5 essentials of safe travel in the US

5 essentials of safe travel in the US

America is a wonderfully diverse and exciting travel destination, with so much to explore and something for every kind of tourist. Take a classic road trip on Route 66 or the Pacific Coast Highway, visit mind-blowing big cities like New York and Chicago, go skiing in the Rocky Mountains, or relax on sandy Florida beaches. It's generally a safe place to visit, but following these tips will help you get the most out of your trip:

USA Safe Travel

1) Get insured
For some destinations, travel insurance seems like an unnecessary added cost, but for a holiday in the US, it's essential. The statistics show that the US has the highest cost for hospital stays of any country, averaging £8,006 a day, according to recent statistics. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, and particularly if you're pregnant, make sure to get insured.

2) Be street smart

City breaks in America are fantastic holidays, with so much to see and do right at your fingertips! Tourist areas can also draw criminals, however, targeting the crowds. Be wary of people trying to distract you. Don't keep your wallet or phone in a back pocket, and wear handbags across your body, rather than hanging off your shoulder where it could easily be snatched.
Try not to stand out--wearing a huge DSLR camera and carrying guidebooks will shout to the world that you're a tourist. If you need to look at your guidebook, try doing it on a park bench or in a cafe where you won't be a vulnerable target, rather than stopping on the sidewalk.
3) Drive safely
There's nothing like an all-American road trip! Enjoy the freedom of the open road in the country that popularised this kind of travel, but take a few common-sense precautions. Make sure to prepare for the conditions. If your route takes you through extreme heat conditions, pack a jug of water in the boot in case of overheating. Likewise, if you're driving in cold weather conditions, pack snow chains as well as extra clothing, food and blankets.
Also, remember to drive on the right and obey all traffic signs, including speed limits. Don't drink and drive--the blood alcohol limit in most states is 0.08%, and penalties are steep. It's best not to drink at all if you're the designated driver.
4) Party safely
On the subject of drinking, the culture around alcohol is quite different in the States. The age limit is 21, for starters, and bars do not allow anyone under 21 on the premises. In restaurants, there is often a separate bar area reserved for over-21s, but adults seated with children in the family area can still be served alcohol.
For ladies travelling alone, be aware that going into a bar alone can give male patrons the impression that you're 'looking for company,' and accepting their offer to buy you a drink can confirm it. Avoid unwanted attention by chatting with the bar staff or other female patrons.
5) Ask locals for advice--and imitate them!
Americans are known for being friendly and outgoing, so feel free to ask for help! Locals can let you know which areas are safe and whether you should avoid certain places after dark. Try acting like a local, too--keep your head up, stay alert, and be aware of your surroundings. When you’re confident, potential attackers can sense it through your body language and eye contact.