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  • Writer's pictureA Wild Lass

Staying Safe on Vacation

Have you ever been in a new place, either on vacation or traveling for another reason, and gotten an uneasy feeling? Not sure if you’re in a safe part of town?

When you’re in your hometown, you know all the streets to avoid at night and where to take a taxi instead of walk. Yet in a strange city, that innate knowledge isn’t available to you.

Here are some ways that you can tell if you’re in an unsafe neighborhood on vacation and how to stay safe.

Galveston: Photo Copyright A Wild Lass

*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.

Unsafe Neighborhoods

One clue that you’re in a neighborhood that may not be safe is if the houses aren’t very well maintained. Papered or boarded up windows are a good clue that there was either recent vandalism or there isn’t enough money to keep up with care of the building. While a street doesn’t have to be affluent to be safe, often lack of upkeep can be a clue that you aren’t as safe as on a street with manicured lawns.

Broken Glass: Photo Copyright A Wild Lass

Is there broken glass on the street or sidewalk? This may be another hint you’re in a neighborhood that isn’t safe.

Pay attention to whether you see graffiti on the buildings. Murals are one thing, but vandalism is a different story. Overgrown sidewalks or no sidewalk is another clue.

Graffiti: Photo Copyright A Wild Lass

If you see few or no people out walking, that’s a good indicator that it’s not safe to be out walking.

Signs in the window of businesses that say “You’re on camera” or “Security cameras in use” can indicate a bad neighborhood. So do bars on doors and windows, along with a policy that you must leave backpacks and bags at the front of the store.

Smile You're On Camera: Photo Copyright A Wild Lass

If you see any of these signs, or a combination of them, head back the way you came and find another route.

Here are some ways to stay safe if you find that your AirBnb or hotel is in this type of neighborhood.

Reinforce Locks

Patio doors can be a big point of entry for someone who wants to break in. The locks are flimsy or easily broken. One way to make sure that someone can’t jimmy the lock and slide open the door is to find a stick to put in the slider. If you lay a stick or bar on the floor on the slider between the closed door and the wall it slides to, then the door can’t slide, even if the lock is broken.

Divide Valuables

Split up your cash and credit cards. Keep some cash and a credit card with you, maybe in two different places. Put some in a pocket and some in the back of your phone case or a hidden pocket in your purse.

Then keep some other cash and credit cards hidden in your AirBnb (this is where we stayed in Galveston! Highly recommend) where you can use it in case of an emergency. If your purse gets stolen, or someone holds you up, you can freely give them everything you have on your person.

Then when you get back to your lodgings, you have cash and a card to buy a burner phone, make the appropriate calls to cancel cards, replace ID, and get the help you need. If you don’t separate your valuables, then you have no way to get help if you get robbed. It’s a grim topic to write about, but wisdom dictates some precautions.

Just make sure you don’t forget these hidden valuables when you check out of your AirBnb to head home.

Don’t Advertise Wealth

Your definition of wealth isn’t the same as someone else’s, but don’t make yourself a target by advertising that you have money. For example, don’t wear expensive looking jewelry (doesn’t matter if it was cheap, if it looks expensive it makes you a target), especially in worse neighborhoods. A smart watch or expensive phone is also a risk.

If possible don’t carry a purse at all. If you have to, use a crossbody bag. It’s harder for purse snatchers to rip off you.

Staying Safe

If you follow the tips above, you can stay safe while you’re on vacation. Have a great time and be smart, and you won’t have to deal with any unfortunate incidents. It’s also a good idea to forego nightlife, or get an Uber instead of walking to the bar or club after dark. You can read more about that in this article.

For more articles on travel, check out these other posts from A Wild Lass or click here for a list of all our travel articles:

How to Save Money on Vacation

6 Best Wineries and Breweries Near Davis, CA

Best Travel Hacks for 4 and 5 Year Olds

How to Find Cheap Airport Parking for Your Next Trip

*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.

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