• Rules and penalties related to selling, using or being caught with narcotics or drugs of any kind are exceedingly stiff in most countries of the world. Jails are unsavory and embassies can do nothing to protect their citizens from the law of the land.
• Underworld prices for stolen U.S., Canadian or British passports are in the neighborhood of $3,000.00 – $5,000.00. Be extremely careful about putting passports down on a desk or counter even for a moment; put them into hotel safes until such time as they can be put into a safe deposit box or otherwise protected.
• These flourish in all the big cities of the world; foreigners are always especially vulnerable. Carry as little cash as possible when you travel and not in easy pockets.
• Do Not Buy “At Discount” From Strangers on the Street. There are legal restrictions on the purchase of luxury items in some countries; you must be wary of selling cameras, watches, clothing, jewelry, etc to unknown people who offer to buy them. This can lead to a jail sentence.
• Do Not Agree To Take A Parcel Out of the Country and Do Not Mail or Deliver a Package For Anyone; this is a familiar racket. You may be stopped at the border and it is, in fact, narcotics or other contraband.
• The price of gasoline is so high in much of the world that gas tank locks become essential. Check this also with rented cars or you may lose the gas you paid for.
• No one should fall for the “discount” airline ticket. Airlines do prosecute the buyers as well as the sellers of stolen tickets. Buy only at authorized outlets. Travelers on international airlines are advised to confirm and reconfirm ongoing flight reservations.
• A reserved, confirmed hotel room may not always be as secure as it sounds, particularly when traveling to countries where the room supply is less than the demand.
• Most of the major internationally known chain hotels have corporate policies regarding guaranteed reservations. Although they vary slightly, the basic rule is that reservations are guaranteed until 1800 hours on the date of arrival.
In addition, many of these hotels maintain policies under which reservations made by credit card, cash deposit or with company names are absolutely guaranteed all night on the date of arrival. These guarantees usually include a stipulation that if, through a hotel error a room is not available, the hotel will find a room at another establishment and pay for the room and transportation.
Security in Tense Countries
• In countries where top executives are vulnerable to kidnapping and terrorism, learn to avoid pre-arrival publicity, press interviews and the like, to vary your route to work and avoid all predictable routines as much as possible.
• In areas where political stability may be questionable, ask about an emergency plan. Circumstances may change the plan but it is reassuring to have a good idea of what to do in an emergency.