Whether for work or leisure, travel is one of the most exciting parts of life. Immersing oneself in places unknown can be both exhilarating and intimidating, but in the best of ways.
However, when preparing for these rewarding experiences, it is important that travelers familiarize themselves with the risks associated with each intended destination and align their preventive actions appropriately. Risk is inevitable and endemic in everything we do.
Unfortunately, risk cannot be eliminated, but it can most certainly be minimized. Nowadays, more and more employees are combining “business” travel with “pleasure” travel. Perhaps they’re having a business meeting in London, and so they decide to stay a few days longer and enjoy the British capital. Or, perhaps they take it a step further and travel to the Continent to go to Spain or France. Or perhaps your employees travel to and from Mexico each and every day, and on a few days they decide to bring their kids with them.
International travel – like all travel – has both risks and rewards. The rewards are obvious: it’s fun to travel, fun to see sights, and fun to experience new and diverse cultures! The risks, well, they can be murkier. It can be as pedestrian as getting the flu in a foreign country or as “exciting” as a terrorist attack. But there are risks.
Maximizing Employee Safety when Employees Travel Abroad
To maximize employee travel safety, it is always important to fully understand the sources, situations and actions that could expose a traveler to unnecessary risk. Crime, terrorism, civil disturbance, acts of war, the possibility of an accident or medical emergency, or travel to a remote or high-risk location will likely impact traveler safety.
One central thing to keep in mind is that medical standards of care can vary significantly for those traveling overseas. This fact can impact the potential response to any accident or incident that may occur, as will unanticipated costs. Access to information in advance of a trip about appropriate medical services and facilities and how to pay for them can be vital in the event of an emergency. This is one reason why IMG GlobalSecur offers medical assistance for companies and employees traveling overseas. International medical assistance and insurance are “must haves” for any corporation and its employees.
Having a plan, knowing the basics of awareness and personal protection, and understanding your surroundings are key to mitigating the risks associated with travel. Following on with this theme in our next blog, we will delve further into the basic but necessary steps needed to protect ourselves, our associates, and our families when traveling. If you are a plan administrator or executive and want to explore your employee travel safety options, reach out to our experts for an initial consultation.