Where in the World is it safe to travel?



Security and personal safety are among the most critical factors to keep in mind when travelling abroad whether for work or leisure.

According to the latest Global Peace Index report the world, since 2009, has turned into a more dangerous place. With a continually worsening atmosphere developing across the globe in recent times, we looked at the safest places there to live or to travel on business.

In identifying the list of the safest destinations for travel, this article refers to the comprehensive report called Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 courtesy of The World Economic Forum who have ranked destinations on the basis of their security and safety.

There are various criteria used to assess the safety of a nation with the obvious one being terrorism incidence index.

All nations with a high percentile score (95 %+) tied as boasting the least occurrences of terrorism. The criteria also include factors such as the overall cost terrorism has on businesses as well as the cost of violence and crime on these same business ventures.

Luckily, ‘secure’ and ‘safe' doesn't necessarily mean boring! Here are are the five nations that ranked top on account of being secure and safe for travel.

# 5 Denmark

While Scandinavia makes the list of the safest areas to travel to with Sweden and Norway among the favourites, it is Denmark that beats all the odds with a high GPI score (1.337). Referred to as the Happiest Nation, this southernmost Nordic nation features amazing amusement parks, world-class museums and a plethora of historic architecture designed to make business travel or holidays a delight.

# 4 Austria

Surrounded by at least three other nations that have a respectable GPI score regarding safety, it is safe to say that Austria is ideally nestled in a perfectly safe haven amidst the continually erupting terrorism and safety concerns in Europe with a decent GPI score(1.265).

While you are here, you can take yourself off to visit Vienna for typical Old World allure and a significant dose of tradition and culture.

# 3 Portugal

A relatively overlooked nation, Portugal boasts some of the most beautiful castles in Europe, not to mention Instagram-worthy sunsets and incredible cuisine!

It has a 1.258 GPI score which only serves to add to its characteristic lustre. If your business trip or holiday includes Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city, then get ready to enjoy the excitement and pleasure that comes with exploring a spectacular blend of modern wonders and ancient sites.

# 2 New Zealand

Home to incredible wildlife and breathtaking views, and with a 1.241 GPI, New Zealand can only be best named the Middle-earth modern mecca for any adventure junky. Once you are here, be sure to visit Queenstown right at the South Island for a taste of great activities set to inspire your stay.

# 1 Iceland

For several consecutive years now, Iceland has dominated the headlines as the ‘most peaceful nation on the entire planet.'

This small island nation located in the heart of North Atlantic Ocean scores particularly high for its low population and strategic location. With an impressive GPI score of 1.111, Iceland's supremacy as a haven is unchallenged. With an outstanding capital city and breath taking landscapes, this nation is as gorgeous as is safe.

SUMMARY:

Undeniably in today’s world, no city, town or region is immune from dangers. As such, it is up to you to pay close attention to any visible indicators of insecurity that can compromise personal safety. While this list of destinations only serves as a guide, you should exercise caution when setting out to a new place whether for official business or leisure.

And remember, Mayfair cares.

A Simple Guide to Buying Complicated Travel Insurance


Travel insurance is one of those things that many people pay little attention to but is critical when traveling abroad for extended periods. Travel cover essential in many circumstances which many include when you have to cancel your trip, receiving emergency medical treatment or problems with your airline while travelling.

A wide variety of things can go wrong on a trip abroad. There are many travel insurance brands and each with distinct policies. Below is a brief guide about what you should consider when shopping for travel insurance.

Where are you going?

The cost and travel insurance and level of cover will vary considerably depending on the region(s) in which you are traveling. For this reason, insurance companies may consider some areas to be greater concern than others. You have to familiarise yourself with your travel destinations. 

Always ensure that you are informed of the risks against which against which you want your cover to protect you. Not all policies cover for epidemics, pandemics or civil commotions. If you are traveling to multiple countries, you need to get a policy that guards you for every country you will be visiting.

How long are you going to be away?

Most people are best served by a one-off policy for a set number of days. However, if you happen to be a regular traveller, a good value solution is an annual multi-trip policy or credit card travel insurance. These types of cover often restrict the length of travel allowed. 

Depending on the insurance brand, this can range from 30 to 90 days. A long-term standalone insurance policy is necessary if you are traveling for a period of more than 3 months.

The purpose of the visits

It is very important to note that some activities will not be included in a travel insurance policy. As such, you should go through the list of activities that the insurance provider covers.

This way, you can determine which activities you will have to pay extra for. It is advisable to keep alcohol and drug consumption to a minimum since an adverse event under intoxicated circumstance may not be covered by your policy.

