Embarking on a corporate trip sometimes means that you won’t be travelling light – you’ve got a bunch of things (documents, extra luggage and other knickknacks) tailing your person.
This I dread, typically.
In managing my anxiety for such situations, I’ve come up with some beatitudes that I strictly adhere to in preparation for and during my journey. They include the following:
1. Weed out your wallet
Wallets a lot of times become a repository for superfluous stuff - take a quick glance at yours and I’m certain you’ll find one or more of said “stuff”.
After sorting out the contents of my suitcase, I then face that of my wallet. The mandate is simple: to rid myself of any unnecessary item: some of which include grocery store loyalty cards, business cards and even the odd receipt.
What I’m left with are the essentials for my trip – items that I need to help smoothly facilitate the journey. Everything else is either left at home or binned.
2. Carry two wallets
After the conducting the cleansing mentioned above, I then sort out what’s left into the personal and professional categories, which eventually ends up in two different wallets. You’re probably thinking this is peculiar, it really isn’t! This is more for security than anything else: specifically, in the event that something goes wrong, I have a backup handy.
3. Keep your belongings on you
This is another “distinctiveness” that I strongly recommend. As opposed to having important things like my passport in my coat or jacket, I have such necessities on my person: in my trouser pockets for instance. Having it so close I find assuages my concerns of fears of loss – at every point in time I know exactly where everything is.
4. Dispose of personal/business information smartly
I have a shredding only policy when it comes to paper trails of any kind – be it, an email printout, a cab receipt or any document that has sensitive information. As opposed to disposing such materials in the hotel dustbin or any other public disposal, I typically wait till I get back to the office to either use the company shredder or the private recycling bins. This way delicate knowledge is safeguarded.
5. Be weary of promiscuous ATM withdrawals
I’m also very finicky when it comes to where I withdraw cash. With issues like Skimming and a surplus of credit/debit card fraud (wherein bank details are stolen). Typically, I refrain from having to make ATM withdrawals – especially when my trip takes me to a foreign city – but if I have to, such a transaction is conducted within the safety of an authorized bank.
6. Set spending limits
It is so easy to go overboard money-wise when travelling – especially if it’s on the company’s dime. For extended trips, I make sure I have a certain amount of cash on me, which is then specifically allocated for each day – almost like pocket money. This way I only use the company credit card in time of emergency. Remember, a true mark of an astute business traveller is one who can ensure that he/she can manage the business finances.
7. Have soft copies of your important documents
Be it pages of my passport, credit cards and even receipts, I always ensure that I have a soft copy (usually a photograph taken and saved on my phone) of all said documents. Such painstaking precaution usually comes in handy in the event any of these credentials go missing or are stolen; that way I can easily show proof of ownership.
8. Carry cash
This is one of the cardinal rules of travelling – having liquid currency on you. While credit/debit cards are expedient for keeping financial records and can be replaced, there is no way of protecting your identity if they are pilfered – cash on the other hand offers a certain level of anonymity and flexibility.
9. Be selective of your WiFi connection
In the same vein of protecting your personal and business information, exercise extreme caution in your dealing with public WiFi access – either on your phone or computer - as perpetrators are able to illegally obtain pertinent information through such mediums. So, if you can, connect only to password protected WiFi.
10. Confirm insurance details from your financial provider
Prior to your trip contact your financial provider to find out the details of your travel insurance. This way you’re armed with the necessary information so you don’t have to pay for services that you’re already covered for (on the occasion something unfortunate happens).
Hopefully, these ten tips enable you to safeguard your physical and virtual wallets whilst you’re on the move for work.
Written by Ross Fastuca @Locomote