Travel Risk Management: A Guide To Protecting Your People

When your team is on the road, how can you make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep them safe? Review travel risk management best practices and how a provider can help you implement them. 


  • What is travel risk management?
  • The evolving landscape of travel risks
  • Key components of travel risk management
  • The role of a TRM provider

In a business landscape increasingly marked by the impact of security risks, from geopolitical tensions to political unrest to natural disasters, ensuring employee safety during business travel is paramount. More than ever, travel risk management is taking center stage as organizations recognize the need to protect their most valuable assets — their people — in unfamiliar environments. This is the cornerstone of an employer’s duty of care responsibilities.

Therefore, travel risk management (TRM) isn’t just a buzzword, it’s a strategic imperative. But most organizations are focused on what they do best, rather than assessing risks, creating emergency action plans, and trying to self-extract from crises. So, how do you know if you’re meeting your personnel’s needs when they set off for travel on your behalf?

To meet these needs, understanding modern travel risk management — everything from the evolving risk landscape, to the role of your providers, to what it means to meet international standards — is crucial.


Travel risk management is the process of safeguarding employees during their journeys by anticipating potential threats and uncertainties. A robust TRM plan includes proactive risk identification, assessment, and mitigation.

This is no easy task, because travel risk today goes beyond planning for any singular issue. There are the headline-grabbing threats that are prevalent in certain dangerous countries or regions, but there are also more mundane issues that can lead to complications, such as road closures or environmental conditions. Threats can change depending on the destination, time of year, or even the travelers themselves: women travelers and LGBTQ+ travelers face different threats than their peers, for example.

Travel risk management, therefore, is about building a holistic approach for every traveler, and creating a framework that can meet the needs of that traveler from before the first flight takes off.


Navigating the complexities of global landscapes as a business traveler means facing a range of potential challenges. From health issues and unexpected natural disasters to navigating political landscapes, the risks are diverse and ever-changing.

Common examples of the risks and issues travelers often face — and against which travel risk management can help defend — can include:  

  • Health concerns: Unforeseen illnesses, necessitating proactive health measures and contingency plans, are now top-of-mind after the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the vulnerability of travelers to infectious diseases. Even commonplace diseases can pose a threat if you are not taking the proper precautions, and treating them can be more difficult in a place where you don’t speak the local language.
  • Natural disasters: Whether dealing with wildfires in California or an earthquake in places like Turkey or Indonesia, exposure to unexpected environmental disasters is only expected to become more common.
  • Geopolitical instability: Navigating regions dealing with sudden geopolitical shifts or political unrest, requiring awareness and strategic planning, is also becoming more common.
  • Security issues: The threat of theft, terrorism, or other security breaches necessitates comprehensive security protocols and vigilance, and can arise in nearly any location across the world, from Paris to Las Vegas.

Understanding the nuances of these risks is essential for crafting effective travel risk management strategies that ensure the safety and resilience of individuals on their journeys.


Travel risk management is about protecting your people from the beginning to the end of a trip. But it’s also a holistic, iterative, and on-going process, especially if you have a larger organization where work travel is constant.

What are the various components that make up this process? Typically, a quality travel risk management provider will bring together the following as they work to keep your personnel safe:

  1. Identifying risk: The process kicks off with a meticulous examination of potential threats associated with a specific travel destination and the journey it takes to get there. This includes assessing many of the above-mentioned factors, such as health risks, political stability, and environmental conditions.
  2. Assessing risk: Once identified, risks are subjected to a thorough evaluation to determine their potential impact on travelers. This step involves analyzing the severity of each risk and understanding its implications. It also requires accounting for the fact that there are few, if any, “zero-risk” situations. Even in countries with no immediate threats, having concrete response and evacuation plans are necessary in case an unexpected crisis occurs.
  3. Mitigating risk: Armed with a clear understanding of potential risks and outcomes, organizations can then form proactive strategies to minimize or eliminate these threats. This may involve adjusting travel itineraries, providing necessary vaccinations, or implementing security measures.
  4. Pre-travel preparation: Equipping employees with the knowledge and resources they need before embarking on a journey is a critical component. This may include comprehensive pre-travel risk assessments, access to emergency contact information, and guidance on local customs and laws.
  5. Real-time monitoring and communication: Continuous monitoring of global events ensures that organizations can adapt their strategies in real-time to address emerging risks, allowing for a nimble and responsive
  6. Real-time response: Robust travel risk management providers will also be the point-of-contact in case of emergency, and can spring into action in real-time to provide support — everything from translation services to helping execute an evacuation.

With a proactive approach, travel risk management doesn’t just wait for problems to arise; it anticipates and tackles potential threats head-on to keep travelers safe. This gives organizations the tools they need to confidently navigate the twists and turns of corporate travel — particularly as we face the reality that we need to be ready to respond to an emergency anywhere, at any time.


Partnering with a provider offering travel risk management services is a strategic approach to TRM. Entrusting this responsibility to experts brings a range of benefits that can enhance an organization’s ability to navigate potential risks associated with travel. This collaborative approach not only bolsters the safety and well-being of travelers but also allows the organization to focus on its core operations. The bandwidth and resources required for a robust TRM policy is typically outside of what most organizations can spend.

Partnering with a specialized travel risk management provider grants access to an arsenal of tools and resources designed to navigate the complexities of travel safety, including:

  • Expertise: Specialized knowledge and proficiency in travel risk management.
  • Advanced technologies: Utilization of cutting-edge risk assessment tools analyzing real-time data, including geopolitical developments and health advisories.
  • Comprehensive alerts: Provision of detailed travel alerts and intelligence reports for proactive decision-making.
  • Emergency response: 24/7 emergency response capabilities ensuring immediate assistance for travelers in crisis situations.

By harnessing these tools and resources, organizations can fortify their travel risk management strategies, demonstrating a dedicated commitment to the safety and security of their personnel during travel.


Ensuring the legitimacy of a travel risk management provider’s services is paramount for the safety of your team. A key indicator of credibility is compliance with ISO 31030, a globally recognized standard dedicated to travel risk management.

ISO 31030 sets forth a structured framework, offering guidelines for organizations to establish and enhance processes that identify, assess, and mitigate risks associated with travel. This standard serves as a mark of commitment to industry best practices, assuring clients that the service adheres to a globally recognized set of criteria. TRM providers can help their clients adhere to ISO 31030 and move forward with confidence.

Embracing the expertise and resources offered by specialized travel risk management providers not only enhances an organization’s ability to navigate potential hazards but also underscores a commitment to the safety, security, and well-being of travelers.


The Global Guardian team is standing by to support your travel security and safety requirements with a comprehensive suite of travel risk management solutions. To learn more about our duty of care services, complete the form below or call us at + 1 (703) 566-9463.

This article was first published to the Global Guardian Website, to view the original article, click here

Global Guardian

Global Guardian is a provider of world-class security solutions, custom-tailored to the individual needs of its global client base. The company offers an integrated suite of best-in-class security services that help clients identify and mitigate the risks of traveling and doing business both overseas and domestically.

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