Valuables

You first have to decide whether you need cover for valuable items such as the laptop or other electronics. The extent of cover for valuable items can vary considerably and in some cases, valuable item cover will only be provided in the form of a higher premium. 

Different travel insurance providers have different policies on an exclusion of cover for valuable items. For this reason, it is vital that you do your research on the policies of the selected travel insurance brands. Remember that the devil is always in the details!

One more important aspect to consider is any medical conditions that pre-exist the purchase date of your travel insurance policy. Some providers may not provide cover in this instance. Contact the insurance to determine if they have automatic cover or require an assessment to provide cover.

Remember, Mayfair Cares.

 

Travel and safety in 2016


Travelling is one of the most exciting things to do. But when the world is seeing an increase in the number of apparently random terrorist attacks, travelling has its risks. So, whether it is a business trip or a holiday it is important to plan, prepare and exercise caution in every part of the world simply because when you are in unfamiliar surrounding is when you are at your most vulnerable. 

April 2016 statistics in Ireland alone showed that more than 800 tourists were victims of attacks or robbery. Allowing for the fact that this should be one of the secure places in the world, these statistics are worrying. This raises the question, “How then can one safeguard themselves when they are travelling?”

At the other end of the scale in Europe during 2016 we have seen terror attacks in Paris, Brussels Nice and Normandy; random attacks across Germany, Ukraine, Turkey and in London with tourists, often being caught up in the violence.

The perception is that European countries are dangerous places to visit either on business or for a holiday – but is this factual or is it the widespread publicity that these dreadful incidents attract that is creating an exaggerated perception?

The United States, Africa, The Middle East and Asia all have their issues as well so what are we to do when planning a business trip or holiday? These are our thoughts

There is a certain euphoric feeling about being away from home in a foreign country, and this is a logical explanation as to why a lot of people forget to exercise caution when it comes to ensuring that their safety is paramount. Regardless of whether you are on a business or leisure trip it is important to protect yourself because you are oblivious of what danger looms in your surroundings. 

There are different measures that one can employ when it comes to keeping yourself safe. |We examine a few:

Keep your itinerary private

One of the most important safety measures when on a business trip in a known problem area is ensuring that your movements are not monitored or predictable. For this reason, your schedule should be confidential as it will minimise the likelihood of being targeted.

Always have a contact person who can be accessible at anytime

It is important always to have someone who can come to your rescue if you get into trouble when in the foreign land. It does not matter whether this person is family or a friend but the fact remains that they should be readily available on the phone. 

Watch your suitcase at the airport

Most people fall prey of robbery at the airport, railway, or bus station. Many thieves will use distraction techniques to target bags, wallets and other valuables. Be on your guard at all times when you are carrying all your valuables.

Consult your hotel management

If you want to take a tour of the new city, the best alternative is to ask your hotel staff for safety tips. Needless to stay keeping your travel safe is a collective effort and you might need the guidance of someone who knows the place better than you do. 

Blend with the locals

Easier said than done but one of the reasons why people travel is to interact and meet new people and learn a little of a different way of life. It is not only exciting to meet new people but socialising, and mingling with others makes you less vulnerable. Making friends is also a way to learn the areas to explore and those not to explore. 

Do not drink and drive

Even though this is a universal rule everywhere, drinking and driving are even more dangerous when in a new environment. 

Insurance

Hopefully you will have a trouble free trip abroad but if you are unlucky it is important to have comprehensive travel insurance to fall back on. Check your policy before you go and perhaps even make a phone call to the insurer to be certain that you are covered for your destination.

In summary, travelling can be great fun and please don't be put off by the publicity generated by admittedly terrible events across the World but if you can, minimise the risks to maximise a positive experience of your foreign travel and remain vigilant at all times.

Good luck, have fun and remember – Mayfair Cares.

References

www.itb-berlin.de/...all/...all...all...all...all.../ITB_World_Travel_Trends_Report_2015...

http://www.thejournal.ie/tourists-attacked-and-robbed-in-dublin-2701644-Apr2016/

 

 

Moving Overseas for Business Reasons.....

Increasing numbers of people go to work abroad as faster travel shrinks our world.

Working overseas to further a career has always happened and it is easier now than it ever has been to take advantage of the benefits to career progression that a willingness to develop yourself and your company abroad offers.

Taking such a step can be both daunting and exciting and when the day of the posting arrives you are bound to have some mixed emotions. You are facing a massive change to your way of life and your decision will have needed careful thought.

Proper planning is key and if you and your employer have taken account of all the issues that you may face then you will leave confident that you are fully prepared. Some personal aspects to consider are: 

Family.

