How Safe Is Bulgaria? 7 Must-Follow Tips You Shouldn’t Ignore
Whether you are traveling overseas for business or pleasure, the most important things you always desire are safety and peace of mind. Flying abroad without having a complete understanding of the targeted security threats you could face in a foreign country means you are making yourself vulnerable to several potential crimes. As a business person, it’s not just the financial risk assessment you should be concerned about – your property, and more importantly, your physical health matters much more.
If you are traveling to Bulgaria or any other country, don’t forget to read the guidelines and instructions provided by the government that is specific to the respective country. For instance, Bulgaria is listed as a relatively safe country for traveling on the US State Department’s travel website, and they advise you to take standard precautionary measures.
That being said, it’s not a bad idea to check out other reputable and trustworthy sources on the internet and get more specific information about the cities you’re traveling to. This will ensure that you’re prepared for any unfortunate circumstances that may arise during your trip. Here are some security tips that would be useful for keeping threats at bay.
Blend In Instead of Standing Out
If you are flying business class, you know you’d be given the first passage to get off the plane. Unless you’re in some sort of a rush, don’t avail that opportunity. Moreover, instead of dressing up like a high net worth individual who can be profiled from a distance, wear somewhat casual clothes. These simple steps will reduce the chance of you getting noticed considerably, and you would be able to reach your hotel or scheduled accommodation without a target on your back.
It is also recommended that you shouldn’t have a driver waiting with a sign that has your name on it. Criminals can use the opportunity to disguise themselves as your driver and take you to their vehicle. Instead, it is far safer to have your driver wait for you with a tablet or paper that has a code word, number, or symbol on it. Also, ensure you verify the driver by their name. If you have any suspicions, do not hesitate to get in touch with the company who arranged the pick-up to verify the driver’s identity.
If a security driver isn’t an option for you and you have to rely on a local taxi, always get one from the official taxi stand which is marked. Choose your taxi and don’t go with any of the drivers who approach you at the airport arrival.
Be Picky About Your Hotel Reservation
Before you make a reservation, ensure that the hotel you’re choosing offers robust 24/7 security and is fully equipped with modern security and safety systems, including electronic keycards, surveillance cameras, and emergency response strategy. Don’t trust hotel staff blindly as they’re likely to be used as spies to identify high net worth targets. Apart from that, it’s a good idea to book a hotel that’s not near prominent government, religious, and landmark buildings.
Red Flags? Switch to another Room
If you have an ominous gut feeling about the staff member who has checked you into a room, wait for a while, and ask another person to give you a different room. You can use any excuse to make the switch. At the time of filling out the reservation form, skip as many personal details as possible and only provide the most essential information. It’s supposed to be for hotel records only, but most of the time, data privacy isn’t a priority for hospitality businesses.
Choose Your Room Wisely
Many business travelers believe they’re safe when they’re inside their rooms when they might be exactly where the criminals want them to be. Try to avoid vulnerable rooms which include:
- Rooms that are directly facing busy roads and streets
- Ground floor rooms with easily accessible windows
- Rooms with attached balconies or other accessible entry points
- Rooms directly above common areas like lobbies
Before you book a room, make sure it has all the safety measures and emergency exit plans in place.
Let Trustworthy People Know About Your Schedule
Always keep your workplace in the loop and share the details of your schedule with someone you trust. Notify relevant people about your meetings, timings, locations, personal information, and all the related details. If you believe your hotel staff is trustworthy, you can share this information with them as well. Try to keep in touch with people, so they know where you are at all times.
Exercise Caution During Local Traveling
If you are flying to Bulgaria, you need to exercise caution when it comes to local traveling. Hiring local taxis driven by strangers, means you have little to no information about their background, driving skill, history, and awareness of traffic rules. Bulgarian taxi drivers aren’t vetted officially and they aren’t trained for secure and safe driving which has resulted in the highest number of traffic deaths in the country. That’s why it’s recommended that you hire a security driver who doesn’t only keep you safe but provides great customer care and service so you can stay productive.
If you need to visit different places for your business meetings, only use reliable cab services with all the regulatory vehicular markings in place. Don’t forget to check the ID of your driver or get an authorized hotel chauffeur. Always book ordinary cars that don’t stand out, have air conditioning and functional security features such as centrally powered door locks and windows. Goes without saying, never leave your valuables and key documents behind.
Be Decisive in Situations of Imminent Danger
You must stay consistently aware of your surroundings so you are in a much better position to read adverse situations before they occur. You should also have an understanding of how to analyze people’s behavior who are lurking around so you can see situations developing and can take preemptive action
In most situations, if you are being proactive enough, you will have enough time to leave the location before things escalate. However, if you don’t think this is something you want to be bothered about, you can hire professional security personnel to ensure your safety at all times. Veritas Consultancy, for instance, offers highly trained and immensely experienced security specialists in security awareness, behavioral analysis, de-escalation techniques, and protective tactics to keep you safe.
Delegate the task of ensuring your security to a professional
If your business trip is too high stake or you don’t want to deal with the stress of looking over your shoulder all the time, you can always hire a security professional to get the job done. An experienced professional who has been around for a long time knows how to keep calm and respond to emergencies and dangerous situations. You can get:
- Bodyguard services for complete physical security
- Security consultation to identify and mitigate risks and threats
- Travel risk management to evaluate and reduce unpredictability
- Ex-pat relocation security advisory for a stress-free experience
- Security awareness training to ensure your safety at all times
- Concierge services to keep you safe so you can concentrate on things that matter most and be productive
Moreover, road safety in Bulgaria is something that deserves your special attention. The country has one of the highest death rates in traffic accidents and you will be better off with a professional security driver who is trained to prevent such adverse situations. They are a much safer alternative to a conventional taxi or limo drivers.
Business traveling can be quite stressful as it is – you’ve to strike deals, conduct negotiations, and sell your brand. Many times it is not just possible for you to worry about what’s going on in your surroundings as you’ve to focus on your critical business matters. In those times, professional security assistance can prove to be the lifesaving service you need.