users alerts for selected countries on flight disruptions, demonstrations and disease outbreaks.
Mobile apps Life360 and Apple’s Find My Friends, both free, share your location with people in your group, and send alerts when users arrive at a location. Life360 also lets you send a help alert to your group.
Before and during your trip
Locate your country’s nearest consulate or embassy and keep their addresses and emergency numbers with you. Most important, experts say, is assess your surroundings and have a plan for getting out of harm’s way. That could mean using a bathroom for a panic room. If you’re in an open area or public place when violence occurs, “You go away from it, always,” said Matthew Bradley, regional security director for risk management firms International SOS and Control Risks.
When choosing a hotel, he said, find one with “the same level of security as every other hotel in town, or a little higher.” It’s best not to stay above the fifth floor, so emergency truck ladders can still reach, he said.