Monday, November 29, 2021

How to Stay Safe in a New City

We all know it can be dangerous to travel abroad, especially when you don’t know the language and are unfamiliar with the surroundings. This is why it is important to do all you can in order to make yourself feel safer, and take away any stress from your trip about travel and safety concerns. This list of tips will have you feeling better in no time at all about all of your future city-break travel plans.

1. Travel insurance.

When booking a trip, always consider adding additional insurance. Although it can make the upfront cost of your trip way feel more expensive, it will be a small price to pay to ease any easy-fix travel concerns you may have. This is especially important in the age of COVID 19, where travel restrictions are constantly changing, meaning flexible dates and significant cancellation policies are the only things that can save your money. Don’t get caught out by refusing a good insurance policy and something going wrong- it’s better to be safe than sorry. This is even more important if you are moving somewhere to live. A few things to watch out for: make sure the policy gives you a full refund, has flexible booking and covers health matters. 

2. Be prepared for the worst.

Following on from travel insurance, a great way to stay safe in a new city is to ensure you know the numbers for the accident and emergency services of the town and country you are in at all times. In America, it is 911, but in England, it is 999, for example. It is good to even look up a reliable motorcycle accident attorney as road accidents can be common in big cities.

3. Try to blend in.

This might seem simple, but many things can make you look like a tourist. For example, walking with your phone in your hand looking at your map. A way to get around this is by turning on your map's notifications setting instead of following it with it out in front of you, so you look a bit more like you know where you are going. You could even go as far as to put a headphone in and get the directions straight into your ear, so you don’t even have to look at your phone. Look at landmarks around your hotel or place you are staying, so if you don’t have your phone, you will still be able to get back (and look like you know where you are!). Finally, pay attention to how most people dress if you are trying to blend in, so you avoid standing out against the city landscape and therefore look less like a tourist.

4. Don’t carry cash.

Another tip for a big city is to try and avoid carrying large amounts of cash on you. It isn't common in European cities for the locals to pay by cash, especially due to covid, and it can mark you out as a tourist. Instead, find a debit card company with a reasonable exchange rate for the country/city you are traveling to and use that instead. If you are traveling somewhere where they mostly use cash, however, avoid bringing all of it out with you together just in case something does go wrong.

5. Lock your doors.

This is a tip that needs to be drilled into every traveler! Often hotel doors can lock automatically, and individuals don’t use the chain lock provided. When you are inside, especially if you are a woman, it is important to use every lock provided. It may even be worth investing in a traveling deadbolt, which attaches to the door of the hotel you are in and give you an extra, lightweight layer of protection.

6. Bring a friend.

Although solo travel is often encouraged to gain experiences and meet new people, sometimes it is better to bring along a friend that you trust to feel safer. Moreover, anything is less likely to happen to you in a group. It also means many normal activities will become easier, for example getting up to use the toilet in a restaurant. By having a friend there you can leave your possessions (or the least important ones!) on the table without having any significant worries.

All in all, make sure you use your intuition when it comes to being in unfamiliar surroundings. If something feels like it might be wrong or sketchy at all, it is best to follow your instinct.
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