  • How will the move affect you and your family and is your partner fully supportive? 
  • Will your family be going with you? 
  • Have you researched local schools? 
  • If they are not coming with you, how often will you get back to see them?

Financial.

  •   Is your new salary and position sufficient compensation for inevitable personal sacrifice?
  • How long will you be away?
  • Have you researched your tax position?
  • Will you be paying tax abroad?
  • How much?
  • What are the affects to your pension – if any?
Health
  • What is the healthcare situation in your destination?
  •   Is there a state system?
  •  Do you have healthcare insurance?

No matter how confident you are in your own ability to adapt to a change as significant as moving overseas, it is important you do not underestimate how stressful such a move could be for your family. This is especially true for young and teen-aged children.

If the company you work for has your living arrangements and transportation taken care of in advance, that's great.

However, what if they do not? 

  • Can you find somewhere to live quickly and easily? 
  • What about a vehicle?
  • Insurances?
  • Will your home country driving licence be sufficient in your country of destination?

 Culture

  • Have you familiarised yourself with local customs, culture and etiquette as appropriate?
  • Do you speak the local language? 
  • How you will spend your time when you aren't working?
  • Where will you find like-minded people with whom you can connect?  

Moving to a different country at any age, especially if you've never been there before, can be both a little bit terrifying and totally exhilarating in equal parts.

Take the time to think your decision through before you set anything in stone. Perhaps talk to a few people who have moved overseas at some point in time. Pick their brains a little about what it was like and what exactly you should have in place before you go. 

 A thorough checklist will go a long way and give you piece of mind. Last but not least, don't forget to set some time aside to explore and enjoy the new country you've just arrived in.

Depending on the position you have moved overseas for, the adventure new experience may just be the best part of your posting abroad so embrace and enjoy! 

Your safety when travelling abroad - 12 pieces of advice...

Travelling overseas on business to places you haven’t been before can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming and there is much to consider. 

As a business person you are there on behalf of your company but safety and not business should be your first priority.


Although your company may have done all the homework and researched the area you should double check to ensure that you are travelling to a safe region or country. The stakes of foreign travel are high and there is need for you to take concerted efforts to protect yourself.


Even when travelling to regions or countries that are considered safe, you still need to actively protect yourself against several risks. Here is a list of 6 dos and 6 don’ts of foreign travel:


The Dos

1.     DO your research- Safety, etiquette and culture differ from region to region and it is best that you consult your embassy, consulate or internet sources to know about a region’s security situation, culture and other circumstances you are likely to encounter.

2.     If you are UK based then the first place you should consult for travel and safety tips and warnings is the Foreign Office. This link will take you straight there https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

3.     DO keep important documents in a safe place- Always keep your credit cards, passport, ID, insurance policy, some emergency cash and a copy of your airline ticket in a safe and secure place separate from the other luggage. You should also leave a copy of these documents with a friend or relative at home.

4.     DO be aware of what is going on around you and watch out for distractions such as someone asking for directions or bumping into you.

5.     DO label your luggage-It is important that you label your entire luggage with your contact details and name both inside and out in case it is lost or misplaced.

6.     DO cater for a worst case scenario and have a safety plan- A safety plan that includes having contact details of your nearest embassy or consulate and emergency numbers of the local police and hospital. The safety plan also involves updating your business partners, friends or family about your whereabouts in a foreign country.


The Don'ts

7.     DON’T drive a rental car that has the company rental stickers all over it. It is great advertising for them but it also advertises you as a tourist as well.

8.     DON’T ever give anyone a lift unless you know them. Doing favours for hitchhikers no matter what the circumstances is to be avoided.

9.     DON’T take out large sums of cash in public- Large sums of cash attract attention and expose you to risks. Always pay your bills with small sums of cash. You should wear a money pouch/belt to carry your money instead of carrying cash in your back pocket or wallet. A money pouch/belt is easy to hide under a layer of clothes.

10. DON’T use your smartphone in the street unless it is absolutely necessary.

11. DON’T walk or visit unfamiliar, dimly-lit or isolated places. In addition, try to hold your business meetings during the day and in company office or public places.

12. DON’T leave your belongings unattended. You should also avoid storing your medicine, money or other valuables in your luggage.

This list is by no means exhaustive and a lot of it is common sense - foreign travel is interesting as long as safety is your first priority. You can avoid risks by being cautious, vigilant and self-aware having carried out your research and prepared fully for your journey.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of travelling abroad on business with us please don’t hesitate to contact us here:  mayfair.uk@mayfairworldwide.com