Exploring the world is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and family. From cities across the globe to your local downtown, there’s many busy urban areas ready to be discovered. However, dense populations lead to anonymity where crime could be an issue. Don’t let these worries deter you from your big city vacation. You can stay safe in almost any city with the right mindset and appearance.
Use Online Maps
There’s no need to keep your nose in a paper map as you walk down the street in a new city. This particular act seems to attract trouble because you’re obviously new to the area. Use your hotel’s Internet connection to access online maps. Plan your daily trip with satellite images at street level. You’ll be able to pinpoint desired landmarks and areas to visit even before you venture outside. Even purchase online tickets to avoid lines at popular attractions.
The simplest way to stay safe is using all your senses. Avoid wearing any headphones to keep your ears perked for trouble. Look around at your surroundings to keep the group and all belongings in one area. Don’t allow anyone to venture off alone but use the buddy system for bathroom breaks, especially with children in tow. When you’re distracted, criminals see the chance to pick a pocket or grab a bag.
Stick to Well-Known Places
If you’re a tourist, you’ll probably be visiting popular landmarks, making your trip relatively safe. Avoid any high-profile areas known for crime, such as a volatile, war-ravaged neighborhood. Although you may be curious, tourists are easily pinpointed as targets, especially if an area is poor. Tourist spaces typically have a strong police presence, allowing you to feel free to enjoy the landmark or experience.
Don’t Be a Show-Off
Showing off a new phone or set of earrings is merely asking for trouble when you explore a big city. Reserve your treasured valuables for dinner, for example. Walking around a city street with a brand new tablet makes you a target in criminals’ minds. If you must pull out a phone to make a call, be discreet and use a subtle case. Remain with a group of people rather than walking alone in an alleyway as well. Criminals want an easy target to pursue.
As you travel from the airport to the hotel, take a look at what the locals wear on the street. One of the best ways to stay safe in a new area is looking like the locals. Note their clothing, shoes and even hats. You can always purchase some of these items in a nearby store. Blending in reduces the chances of a criminal encounter and makes you a temporary part of the community.
With good planning and a smart mind, you’ll be able to pinpoint trouble and avoid it on vacation. By blending in, you reduce attention to yourself while encouraging questionable people to seek trouble somewhere else. Be smart about your city touring and you’ll come away with great memories and fun souvenirs.