With the launch of Stratfor Worldview Enterprise, business leaders from a variety of backgrounds share their opinions on geopolitical risks and business strategies.
In this blog post, the third in a series, Thomas Pecora stresses the need to secure important documents before — and while — you travel. He is director of Pecora Consulting Services, which provides consulting services in security vulnerability and threat assessments in Asia and the United States, as well as personal safety and crime prevention and avoidance, and travel security skills training. Pecora is also author of the memoir, Guardian: Life in the Crosshairs of the CIA's War on Terror, and served 24 years as a CIA senior security manager. He managed large complex security programs and operations in Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East and in war zones.
Pre-departure preparation is a key element in ensuring that any travel will be safe, enjoyable and productive. The first concrete steps in this process are done at home prior to departing for the airport. By planning to specifically deal with issues associated with air travel and the airport we start our trip off on the right foot.
It is critical that you keep your travel documents (passport, visas, and airline tickets) as well as your valuables and any other identification with you on the plane. Also, any prescription medication and medic alert information as well as your "Point of Contact" information (including cellphone numbers). Basically, carry-on anything you cannot afford to lose or replace at your destination.
Often, the best option, and the cheapest, is a money pouch that stays on your body all the time, concealed under your clothing, attached to your belt or worn around the neck, waist or calf. These pouches are particularly useful on aircraft, in a train, using public transportation or when you are staying in lodging that is not very secure.
It is a good idea to keep another copy of all your important documents and financial materials (credit cards, ATM cards, etc.) in an email in the cloud.
It is a good idea to keep another copy of all your important documents and financial materials (credit cards, ATM cards, etc.) in an email in the cloud. This will allow you to access this information if you lose the originals and need to acquire a new passport from your embassy; to provide specific credit card and ATM card details to the financial companies to shut off these cards and/or issue emergency cards. Many can deliver to you in the foreign country via courier service. You can also keep electronic copies on your smartphone provided you keep it password-protected.
If possible, travel with carry-on luggage only to avoid dealing with lost checked bags. Plan your packing, use a list, and pack your own bags. Understand airline restrictions as well as the restricted items in the countries you will visit. Pack the right gear for the climate, culture, and your activities. While in transit do not leave your bags unattended.
Prepare ahead. Taking the time to do some preparation before heading to the airport is one activity that we can take to ensure that we are ready to travel and that we are prepared for some of the possible issues that may occur when we fly or when we arrive at our destination.
This essay is part of a series on risk management and travel security.
- Part 1: What Is a Business' Duty of Care for Traveling Employees?
- Part 2: Business Travel: Pre-Trip Planning and Preparations
- Part 3: Pre-Airport Travel Security Issues
Stratfor Worldview Enterprise builds on Stratfor's more than two decades of success accurately forecasting geopolitical developments. Stratfor Worldview Enterprise provides businesses with a customizable intelligence platform to help them:
- Anticipate risks to business interests and potential opportunities worldwide
- Map, monitor and manage geopolitical risks that have the greatest likelihood of disrupting their ability to sustain or fortify operations in countries around the world.
- Develop contingency plans to alleviate key vulnerabilities specific to any corporate footprint.
Stratfor Worldview Enterprise enables organizations to understand global vulnerabilities, and to determine through our proprietary forecasting process if those vulnerabilities are projected to change — positively or negatively — over the next quarter or year.
To learn more visit: Stratfor Worldview Enterprise