Women Account For Nearly 50% Of All Business Travelers

December 5th, 2017 Comments off

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Leave No One Behind – End Violence Against Women And Girls

December 1st, 2017 Comments off

Travel Security for Female Travelers

November 1st, 2017 Comments off

Female-Traveler-Infographic---SMT

To learn more about travel safety specific to female travelers please watch the webinars below and visit www.travelwithcap.com.

Being Insta-Safe in an Insta-Famous World – Best Social Media Practices for Female Travelers

July 31st, 2017 Comments off

Earlier this month, while attending the GBTA 2017 Convention in Boston, MA, I posted an Instagram story and tagged my location. Minutes after posting the story I received messages from some of my followers asking, “How’s Boston?” and “What are you in Boston for?”. It took me a minute to figure out they knew I was in Boston. It was because of my Instagram story tag. I looked a little deeper into who had watched my story and noticed that since it was tagged in Boston, the story had been automatically added to a larger story of all people who tagged Boston as their location. Anyone who searched Boston, MA had access to knowing exactly where I was and who I was. This was a reminder that although social media is a wonderful tool to spread our message and engage with our online communities, when you are a female traveler your social media practices should be met with caution.

Here are some tips to keep yourself safe when sharing your travels on social media:

Facebook – As much as you want to immediately ‘Check In’ your latest location and let all your friends and family know exactly where you are, be wary of posting real-time location updates, especially if you have an open Facebook account.

Instagram – Take a picture or else it did not happen, right? Take the picture, but hold off on posting the photo immediately. It is safer to post that awesome photo when you are traveling to the next destination, especially if you plan to geotag your location.

  • Instagram Stories- As tempting, as it is to take your Instagram community on the trip with you through real time story posts, sharing your exact location at the moment is not ideal. If you must, turn your settings to ensure only your selected followers or certain people can see your story.

Twitter – Live tweeting reviews of your hotel or that restaurant you just dined at? It is best to rave (or rant) about your accommodations after you have checked out, or once you have left the restaurant. Be vague in your tweeting timeline, as opposed to giving exact times when you were at your accommodation or location.

Free Wi-Fi – We all love a restaurant, hotel, conference center with free Wi-Fi, but be vigilant with what websites and social media apps you are using on free Wi-Fi. These connections can make you more vulnerable to hacking.

For more information on staying safe as a female traveler, watch FocusPoint International‘s webinar series on female travel safety. Female-Traveler-InfographicFP jpg

4 Safety and Security Tips for Festival Season

June 26th, 2017 Comments off

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The notorious rowdy Glastonbury music festival took place last week. Some of the world’s biggest artists performed in this 5-day music and contemporary arts festival in the UK. Over 200,000 festivalgoers were expected to attend.

Due to recent terror-related attacks in Europe, talks of elevated security and terrorist threats dominated the news surrounding this year’s Glastonbury Festival. Representatives from Glastonbury Festival as well as the Glastonbury police released statements and videos notifying attendees traveling to the festival to expect major traffic delays entering the festival grounds, large lines to ensure thorough security checks and a much higher presence of armed police officers, security, and emergency aid tents.

With heightened security presences, terror threats and emergency aid tents becoming the new normal for many high profile open space events, if you`re traveling to a festival this summer here are some tips to help you stay safe and enjoy the music!

  • Know Before You Go – Be sure to check out the official festival websites to know exactly what is allowed into the festival grounds. Save copies of the grounds map to your phone and print a copy in case your phone dies, gets lost, etc. It is also a good idea to have a list of emergency phone numbers in case an incident occurs (remember, 911 is not the emergency response number in every country).
  • Practice Sun Safety – Festivals are often in the middle of wide-open fields with little shelter from the sun’s harmful UV rays. To avoid a medical emergency such as heat or sunstroke, be sure to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and a hat. If you develop symptoms of heat exhaustion or sunstroke, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Be Aware of Your Surroundings – Always be alert and fully aware of who and what is going on around you. Festivals often have various stages stretching across a large area, and it is not possible to know the goings on throughout the whole festival, pay special attention to the things happening around you. If you see something that you deem as suspicious behavior, notify authorities and if necessary practice the “Run, Hide, Tell” procedure.
  • Have a Plan– It is important to have a response plan in case a crisis does occur. Although organizers will have evacuation plans to get attendees off the grounds, there likely will be no specific plan past getting you away from the affected area. Attendees should take their safety into their own hands and look into proper coverage for all events.

