February 15, 2024

Business Travel Safety – Ready to go?

It’s been a slow return and business travel is now certainly picking up.  Whilst growth of virtual communications has been terrific news for stretched travel budgets and it will help reduce global emissions, there is also a read need for physical travel too. Factories need to be visited, crops inspected, and key conferences attended.  So here are a few tips and tricks from the Objective Travel Safety team which may help anyone planning an upcoming business trip. 

Firstly, ensure you have the necessary company authorisation to travel. Budget approval will be key. Be upfront about any likely travel expenses as your subsequent claim may be laughed at and you will be out of pocket. Many companies will have a 'per diem rate' and some items such as booze might not be included. However, there may be clients you need to entertain and a budget might be available. 

The safety and wellbeing of employees overseas is quite rightly a key priority of any well managed company so there may be pre-departure checklists or even risk assessments to complete. Many companies will use their national government travel advice website as a yard stick on gauging the level of threat in the country to be visited. Here are a selected few: 

British: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Australia: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au
Germany: www.auswaertiges-amt.de
France: www.diplomatie.gouv.fr
Netherlands: www.rijksoverheid.nl
India: https://www.mea.gov.in
USA: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/

Bear in mind that many of these sites, as they are Governments giving advice, have to be over cautious. As a reminder, if they have advised ‘against travel to’ a country or areas the traveller’s insurance may be null and avoid unless it’s been cleared prior to travel. 

It’s a timely reminder that being drunk abroad will also negate the medical insurance claim so watch out for the farewell party getting out of hand! Many larger insurance companies such as Chubb Insurance or AIG Insurance have Smart Travel Apps and also links to security risk travel management companies such as Crisis24Horizon, SRM or International SOS.  During many of the Business Travel Safety Awareness courses we deliver, I find that companies are not aware of these insurance ‘add-ons’.  

And then back to the basics, do I need a visa? is my passport still valid? On the visa issue, find out whether you need one (for UK citizens select your country on the FCDO website and look at ‘entry requirements’). Regarding business or tourists, it depends on what you are doing.  If you are just visiting an office or attending a conference you may able to travel on a tourist visa. However, if you are working out of an office, it’s got to be business. The rules change frequently and are very country specific so you might need to check with a company specialising in getting visas. There is no leeway on the 6 months validity on your passport and be aware those Brits who have passports valid for 10 years and 4 or 6 months (as issued by passport office some years ago) as recently this has caused a lot of heartache with disrupted business trips and holidays. As far as airlines are concerned, it is 10 years from issue date less 6 months not 10 years from expiry date less 6 months. 

Before you travel, make your smart phone ‘travel smart’. There are so many useful apps which will ease the stress of travel. Here are some of my favourites: 


General Travel: City Mapper, Rometorio, trainline, booking.com, googletranslate, travelhealth. 
Taxis: Uber, Bolt, Lyft, gett
Money: Xe, Starling/Revolut/Monzo bank apps

Finally, do some research on the country you are visiting so you don’t make of fool of yourself. Know something about the country’s history, culture & religion, its political situation and useful if you know whether you are going to get wet or fried by extreme temperatures. Some knowledge of the local favourite sport will ease taxi rides and help build a rapport with your new friends. There may also be business etiquette issues, for example, in Japan how you give and receive a business card will make a lasting impression. 


For more information on how we can help at Objective Travel Safety with your travel safety needs, do get in touch. We offer in-person Travel Safety Training Courses at your premise or location of your choice in the UK or overseas, and also virtually (online).

Who do you work with?

We work with a whole range of clients including those from academic institutions (University), the oil and gas industry, SME’s to large corporations,  many charities and NGOs as well as hostile environment safety training for journalists and media workers.

Our courses are designed for any company who sends their employees overseas on business, which gives the employer peace of mind and also fulfils the duty of care obligations.

Charlie McGrath, Director 
Objective Travel Safety Ltd
February 2024

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