From live sports and music shows to eclectic restaurants and festivals, there’s always something dynamic happening in big cities. However, since cities have higher population densities, they tend to suffer from higher-than-average safety issues. And we’re not just talking about violent assaults—tourists are often seriously injured in traffic crashes.
Even if you’ve visited a few large cities before, we encourage you to read through these four simple safety suggestions. Practicing each of the tips below will keep you secure no matter what city you choose to visit.
Four Ways To Stay Safe On Your Big City Adventure
Research, Research, Research
The more research you do before your trip, the more confident you’ll feel navigating unfamiliar streets. Thankfully, we live in an era where it’s not all that difficult to find reliable information on cities around the world. As long as you have access to the Internet, you can find plenty of info on how to get around a big city safely.
Of course, it’s always best to talk with someone you trust who has first-hand experience in your travel destination. If you don’t know anyone who lived in your chosen city, you should search through highly-rated travel blogs. It’s also a good idea to put significant phone numbers like the local police department on your mobile device.
After reading about your travel destination, use Google Maps to give you a sense of direction in your chosen city. Figure out where all of the top attractions are located compared with your hotel and the most convenient transportation options. If you’re traveling outside the USA, you should also figure out where the American embassy is.
Scan Significant Documents In Your Copy Machine
Another easy preventative strategy you could use before traveling is to make copies of all your most important documents. Indeed, the US Travel Department recommends making at least two copies of all significant paperwork. This includes things like passports, visas, driver’s licenses, and social security cards. You should also write down all of your prescription medications to be on the safe side.
While you’re copying your travel documents, take a few moments to write down your phone’s serial number. Every phone has a unique serial number, so knowing this information could help if your phone is lost or stolen.
If you’re concerned about traveling to a new destination, you could also consider purchasing travel insurance. Since every travel insurance plan is slightly different, you should examine each provider’s offerings before making a decision.
Brush Up On Your “Kung Fu Fighting”
Unfortunately, there’s no way to predict when any of us will get involved in a serious altercation. Although we could reduce these odds by using common sense practices (e.g., wearing inconspicuous clothes and staying in public areas), there’s always a risk thieves will take advantage of travelers.
If you’re caught in this scary situation, you’ll need to rely on sharp reflexes to survive. For this reason, we strongly recommend taking a few self-defense classes before visiting your new city. At the very least, look up basic martial arts moves online and practice a few weeks before your trip. Even if you never use these tips, they will help you feel greater confidence walking around unfamiliar streets.
Be Extra Alert As A Pedestrian Or Cyclist
In most American cities, traffic collisions are the top cause of injuries and deaths. In fact, recent statistics suggest one in 103 Americans will die in a car crash versus one in 285 from a gunshot. Unfortunately, many popular tourist areas like California’s Central Valley have seen a dramatic uptick in the number of crashes involving pedestrians.
With all these stats in mind, pedestrians and bicyclists must remain extra vigilant when walking around a big city. If you’re walking later in the day, you should wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight. For extra safety, the CDC recommends removing headphones and earbuds when near traffic.
It’s also worthwhile researching whether your city has any relevant pedestrian safety information online. Many US cities are working with the multi-national organization Vision Zero to bring down traffic fatalities. You can often find where your city’s most dangerous streets are located by visiting a dedicated Vision Zero portal.
Feel Safe On Your Summer City Vacation!
Although big cities can be pretty chaotic, you shouldn’t have significant safety issues if you use the tips listed above. As long as you practice common sense and put plenty of preventative measures into place, we bet you’ll have a fantastic time on your big city vacation.