It’s a big world out there. So why settle for just your own state when there’s so much to discover outside in different states outside the area you’re familiar with?
I love spending my long vacations traveling rather than staying at home. I find that traveling exposes me to so many new things. When I get back home, I feel more refreshed and ready to get back to my regular routine.
Of course, not everyone can afford to travel out of the country. And that’s ok if you consider that the US is one of the biggest countries in the world. If you live on the East Coast and spend a weekend in the West Coast, it’s like traveling to a whole different country with what feels like a completely different culture to your own.
But just because you’re travelling locally does not mean you’re allowed to let your guard down. Remember, there’s a good chance you’re still going to be in unfamiliar territory. So here are some safety tips that’ll come in handy the next time you travel to different states.
Take an Airport Shuttle to and from Your Hotel
Airport shuttles take you from your home to the airport. And then from the airport to either a designated stop for shared shuttles, your hotel, or back to your home. When it comes to people coming from and going to the airport, ride-sharing apps are not always reliable.
Equally, hailing a taxi may be a security risk or a taxi driver may try to get more out of you than what your ride should cost. This is especially a risk when you’re a tourist. And if you’re on the way to the airport, they might pressure you for more money if you are in a hurry to get there on time.
Airport shuttle businesses are licensed to operate, have drivers accountable for their service, and maintain cars big enough to carry multiple bags of luggage. They also plan ahead so that they can make sure they get you to the airport in time to catch your flight home. To cut costs, you can even opt for a shared shuttle.
Missing your flight can set you back a few hundred, or even thousand dollars if your plane ticket is non-refundable and you’re unable to catch another flight on the same day. In worst case scenarios, you may not have enough money to pay for an alternative flight and have to find another way to go home.
Avoid Gang Territories and Crime-Filled Locations
Nearly every state has their own major or minor gangs involved in criminal activities such as robbery and drug trafficking. They usually operate in their own territory, so it’s best to avoid gang related areas unless you really have no choice.
Gang members proudly admit they’re a part of their group, so it’s easy to spot signs such as the tattoos they sport, the clothes they wear, or the graffiti tag they spray in their territory.
It’s also advisable to avoid areas that might be tagged as a red-light district or a place that’s grounds for high crime rates. If you’re traveling for pleasure, you’re better off going elsewhere to experience the area’s culture because you risk getting hurt by criminals in the area, especially if you clearly stick out as a tourist. Before going to another state, make sure you’ve done your research not only on what places to visit, but what to avoid.
Research on the State’s Weather
Don’t just travel to different states without researching when is the best time to visit. For example, heading to Florida over the summer is always a good idea if you want a tan and love to go on the beach on a sunny day. But don’t expect to celebrate a white Christmas there during the holiday season because it rarely ever snows down there!
Sure, travel and accommodation are much cheaper during off-peak seasons, but you’re not really going to get the fullest of the experience the state you’re visiting has to offer. If you’re worried about not being able to book a plane ticket or a hotel during peak tourist season, make sure you book months in advance to avoid the rush of tourists making last minute plans.
Swim in Beaches with Lifeguards
Unless you’re an expert swimmer and surfer, avoid paying locals to show you where the secluded and hidden beaches are. Beaches that aren’t well-maintained or guarded by resorts and other establishments are prone to jelly fish and rip currents that can seriously injure beginner and novice swimmers.
Sure, you can pay a local to lead you to a place that isn’t brimming with tourists, but if you ever get into trouble, you’re not going to be their problem to solve.
It’s always a good idea to visit beaches that are well-maintained and supervised with enough lifeguards. If you don’t like going to crowded beaches filled with tourists, splurge a little and opt for a beachside resort or hotel with their own private beach area. This will ensure you experience the quieter and more peaceful side of the beach and don’t find yourself bumping into people whichever way you turn.
This advice doesn’t only apply to beaches, though. It also includes forests, hiking trails, and other tourist attractions that could pose safety risks if not supervised by someone trained to deal with emergency situations.
In forests or on hiking trails, it’s always possible to find more private places. Sometimes you can even opt for a private tour with your fellow travelers, though be prepared for this to cost you more.
While travelling locally can be a refreshing experience, it’s still wise to play it safe and be a responsible and cautious traveler. Avoid getting into trouble by doing your research on the different states or cities you’re visiting before getting there.
What are your experiences of traveling around different states?