 

Cough, Cough… the Other Travel Risk

May 15th, 2017 Comments off

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We all understand there are risks when we travel.

  • Stolen passport
  • Lost luggage
  • Violent crimes
  • Acts of terrorism

But there is also another large risk we can often overlook when traveling – getting sick. More often than not we are hearing about outbreaks, epidemics, or global pandemics. But what do each of those really mean? What is the difference? And how does this affect my travel?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) definition, an outbreak is defined as:

“The occurrence of cases of disease in excess of what would normally be expected in a defined community, geographical area or season. An outbreak may occur in a restricted geographical area, or may extend over several countries. It may last for a few days or weeks, or for several years”

WHO defines an epidemic as:

“Contagious, infection or viral illnesses threatening public health security. These include diseases such as cholera, meningitis, avian influenza, and viral haemorrhagic fevers for which the region reports considerably high incidence and mortality rates. They can be responsible for high levels of morbidity and mortality and have a devastating impact on the economies of the region. These diseases can occur across borders and affect the world as a whole.”

The term pandemic is defined by WHO as:

“A pandemic differs greatly from an epidemic. Like an epidemic, a pandemic refers to a contagious, infectious or viral illness that spreads. However, unlike an epidemic, a pandemic is not limited to one specific geographic region. Instead, a pandemic has the potential to include millions of people in many areas and countries across the globe.”

To summarize, the escalation is: Outbreak to Epidemic to Pandemic. Before traveling to a region with an outbreak, epidemic, or pandemic be sure to check with your government to ensure it is safe for you to travel and always travel with comprehensive medical coverage.

 

I Saw the Sign…and Went Anyway

April 10th, 2017 Comments off

mountain

My brother recently went on a trip to Whistler for Spring Break with some of his classmates. He, like I, is afraid of heights and going up a mountain peak with a 7160-foot elevation was not an easy feat. In an attempt to avoid looking down, he directed his attention to various signs on the ski lift. One sign notified skiers of bombs buried under the snow that are detonated in the event of an avalanche. It warned skiers to avoid the area if they see one poking through the snow. My brother got to the top of the mountain and skied down the Peak to Creek run anyway.

bombI asked my brother why on earth he would ski down the hill knowing the risks of explosives and avalanches. He said, “Meh, the signs told us everything we needed to know about the bombs and what to do if we see one, so we just went.” He knew the risks and had a plan in case he came across a one, and then went.

Similarly, a friend of mine recently traveled to the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. The tour guide she was with advised the group of all the dangerous scenarios that could happen (i.e. falling, waves crash and create instability, people die). The group was told to stay on the path, and that staff would be placed along the route in case something happens. I received a photo from her atop the Cliffs with a message that said, “They told us the rocks get slippery and to be very, very careful. The girl walking in front of me fell and was taken to the hospital”.  The group knew the risks, there was an effective plan in case of an emergency, and the group went ahead.

My brother and friend’s comments instantly made me think about traveling and all the risks attached to it. You need to be informed about the risks involved and have a plan in case of emergency situations such as natural disasters, pandemics, violent crimes, or even terrorist attacks. If we equip ourselves with the tools, the knowledge and the coverage that addresses all the risks, we develop an effective travel risk management plan. When we travel with a comprehensive plan, we alleviate fear and travel with confidence.

Anything can go wrong anywhere. Learn the risks, ensure you have an effective travel plan, and then go.

 

International Women’s Day Webinar Series: Know the Ropes & Travel with Confidence

March 3rd, 2017 Comments off

International Women’s Day is March 8th!

FocusPoint International and AFIMAC Global are celebrating by hosting a educational 2-part webinar series discussing travel risk management specific to female travelers! Click here to register!

FPIWD

Webinar Part One

Speaker: Lisa Arredondo,
Director Strategic Development,
FocusPoint International
Date: March 8, 2017 1PM EST

Outline

The webinar will highlight how some legal systems and cultural ideologies present challenges for female travelers. We will also discuss Duty of Care within corporate travel policies specific to female travelers in 2017.

 

 

Webinar Part Two

Speaker: Maria Teresa Septien,
Director Business Development
Latin America, AFIMAC Global
Date: March 15, 2017 1PM EST

Outline

During this webinar, we will identify common mistakes and behaviors that drive criminal activity overseas, and examine scenarios where female travelers were targeted and attacked. This webinar will also examine the role of technology as it relates to communication capabilities and mitigating risk during travel.

