8 Tips for Traveling Safely in Big US Cities

Traveling in big cities is awesome for the culture, museums, sites & people. however, big cities also often come with crime and petty theft. Here are some tips for traveling safely.

1. Watch Where You Walk

Walk along major avenues and through heavily trafficked public areas as much as possible. Try to avoid walking through deserted areas, along alleys or through empty lots, especially at night.

2. If it Looks Sketchy...

Sketchy-looking neighborhoods usually are sketchy. We know you are looking for an adventure – but just don't do it.

3. Be Alert

One of the joys of traveling is standing goggle-eyed in front of some amazing site, but try to keep at least part of your mind on what is going on around you. If you are traveling in a group, maybe you can trade off this duty.

4. Banking... It's an Inside Job

If you're traveling alone, use the ATMs inside the bank instead of on the street. If an inside ATM is not available, avoid using street side ATM at night or in poorly lit areas.

5. Are you a Pickpocket Magnet?

Make sure your valuables are in a safe place. Pickpockets are good; you probably won't feel a thing if they steal your wallet. Be careful in narrow aisles on trains, city buses or subways, and in the crush when getting on or off – pickpockets often stand in the crowd right by the door so they can hop off as soon as they execute a theft.

6. Being Followed

If someone is following you, duck inside a store quickly and ask for help.

7. Hold on!

When sitting on a park bench, outside a cafe or even inside a restaurant never leave your camera, purse or backpack next to you, on a chair back or on the table. It's best to keep those things on your lap or on the ground with a strap wrapped around your leg.

8. Making a Police Report

If something is stolen from you when you're traveling, be sure to go to the police station immediately to make a report: every neighborhood has one. Plenty of travelers don't take this step; it may not be a lot of fun, but chalk it up as a cultural experience. The police report is necessary to replace some things, especially if you need to make an insurance claim or replace documents. Additionally, making a report keeps this issue up front and hopefully will contribute to improving street safety.

Read more stories from WorldNomads.com to help keep you travelling safely. 

Photo courtesy of pwbaker/Flickr.com

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