Personal Security & Adventure Travel Part I – In light of the recent attacks in Paris, and the lock-down of Brussels for an imminent terror threat one should consider their personal security situation. Since traveling around the world to remote areas our more crowded cities requires some different approaches we will concentrate on situation based awareness security. Below are some tips to consider while planning and executing your trip.
Planning the Trip
• To the degree possible, avoid carriers that are both high-risk and lax in
• Choose flights with the fewest number of intermediate stops. Intermediate
stops provide terrorists not inclined toward suicide with opportunities to
plant explosives and then deplane.
• Select your seat carefully. A seat next to an over-the-wing emergency exit
is best, but a position near an alternate exit also is acceptable. To put a
little distance between yourself and any confrontation in the aisle, select a
window seat whenever possible.
The following items are potentially provocative:
• A passport that shows travel to controversial countries such as Israel.
Passports with visa stamps from such countries should be replaced. U.S.
passports can be turned in at U.S. Department of State passport offices
and new, “clean” passports obtained.
• ID cards for the military reserve or cards showing membership in a political
party, political action group, veterans’ organization, or any group that can
be considered controversial.
• Business cards or letterhead—your own or those of associates—citing
companies in controversial industries, especially cards indicating titles
such as “Director, Weapons Sales” or “Manager, Special Weapons
Development Group.” If carried at all, they should be relegated to
• Any other materials linking you to your company, if your company is in
a controversial industry. This would include company literature such as
annual reports, jewelry, polo shirts, luggage tags, or other items bearing
the company’s logo—even credit cards issued in the company’s name.
• Letters that provide personal financial data or other sensitive information.
Personal data can be used to pressure you into taking actions or making
statements against your will.
• Expensive jewelry such as large diamond rings or pins, gold chains or
medallions, and gold watches.
• Clothing that sets you apart from the crowd.
• Reading matter that may be offensive (such as racy magazines) or
provocative (this guide, for example).
At the Airport
• Know the scheduled time of departure for your flight and plan your arrival
at the airport so that you have enough time for processing. Take into
consideration baggage check-in and security inspections.
• Spend a minimum of time in the public lobby areas, which carry the
highest risks of bombings and other terrorist incidents. Proceed as soon as
possible to the security checkpoint and pass into the “sterile area” of the
• Avoid people who are receiving special attention from airline employees
or the press, as well as those who appear to be holding unusually
animated conversations. Avoid disturbances of any kind. Move away from
potential trouble, not toward it as many people are inclined to do.
• Be alert to an influx of uniformed security or police officers or to airline
personnel milling about with two-way radios. If airport officials order an
evacuation of the area, take a position in the center of the group with as
many people around you as possible. Do not take the lead or straggle.
• Never ignore “gut” feelings. If something feels amiss, it very well may be.
Follow your instincts to a safe harbor.
• If a fellow passenger appears to be acting in an unusual manner, report
your suspicions to an airline employee or to the authorities.”
Since most of us travel to areas that can make us stand out it is always important to keep these travel tips in mind, and to prepare our minds to handle our personnel travel security. Personal Security & Adventure Travel requires a mindset and this does require some preparation of thought. So prepare in all areas and enjoy your time traveling around the world. We will release more tips on this subject over the next month, and hope to better prepare our readers for the current reality as it is.
Some of these tips come from:
Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.
MANAGING TRAVEL RISKS
Tips on International Business Travel
The Ackerman Group LLC
International Security Consultants
Form 14-01-0178 (Rev. 2/14)