How to Stay Safe in Big Cities
Whether you're shopping in your hometown or travelling to an unfamiliar city, it's important to keep your wits about you to stay safe.
Cities are exciting and inspiring places where there's never a shortage of things to do, sights to see, and people to meet. They can however also be hotspots for crime, so it's important to remain alert and take precautions to keep yourself safe during your trip. Whether you live in a city, travel to new cities with work, or enjoy taking city breaks for leisure, use the tips in this blog to stay safe.
Do Your Research - The number one most important thing you can do to stay safe in a big city is to do your research before you go. Utilise credible, up to date sources such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Make sure that you know where you're going and how you'll get there, which areas of the city to avoid, and any scams that are common in the area.
Put Your Phone Away - Although it can be tempting to consult Google for directions and recommendations every few minutes, try to resist the temptation to do so. Having your phone in your hand not only risks having it stolen, it also takes your attention away from what is going on around you. Make sure that you have all the information that you require for your trip on pieces of paper rather than stored on your phone.
Choose theft-proof luggage - Travelling with tamper-proof bags and luggage can deter criminals and keep your valuables safe. Theft-proof luggage is strong, durable, and hides zips to prevent easy access. You can also buy anti-theft covers to protect your existing suitcase.
Carry your bag on your front - In very big and crowded cities where there is a lot of hustle and bustle you may not notice someone tampering with your bag from behind. If the bag you're carrying is quite small, try to carry it on your front rather than your back so that you can keep a better eye on it.
Don't advertise valuables - Leave valuables at home or locked in a safe at your hotel whenever possible. If you must bring valuable into the city then don't advertise them. Keep laptops and cameras in a rucksack rather than obvious laptop or camera bags and never take out valuables in the middle of the street.
Trust your instinct - If an area or situation is making you feel unsafe or uncomfortable then trust your gut instinct and move along swiftly.
Stay in busy, public areas - Avoid taking shortcuts or going off the beaten track and instead stay in busy, well-lit areas where there are lots of other people around you. Criminals are less likely to risk targeting you when there are lots of people present to witness their actions.
Don't carry large amounts of cash - Try to use card to pay for things in a big city rather than cash. If you can't avoid bringing a large amount of cash on your trip, then only take out what you need for the day and leave the rest locked in a safe at your accommodation.
Dress discretely - Avoid standing out and drawing attention to yourself in a big city by dressing like a local. Criminals tend to target people who look lost or stand out because they are dressed in very expensive or smart clothing.
Be safe on public transport - If you're going to be travelling on public transport in a big city plan your journey carefully before you go. Avoid sitting alone at the back of a bus or in an empty train carriage, criminals are less likely to target you if you're surrounded by witnesses. If possible, sit close to the driver or in clear view of CCTV surveillance camera.
Take a taxi - If possible, rather than travelling on foot or by public transport, take a taxi between destinations, particularly if you need to carry valuables with you. Be sure to do your research and make sure you are booking travel with a licensed and reputable taxi firm.
Hire a bodyguard or close protection officer - Big cities can be particularly high risk areas for high profile individuals. If you're worried about your safety during an upcoming trip to a big city then qualified bodyguards and close protection officers could provide you with the extra protection you require to make you feel safe and secure.