Many travelers plan so much for the departure – the plane ticket booking, assembling of items they need for their trip, and the pack up. We usually think that the destination is a piece of cake, as long as we have our maps with us, a GPS application in our phones, and maybe a tour guide.
Today, many travel destinations happen to be huge cities, such as Paris, London, New York, and Amsterdam. They have many streets, numerous buildings, and seas of people to navigate through. It can be tough finding your way around. Without a better plan, you could get lost and easily fall victim to crime. There are many travel hacks to ensure your safety and security. These are the things you should do and the things you should not do while visiting a big city:
Carry communication and navigation essentials
Regardless to if you are with your friends or not, you need to be self-reliant in case of an emergency or last-minute split. You will, therefore, have to carry with you a smartphone, a phone charger, and a power bank at all times. Phones are very useful and allow you to call your relatives or friends to notify them of your whereabouts and/or your change of plans. You can also reach basic services, such as the metro police, if you find yourself in danger.
Many phones allow you to download and use digital maps. Make use of such applications and data to map out your travel. An extra physical map would also come in handy just in case your phone is low on battery life or completely dead. Make sure that you carry one, just small enough to fold and fit in your pocket. Do not carry unnecessary items that could slow you down or steal your energy and attention.
Plan your route and learn the city beforehand
Do not surprise-travel. It is always tempting to expose yourself to surprises by skipping the planning, especially when traveling is concerned. The problem is that surprise-traveling leads to a lot of wasted time and resources. In a big city, for instance, you could spend more time in one location if you are not aware of how many more interesting sites there are for you to visit elsewhere. To avoid this, research and learn the important aspects of the city before you travel. Doing this will also inform you of unsafe spots so that you can avoid them. It will make you seem familiar with your surroundings and help you blend in. Note that looking like a curious tourist might make you a target of crime.
List your most preferred destinations and plan your route and itinerary well. Match your site visits with specific days. For example, when visiting Paris, you could say:
- Monday: Eiffel Tower
- Tuesday: Notre Dame,
- Wednesday: The Louvre Museum, and so on.
This helps to exhaust all the great views and bearings of these sites. It makes your travel experience more well-rounded and balanced.
Use flexible and reliable transport services
The most flexible and reliable transportation services for navigating a huge city are usually minicabs or taxis. A cheaper, but equally fast alternative is the subway.
Taxis are useful for a change of traveling plans or when you get lost. You simply get in one of them and request a destination familiar to you. Do not get into illegitimate taxis. Check to see that your taxi is painted with the designated color. Most taxis are normally painted in yellow with a bold “TAXI” written on the top for clear identification. Avoid any suspicious taxis or taxi drivers. There have been instances where crooks imposing themselves as taxi drivers to steal your valuables or hold you at ransom.
These transport services require you to download an application and call for pick-ups from any location in the city. In a huge city, you could find up to three efficient minicab services. Select the one that has the lowest rates and the best customer reviews to save on cash and have assurance on trust and service delivery. Some minicab companies allow for online payments. Rely on these kind of companies if carrying cash around is confusing, tiresome, or just something you prefer not to do.
City subways are some of the fastest and cheapest means of getting around any big city. Try to master the subway system of the city you are in, especially if your visit will last longer than a week. Most of them have Wi-Fi access and art-filled stations. This form of transport would also expose you to the city dwellers and their lifestyles. It would give you a very real experience while providing you with a low-cost and efficient way.
Featured photo credit: yanalya via freepik.com