Deciding Whether To Go – Research the Facts
While each individual must choose what’s right for each individual situation, Via Her has compiled a list of tips to help you make an educated and informed decision.
Check with Consular Bureau
The first step in planning any international journey is to check with your country’s consular bureau for any official travel alerts or warnings. To ensure the most up to date information, Via Her recommends cross-referencing the consular bureau sites of at least two countries:
- Australian Department of Foreign Affairs
- Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- France Diplomatie
- UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
- US Department of State
Keep in mind there are significant differences between travel alerts and travel warnings. For instance, some alerts advise travelers of the potential of natural activities, such as earthquakes and hurricane seasons. In more extreme instances, travel warnings advise against traveling to a specific area (e.g. Gaza Strip), or an entire country (e.g., Iraq, Afghanistan).
Research the country-specific consular briefings for the following:
– Travel warnings for your specific destination and/or the surrounding region.
– Political stability and upcoming elections.
– Risks posed by criminal and/or terrorist activity.
– Any country/region specific issues relative to assaults against women.
Investigate region specific medical issues
The Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s Travelers’ Health offers information to assist travelers decide the vaccines, medications, and other measures necessary to prevent illness and injury during international travel.
Know the airline and country’s aviation safety record
The European Union Transport Commission maintains a list of civil aviation authorities, airlines and aircraft that do not meet certain safety criteria, and hence, are banned from operating in and over EU airspace. Whether you’re an EU citizen or not, make sure the civil aviation authority of the country you’re considering traveling to and/or your proposed carrier isn’t on this list!
While most business travelers use a travel agency or corporate booking services, Via Her recommends taking a couple of extra steps to increase travel safety and peace of mind.
Obtain worldwide travel and medical insurance
Consider enrolling in an international travel and medical program. Most U.S. medical plans do not cover international health services provided, and not all foreign hospitals accept credit card payments. A good plan will cover emergency travel, medical and security assistance, and, in extreme instances, medical evacuation (which, without insurance, can cost upwards of $50,000).
Register with your country’s consulate
We highly recommend registering with your government’s consulate in the country you are visiting. Consular officers can provide a number of services In the event of an emergency, such as replacement passports, and in extreme instances, physical security and evacuation. This is also a great opportunity to reconfirm your entry documentation (e.g., passport, visas, work authorization permits) is up to date.
Visit your doctor to obtain vaccines and prescription drugs
Your doctor should provide you with the appropriate vaccines and medication recommended by the CDC’s Travelers’ Health organization necessary to prevent illness and injury during international travel. Don’t forget to ask for refills for any prescription medication you take today – it may not be as easy to obtain in a foreign country.
Via Her, Inc
Via Her caters to the women business traveler community by providing guidance on travel, business etiquette, safety and after-work activities worldwide.
Today, the typical business woman traveler is a master at multitasking between the roles of executive, spouse, and mother. Although women comprise nearly 50% of all business travelers, they face a very different set of challenges compared to their male counterparts. How many of you have spent your evenings ordering hotel room service, or traveled internationally for business only to realize that you didn’t get to experience what the city has to offer?
Via Her does not just list information you can find in any tourist guide books. Our content is entirely targeted at the busy schedules of Women Business Travelers — from how to tour a city in a few hours, where to find unique souvenirs for the kids, or the ideal places to enjoy a glass of wine after work, Via Her is here to help.