International Travel Tips to Keep Your Clients Safe Abroad

Written by: Amanda Bailey on June 20, 2016

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International travel can be memorable and rewarding, but safety should also be at the forefront of travel agents’ minds when their clients are traveling abroad. Give them peace of mind and help them stay safe while traveling internationally with these tips.

1. Offer Appropriate Travel Insurance
Regular health insurance, and even some travel insurance options don’t cover expenses incurred when something goes wrong abroad. Do your research and recommend the right travel insurance to protect your client’s investment in an international vacation.

2. Provide them with Contact Details for the Host Embassy or Consulate
The local embassy or consulate can be the most important point of contact in the event of an emergency, whether it be a natural disaster or a personal crisis. Make sure your clients have the contact info in English, and if needed, in the language of the country they are visiting.
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3. Sign Up for Travel Alerts
Sign up for travel alerts with the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment program (STEP). These alerts will notify you of any issues that might impact travel plans to or within a destination, and provide any official instructions for dealing with these issues.

4. Bring a Phone That Can Make International Calls
Suggest that your clients either invest in a temporary phone to use abroad, or talk to their mobile provider about adding on an international calling plan. They might not need to use it, but it can come in very handy in an emergency.
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5. Research Any Health/Medical Requirements
Depending on the destination, your clients may need additional vaccinations to ensure they don’t contract anything while traveling. Aside from official requirements, travel agents will also want to advise their clients on any other health precautions that may be beneficial in destination.

6. Make Copies of Passports
Recommend that your clients keep a photocopy of passports in a secure spot, or simply have them take a picture of their passport with their phone. As an added safeguard, someone back home should have copies of their passports too.
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7. Inform Them of Transportation Options
Reliable transportation methods vary depending on the part of the world. If your clients are traveling independently, provide them with information like which taxi companies are licensed, what to expect with public transportation, and other common sense tips to ensure they get to where they want to go safely and easily.
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8. Keep Your Personal Data Secure
Remind clients to remove any sensitive data from their laptops and tablets if they are bringing them on the road to minimize damage in the event a device is stolen or hacked. When they return, it’s also a good idea to change device passwords and passwords to major accounts, just in case.

As a travel agent, you want to ensure your clients’ vacation abroad lives up to their expectations while making their well-being a top priority. If you have any other travel advice or safety tips, share them in the comments below!

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