As readers of this blog are aware, my organization places a large amount of resources and importance on safety. This focus on safety is, at times, recognized by our partners, and sometimes mainstream media. I'd like to share one example - of which I'm particularly proud - that's been unfolding over the past couple weeks . . .
On March 13, FoxNews.com published the article “What to Do if a Revolution Spoils Your Trip.” I was quoted, along with Michelle Bernier-Toth (managing director, Office of Overseas Citizen Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State), and Phillip Farina, who heads a security and risk management company for the hospitality industry.
This article highlights what to do when traditional communication channels fail to stay in contact with the outside world when traveling. It was featured as a top story in the site's Leisure category. It's an article that any of our Ambassador's parents will appreciate in light of recent, unexpected issues that have arisen in Egypt, Japan, and elsewhere.
My comments in the article outline a practical strategy for helping parents track their students through their bank accounts. I personally never travel my own kids without a bank card for expenses. Bernier-Toth agrees - the State Department has successfully used credit cards to track people down.
The article was picked up by influential travel writer Chris Owen, who blogs for Gadling.com (widely considered the most popular travel blog worldwide). Thanks, Chris, for mentioning People to People.
While it is nice to be recognized, it is more important that People to People Ambassador Programs share our practices and procedures with outside organizations and the public to make travel safer for everyone who travels. Indeed, I am honored to be recognized as a safety expert, and we are proud that our practices are validated by organizations such as the state department.
In coming blog posts please look for a series on important travel and safety tips we plan to share.
As always, I wish you all safe travels and a healthy life!
Senior Director of Health and Safety