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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

5 Ways to Stay Safer in an International Hotspot


Blending in is one of the best ways to stay safe in an international hotspot. When you're living abroad, it's nice to think that everyone you meet will be friendly and hospitable. Unfortunately, the world doesn't always work that way. No matter where you're relocating, blending in with the locals is always the best way to stay safe. Standing out is one way to become a target. Even if your company has kidnap and ransom insurance, it's wise to become part of the background, blending in to the community. Here are 5 ways to blend in better and stay safer in your new location abroad.

1. Learn the Language – One of the easiest ways to stand  out and offend people at the same time is failing to learn the language. If possible, take classes ahead of time or hire a tutor. When people see that you are at least trying, they will be more likely to assist you in the market, at the office or in any public place. Speaking the language helps you blend in to strangers.

2. Dress Accordingly – When you're living abroad, dress like a local. Wear cool clothing in warm climates and warm clothing in cold climates. Dress age and gender appropriate. Follow the customs with shoes, headwear and accessories.

3. Avoid Bling and Flash – Avoid drawing attention to yourself. Even cheap but shiny jewelry can give people the false impression that you have a lot of money or possessions. While international insurance can cover your possessions in the event of a theft, it's wiser not to wear anything flashy or apparel that draws attention.

4. Stay Alert – Learn the area, stay alert and be on the lookout for anyone that looks suspicious. Pay attention to what your neighbors and co-workers look like and whether people are waiting outside your home or place of business.

5. Have a Plan – Always have a plan in case something happens to you or a family member while living abroad. Find a safe place to meet in case of an emergency and have an emergency kit ready as well. Part of the plan should include setting up or confirming kidnap and ransom insurance, international term life insurance and international health insurance.

For more information about staying safe while living abroad, subscribe to GlobalInsight, our quarterly newsletter or contact Clements Worldwide at +1(202) 872-0060.

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