By Grant Rayner
First published 3 July 2020
Updated to Version 3 on 6 April 2022
The Guide to Travelling in Higher-Risk Environments is designed to empower you with the knowledge necessary to safely navigate the many challenges you might face when travelling to complex and higher-risk environments.
Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer, or a first-time traveller venturing into unfamiliar territories, this book is an essential reference to enable you to avoid trouble and achieve your objectives.
In the opening chapter, we explain risk in terms any traveller can understand. The objective is for you to be able to rationally assess risk and then implement mitigation measures that will reduce that risk. Above all, the focus is on empowering you to make objective decisions in difficult situations.
Next, we share some key foundations of safe travel. These principles have been developed based on decades of experience navigating complex and higher-risk locations.
From there, the focus is on trip planning and preparation. We guide you in your approach to learning about your destination. You’ll learn how to select a safe airline, how to select safe and secure accommodation, and how to arrange transport between the airport and your accommodation. If you diligently apply our recommendations, you’ll have mitigated a significant amount of risk before you even get on the ground. We also cover other key topics, including pre-trip administration and basic emergency planning. We wrap up this chapter by providing useful tips for packing, with a focus on being self-sufficient and resourceful. As part of packing, we cover practical concepts like layering and fly-in kits.
We then take you through the process of getting to your destination safely. We focus on your safety and security at airports and while on the plane. We also cover getting safely from the airport to your accommodation. Once at your accommodation, we explain what to look for when it comes to security, so you have confidence you’re staying in a safe and secure location.
Once you’re on the ground, you could be vulnerable to a range of threats and risks. We explain how to stay safe in your hotel, including in situations where your hotel is attacked. We also focus on techniques to stay safe when away from the relative security of your hotel, including when moving on foot and in a vehicle. Lastly, we detail the process of planning and conducting safe and secure meetings.
The last chapter of The Guide is focused on protecting your information while travelling. We explain actions you can take before you travel to reduce your vulnerabilities. We then focus on different contexts where you will need to protect your information, including airports, border control, and your hotel. Lastly, we cover how to respond should you lose one of your devices while travelling.
Overall, ‘The Guide to Travelling in Higher-Risk Environments’ is an indispensable resource for anyone travelling to complex and higher-risk locations. It provides practical and actionable advice, ensuring you’re prepared for almost any eventuality.
The author, Grant Rayner, has travelled to and worked in a diverse range of operating environments. He started his security career in the military, serving in special operations and intelligence roles. He has spent the past 22 years working as a security consultant, based in Asia. He’s also an experienced traveller and has been to places where the risks described in this book are very real.