Are you planning to visit a big city soon? It’s exciting and overwhelming because bigger cities always go beyond our expectations with their diversity, coolness, and differences.  However, visiting a new “big” place can be scary, especially if it was overseas. Whether you do live in a big city or not, going anywhere with half the country’s population can be a bit dangerous. Sure, you will have so much fun and will probably meet so many interesting people, but it’s a must to guarantee your safety. So, while you explore a new big city, here are a few steps you have to follow to be (and feel) safer.

1. Avoid the No-Go zones! 

It’s a must to do a lot of research to determine if there are any no-go zones that must be avoided, and you know, avoid them! It’s the best way to prevent yourself from booking a hotel or Airbnb that is located near a dangerous area. You don’t want to miss having walks late at night around the hotel you are staying, or be stupidly scared when you hear someone walking next to your hotel room. I mean, have you read about the Cecil Hotel?

2. Always figure out ways to get to places

The only time you have to fumble with maps is BEFORE arriving in the big city because once you are there, you need to figure out how to go to places and not count on anyone. Dangerous people can easily take advantage of your confusion and of the fact that you are a stranger.  Figure out the public transportation and how you will be going from one place to another. If you are lucky, you could find a helpful local who is looking for your best interest. But don’ wait to get lucky, figure it out while you are still at home.

3. Be extra careful when you arrive

You are most vulnerable when you just arrive in the big city. You will be overwhelmed with excitement, amazement, and jetlag probably. To thieves and scammers, you are the perfect target. Once you leave the airport, you have to be extra careful and always remind yourself to keep an eye on your surroundings and possessions. There is still enough time to enjoy the city when you are rested and without luggage.

4. Apply the five-second rule

No, we are not talking about dropping food into the ground. There is a different rule: It takes five seconds to figure out whether you can trust someone or not. So, if you don’t feel comfortable towards someone, it’s best to stir clear from them.  Simply, excuse yourself from the conversation, or you can refuse their help kindly. Remember that you are better off alone than with someone who has bad intentions.

5. Do you really need jewelry? 

If you tend to go on business trips often or just really like wearing jewelry, you need to be extra careful. Being a tourist in a big city automatically means you are prey to many thieves and scammers, and displaying your jewelry will not be in your favor.  So if you really,  really don’t need to wear your jewelry, then it’s best to leave them home.

6. Not traveling alone? Have a backup plan

If you are exploring this big city with family or friends, then it’s important to have a backup plan because there is a high chance you will be separated.  Every morning, work out an easy-to-follow plan and make sure everyone has their phones fully charged. It is also wise to figure out a second plan because phones can go missing, stolen, or dead. Pick a place where you can meet or a strategy to find each other.

7. Go easy on the drinks

You are in a new, big city now, you are allowed to go a little wild and have fun at night (during the day, too. Why not?). But if you are traveling alone or with kids, it’s best to go easy. It never means not have a good time, though. It just means to be a little more careful to not lose track of yourself.

Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun and explore the city with all its unique and awesome sites. Don’t be too careful to the point of preventing yourself from having fun!