Going to a new city—especially if it is a place like New York City or Paris—is pretty exciting.
You want to see everything and go everywhere. All you care about are the sights and the adventures that you’ll have. Before going there, you’ve probably thought about what you need to pack and what you’ll do for sure, but have you thought much about what it will take to keep you safe?
Most likely not, or, at least, not in enough depth. Don’t worry, though, these five tips will get you through your excursion safe and sound.
Know Your New Surroundings
When traveling to a brand new destination, it is wise to familiarize yourself with the area. Smart travelers will be able find their hotel on a map then check for local amenities such as public transportation, shopping, and budget-friendly dining options.
The thing about modern technology, is that you no longer have to do this by hand. Simply take a look on Google Maps, zoom in, and look at all of the options that you’ll have nearby. It would be a good idea to also go into street view so that you can get more of a visual of what the area looks like, which will definitely make things look more familiar to you. This may be something that you won’t think about until last minute, but it’s a good idea to do this before you even visit the city so that you can have more confidence and be less vulnerable wherever you are.
To guarantee that all of your digital energy needs are met, be sure to always have a portable charger, with you. In today's world, we depend on electricity for both comfort and utility. Leaving nothing to chance, traveling with your own charger lends a sense of safety and security to keep your electricity flowing.
Does this idea sound eccentric to you? Perhaps you don’t always feel the need to be attached to your phone. However, how often has your phone had a low battery? All of the apps that we have constantly drain our phones, which means that we might not be able to communicate with anyone if we really needed to. Just think about what you would do if you somehow ended up on the wrong side of town and realized that your phone was dead. You would probably panic, because you wouldn't be able to call someone to get you--like an Uber or a friend. By keeping a portable charger with you, you'll never have to be in that helpless situation.
When people think about exploring a city, they typically don't think about taking care of their hydration needs. After all, they’re not thinking that they're exercising. If you're walking around all day, then you definitely want to carry a water bottle and/or a sports drink with you. This is especially important for you to do if you are visiting a city that is in a warm climate. If you plan on being outside directly for more than a few hours, you'll definitely want to make sure that your water bottle has the capability of staying cool for long periods of time. Just imagine how helpful having quick access to cool liquids would be for you if you were walking around the Las Vegas strip in the summer!
Use a Special Wallet
Hollywood tells us that thieves are pretty much hoodlums that dropped out of high school and probably not that intelligent. Yet, that's not entirely a realistic viewpoint, because they are really smart! Some actually have the technology to scan the banking information off of RFID-enabled credit cards even when your card is physically in your wallet or purse. If you have that type of card, then you need to stay one step ahead of them by using an RFID wallet that will prevent your card from being scanned. This will ensure that you won't be unknowingly robbed while sitting in a coffee shop or riding on the subway in New York City (or anywhere else, for that matter).
Get UV Dye Pepper Spray
Although you may never have to use it, packing a small can of pepper spray could save either your life or someone else's. These come in all types of sizes, but the type that is more practical to you when walking around is the key-chain type. However, it's probably best to keep it in your pocket and not out in the open hanging off of your backpack. This is definitely a must-have if you are walking around at night. Also, you should make sure that whichever type of spray that you're using includes UV dye. This dye will leave an invisible ink on whoever you spray, which can then be scanned by police to make sure that whoever is caught was the actual suspect.
Traveling to different cities can be a very enriching and rewarding experience. Hopefully, the above tips will make your next big city adventure safe and fun.