Safety Tips/Travel Checklist


IMPS 2024 Safety Tips

Travel Documents

  • Passport (Remember to check your passport expiration date! Most countries require that your passport be valid for 6 months AFTER your scheduled return date!)
  • Driver’s License or Other Identification
  • Health Insurance Card or Identification (NOTE: Contact your health insurance provider before traveling to make sure you are covered. Most policies DO NOT provide coverage outside of the country. Travel medical insurance is available for very low cost through numerous sources.)
  • Boarding passes
  • A card listing the location of the nearest embassy to your destinations
  • NOTE: You should copy or scan the identification pages of your passport prior to traveling. Keep a copy with you, and give a copy to someone you trust at home. This will speed up the replacement process in case your passport is lost or stolen.
  • Consider registering with your embassy in the country you are visiting. United States citizens can register on-line through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, at


If you are taking prescription narcotics or psychotropic drugs, you should have the following:

  • A letter from your doctor stating what medications you are prescribed
  • A copy of the original prescription.
  • Enough prescription medication to last the entire trip, plus up to 5 days extra in case of delays or loss.
  • Prescription medications should be in the original packaging, with the label attached.

Emergency Contact Information

  • People at home who you would want contacted in the event of an emergency. It is a good idea to keep a copy of this list in your passport in case you are ill, injured or otherwise unable to communicate.
  • Contact information for your hotel or lodging at your destination (it is a good idea to obtain and carry a business card from the hotel or lodging).
  • Keep a printed hard-copy of your passport identification page in your luggage when traveling, and in your hotel room safe when you are at the conference.

Cash or Credit Cards:

  • Do not take all of your credit cards with you. Carry one or two, and keep others in the safe in your room or in the hotel lockbox.
  • Contact the credit card issuer for any credit cards you plan to carry prior to leaving. Let them know where you are going, and the dates you will be gone. This will prevent the possibility that your credit card issuer will decline charges based upon suspicion of fraudulent use.
  • If offered, sign up for text or email alerts for charges. This will help you identify any suspected unauthorized use.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you when exploring. Carry what you think you need, and secure the rest in your hotel safe or lockbox.
  • Remember that there may be foreign transaction fees for ATM use. Check with you bank to identify fees prior to travelling.
  • If you need to withdraw money from an ATM, tug on the card reader slot to make sure that there is no “skimmer” attached (a device used by thieves to capture your card data). If possible, use ATM’s that are located inside of the conference venue, hotel, or banks. 
  • To avoid currency conversion fees when returning from your travels, use excess remaining currency to pay for your room charges or other fees when you check out of the hotel to return home.


  • Verify whether your hotel or the conference venue has public Wi-Fi, and what the cost of Internet access is prior to traveling.
  • Connect ONLY to trusted Wi-Fi connections. These should be published or available from the conference staff, your hotel, or the conference venue.
  • Avoid using open, unsecure Wi-Fi Hotspots.
  • Install a personal firewall on your computer or portable electronic device.
  • Contact your cellular provider before leaving and make sure that your cellular phone plan allows international use, as well as the costs.
  • Make sure that your phone and computer are secured with a password or PIN.
  • Backup your phone data to the Cloud to make sure that you can access contacts and other important data if your phone is lost or stolen.

Personal Safety and Security:

  • Never give your hotel room information to someone you don’t know.
  • Do not open your hotel room door to anyone you don’t know or recognize.
  • If someone knocks on your door and identifies themselves as a hotel employee and you are not expecting anyone, contact the front desk to verify their identity.
  • Store your personal valuable items in your room safe or a hotel lockbox when you are not in your room.
  • Do not leave valuables or personal electronic items unsecured in your room when you are out.
  • Avoid walking alone to and from the conference venue, especially at night.
  • If you are exploring, let someone know where you are going, who you will be with, and what time you expect to return.
  • Avoid carrying your wallet, passport, or cash in your rear pants pockets.
  • Avoid counting cash in public, or in publicly displaying where your wallet, cash or passport is stored on your person.
  • Keep your cash, passport, and wallet separate when outside or exploring.
  • Consider purchasing a RFID shielding cover for your passport.
  • Leave a copy of your travel itinerary, hotel information, passport, and conference contact information with your emergency contact.
  • Stay vigilant in crowds. If you see a disturbance, avoid getting caught in it by retreating, taking a different route, or hailing a taxi or ride share service (Uber/Lyft).
  • Wear your purse or bag with the scrap across your back and chest, instead of hanging loosely off of the shoulder.
  • Be vigilant while riding public transportation, in tourist areas, or in airports or public transportation stations. If possible, have a “travel buddy” to help you keep an eye on each others belongings.

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