You’ve heard a few horror stories, seen a couple news segments about crime, but nothing keeps you from being anything less than thrilled about your new travel assignment. That is, until you get there and a few of those horror stories start bubbling up in your memory. This is due to the proven fact that our brains are naturally built with a greater sensitivity to negative news.
Maybe you’re a natural-born traveler, there are still some precautions to take when visiting unfamiliar grounds. Stay safe in every new city with these 7 tips:
Don’t draw attention to yourself as a tourist
In preparation for your departure, make building your routes part of the process. If you’re walking around, looking unsure of where you’re headed will make you appear vulnerable and easy to target. Google maps makes it very easy to navigate whether you’re on foot or taking a train across town- just the discreet look that makes you blend like a local!
And we don’t mean wearing extra coats, although, it never hurts. Keep all your important documents in a folder so you know where to find them easily. Store this envelope in a safe or in your locker at the hospital if you’ve been assigned one to ensure top safety. Make photocopies of documents like your passport and other documents and store them in the cloud or on your smartphone.
Keep your money closer than close
There’s a lot of back and forth when it comes to traveling with cash, but it can also be very convenient in the case of an emergency. Keep your small bundle of emergency cash in the same envelope as all your important documents so you’re not tempted to use it unless 100% necessary. In the case of a power outage, your bank shutting off your account because you forgot to tell them about your departure, emergency cash can tide you over until you get it sorted.
Take a Friend With You
Not literally, but through an app (thanks, technology!). Part of ‘blending in’ is checking out the scenery around you. Even if you’re confident about where you’re walking, be extra safe with apps like bsafe, iGoSafely, Watch Over Me, SafeTrek and more. Apps like these allow you to schedule fake phone calls, record video, voice, location, time stamps and more in the case of a dangerous or threatening situation.
Learn more about these apps that will have you protected in any casual or questionable instance.
Time to Investigate!
Because you have all the time in the world (we’re kidding). But seriously, even if it’s a quick 10-minute search while you’re waiting to board your flight or taking a pit stop on your drive up, research hot crime areas you’ll want to avoid in the city you’re soon to reside. Sites like SpotCrime makes it easy to search every type of crime, all over the map.
Know Where to Find Help
From your new home, find at least two routes to the closest police station. This might sound a little over the top, but being extra safe never hurt anyone. Your best tool for this one? Google maps makes these types of searches too easy. You can see alternate routes, distance, and how long it will take to drive, walk, or go by train. Take the time to scout out your nearest all-night diner, well-lit grocery store or 24-hour gym.
Sometimes the most obvious tendencies are the ones worth mentioning. You’re tired, you slam the door and plop on the couch, switch on the tv and oops, you slipped into a two-hour nap. You know you’re tired, so before you let yourself do anything “just super quick,” Lock. Your. Doors. Getting in the habit of doing things generally takes 21 days. Make it a muscle memory to lock the doors and stay safe.
Staying safe takes just a few extra steps between downloading an app or two and being aware of what’s around you. Be resourceful, lock your doors and ‘blend in’ to stay comfortable in your new home. You’ll feel more confident you’ve covered your bases and created safe and smart habits on the road!