Key Highlights

  • Unique challenges female travelers experience internationally; the impact of gender based cultural ideologies on the rights and freedoms of women traveling in certain regions
  • How to determine if and when gender specific travel policies are necessary
  • How to create an effective traveler tool kit to better prepare for international travel
Key Highlights

  • What women can expect when traveling abroad and best practices for handling emergencies overseas
  • Use of technology in travel risk mitigation
  • Safety strategies for women traveling to unfamiliar regions
  • First response in an emergency or crisis when traveling– what to do

Click here for more details and to register today!

Bleisure Travel for the Millennial’s Soul

March 2nd, 2017 Comments off

Mile High

Last July, I attended the GBTA (Global Business Travel Association) convention in Denver, Colorado on behalf of FocusPoint International. The show was a great success; we even had monkeys (seriously, we did – look)! I was required to stay after the show to ensure our exhibit and VIP lounge were properly dismantled and sent back to Canada. This process took less time than originally thought, so to avoid extra charges for switching my flight, I had a day to myself in Denver. Having never been to Denver or the state of Colorado, I was eager to experience my very first (albeit unplanned) day of bleisure.

For those of you who are not familiar with the term, ‘bleisure’, it is a mix of business travel and leisure travel. A traveler goes to a destination for work purposes and incorporates leisure activities throughout or as an extension of the trip.

The first stop on my day of bleisure was a morning phototour at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, home of Super Bowl  (50) Champions; the Denver Broncos. I later spent the afternoon checking emails at the hotel rooftop pool, followed by an evening watching the Colorado Rockies take on the Cincinnati Reds at Coors Field.

It felt like I was on vacation, and that is exactly why bleisure travel is gaining so much traction. According to a Huffington Post article, Millennials are changing the face of travel. The opportunity to travel for work is one of the top deciding factors for millennials when accepting a job offer, so it makes perfect sense they would want to extend work trips to allow for personal travel. Many companies are embracing the trend of bleisure travel as it is said to improve employee morale, retention, and creativity as the employee returns rejuvenated and with a sense of reward.

With that in mind, the next time you find yourself at a conference in a cool city, take an extra vacation day to unwind and explore your surroundings. You will be surprised by how one day of bleisure could be just the vacation you needed! As always, travel safe!

Coors Field

Spring Breakers Beware

February 14th, 2017 Comments off

The dog days of winter are here in full force. As I type this, the wind chill temperature is nearing -16C, the skies are a static gray and drifting in and out of a complete whiteout as blankets of snow relentlessly pour down. To me, this is a winter wonderland, to the rest of the population it is further confirmation to escape to the white sands and ocean; hello, spring break!

Spring break typically happens in mid-February or mid-March for North American university and colleges and holds a connotation of one wild party with friends and strangers from around the world. According to an article published in the Chicago Tribune, over 50% of North American post-secondary students plan to travel for spring break. Numerous promotion and travel companies market all-inclusive sunny paradise escapes accommodating every budget.

I would like to think the majority of those participating in spring break trips thought about investing in some type of coverage in case of an emergency or accident. Although the purchase of travel insurance may seem like a great precaution, what most people do not realize is that travel insurance will likely not cover you if you are inebriated. This means, if you have been sipping Piña Coladas out of a coconut like rum is going out of business and then on your walk back from the local bar you are violently attacked, your travel insurance will not cover you! You will receive medical attention at a hospital (likely not a hospital of your choice) and will also receive a bill that your insurance provider rightfully refuses to pay.

While some spring break trips come and go without a hitch, recently there have been many tragic stories of spring break type trips gone wrong. When the unthinkable happens, many families and friends are left to cover the costs, often relying on crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe.com. This is because even some of the most comprehensive travel insurance policies will not pay to repatriate mortal remains or for a family member’s travel costs to confirm the identity of the deceased.

So what is the point of insurance if it will not cover me? There is a solution, but you will not find it in the fine print of an insurance policy! Travel assistance memberships, such as CAP and CAP Medical, will give you the peace of mind while traveling, knowing that you are fully covered for everything. Spring break is about letting go of stress, not causing more. Enjoy the fun in the sun, but don’t forget your SPF!

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