Although corporate housing units are pre-vetted and generally maintain a high level of security, it’s important to employ good practices regarding safety when travelling and living abroad. From utilizing security features at a property, to being cautious when exploring a new city, there are a number of precautions that one should take. Read below for 9 tips to stay safe when living in corporate housing units!
1. Act like a local
Blending in with local people can help keep travelers from being identified as a foreigner, which can make them a target for crime. Matching the local fashion, avoiding flashy luggage and clothing, and generally maintaining a moderate temperament will all help in doing so. On luggage tags, writing the destination’s address (as opposed to one’s home address) will also contribute to this effort, as well as make it easier for a bag to be returned, should it get lost in transit.
2. Share transit itinerary
Travelling alone puts passengers at a safety disadvantage. Sharing one’s itinerary helps to get an extra set of eyes on the journey, which can shorten response time should something go wrong. Flight numbers and times, destination addresses and contact information, and points of check-in are all components that can be helpful to include.
3. Understand your destination
Conduct predeparture research about a destination. What is the crime like in the area? Are there certain crimes that are particularly prominent? Are there any specific prevention measures that one should take? Also to be included in the research is the exact route from the trip’s starting point to the destination’s front door. Even short distances, such as the length between a bus stop and the housing destination, should be mapped out beforehand. It’s extremely helpful to get a general feel for the layout of the area ahead of time. Finally, be aware of how to gain entry to a corporate housing unit. Will there be a key at the front desk, in a lockbox, or perhaps delivered by a Destination Services Consultant? Reaching a destination quickly and efficiently helps travelers avoid being placed in a vulnerable position.
4. Examine safety features
Take note of the safety features surrounding a property. Are there sufficient measures in place? Within the unit, there may be features such as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, or carbon monoxide detectors. Outside of the unit, security features may include a doorman, security cameras, a keypad for entry, peepholes, keycard access to elevators, doorbell cameras, or an intercom for buzz-in entry. A property should have a combination of these features, although most tend not to have all of them. If a unit strikingly lacks all of these features, consider speaking with your Corporate Housing Provider about implementing them.
5. Use a safe
Keep personal documents and valuables in a hidden safe. Safes are made at a multitude of different hardware levels and prices, making it simple to find one that’s proportional to one’s needs. If a property does not come equipped with its own safe, consider purchasing one of your own.
6. Keep blinds closed when no one is home
Many burglars observe a home to survey what valuable items it contains and learn about the resident’s routine before attempting a break-in. Keep the window blinds closed when the home is vacant to reduce this opportunity and thus, the chances of becoming victim to a crime.
7. Keep the property sufficiently lit
Burglars and other trespassers tend to loiter in areas that are poorly lit. Sufficiently lighting a property provides an extra layer of security by deterring these unwanted visitors. Take note of lighting elements in places such as parking garages, hallways, stairwells, lobbies, and the exterior of the building. Consult your Corporate Housing Provider if these measures are not adequate.
8. Take lots of photos
Though many people take photos while travelling with the intention of documenting memories, cameras can be helpful for security purposes, too. One alternative use is to document the condition that a housing unit is in upon first arrival. This prevents tenants from becoming liable for any damages that may have already existed. Additionally, taking pictures is a good way to remember directions. Like Hansel and Gretel’s crumb trail, photographing landmarks and turns on a route away from a location can act as a guide when returning, especially in a foreign language-speaking country.
9. Learn key phrases for foreign language-speaking countries
In the very least, most people that move to a foreign-language speaking country brief themselves on key phrases before departure. Often, these will include phrases like, “thank you,” “have a nice day,” or, “where is the bathroom?” However, phrases regarding safety are sometimes overlooked. Be sure to learn important expressions, such as: “I need help,” “call an ambulance,” “I need a doctor,” or “where is the exit?”
Consider Dwellworks Corporate Housing for international housing needs in Mexico City, Frankfurt, Munich, Dublin, and Luxembourg City!
For other blog posts about international travel and extended stay housing, check out:
- The Myths and Facts of Safety in Mexico
- What Comes in a Corporate Housing Kitchen?
- 5 Tips to Avoid Getting Sick on Business Trips
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