5 Travel Tips for Visiting Big Cities

Your boss has approved your vacation time, you purchased your airline tickets last week and today you plan on booking your hotel for your dream vacation to a big city. While you typically spend vacations in less-crowded destinations, this time you are going to spend a week in a city that never sleeps. Whether your trip will take you to the Big Apple, Vegas, Boston, or some other metropolis, there are some safety tips specific to big cities to keep in mind. For example, check out these words of advice:

shutterstock_178832570Know the Rules of the Road

If you plan to rent a car for your trip and maneuver your way through the hustle and bustle of the big city, driving laws do vary throughout the country. To make sure your time behind the wheel is as safe as possible, visit a website like Driving-Tests.org before leaving on your trip to take some practice driver’s exams and read up on the local laws. For instance, the website has a page that is devoted to New York and road tests that will help prepare you for big city driving.

Tote Your Stuff Carefully

When traveling to a large city, Volunteer Card suggests carrying your purse or bag under your arm and shortening the straps so it is not hanging too low. In addition, assess your plans for the day and take only the items that you need — this will probably include some money, your ID and a bottle or two of water, but leave whatever you can in your hotel room. Keep your things inside the backpack or purse or in your front pockets; unfortunately, putting your money in a zippered outer pouch will make it easier for pick pockets to nab. Also, avoid pulling out your wallet or cash in public; if you do need to access your money for bus fare, do so as discretely as possible.

Look as Confident as Possible

As FAWCO notes, be careful about where you pull out a map. Doing so will announce that you are a tourist and can make you a target. Also, try to avoid looking confused or unsure of where you are or where you’re going. This will prevent you from appearing vulnerable. Of course, there will be times when you need to consult your phone or a map for directions; try to do it in a touristy area where lots of other people are doing the same thing.

Be Friendly, but Not Too Friendly

While talking with the locals can result in some great inside info on the best cafes, museums and shops to visit, you need to be careful about over-sharing information. Try to get advice from the hotel staff or maybe a tour guide rather than the friendly guy you met at the coffee shop; unfortunately, there are some nefarious people who will chat up tourists and then rob them later.

Do Your Homework

Most big cities have wonderful areas that are filled with amazing sights and sounds of the metropolis, as well as less-desirable parts of town that should be avoided. Before you pack your bags for your vacation, spend a lot of time online researching the city and familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods, and where you will want to go.

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