Safety in Boston : A Comprehensive Guide on Dos and Dont's in Boston

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Amidst the staggering skylines and seemingly good cosmopolitan culture, the increasing crime rate puts a question mark on safety in Boston. We have done thorough research to acquaint you with dos and don'ts for the safety of first-timers and women travelling alone to the city. Along with this, we have included COVID-19 guidelines and protocols enforced by the governing authorities in Boston that need to be followed. Pay attention and take a look!

Is Boston Safe?

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On the whole, Boston is quiet safe for first-timers and women travelling alone. One must follow their instincts, common sense and necessary precautions just like they would do while travelling to any other part of the world. However, some areas are frequently hit by hate crimes and street gangs taking onto the roads, especially during the wee hours of the night. These places include Roxbury, Mattapan, Dorchester, Boston Common, Public Garden (when secluded), few areas of North End, Waterfront Area, Chinatown, some parts of Downtown Crossing, Theatre District and red light areas of the city.

Transportation and Associated Risks

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The risk associated with transport is comparatively little in Boston as compared to other cities.  In spite of all this, there are a few things that you should keep in mind:
  • Buses, subways, railways and ferries are safe and reliable during the daytime. However, it is not advised to commute through these modes of transport during the night. 
  • Once it is dark, it is not recommended for men also to commute as certain stops on the way are not safe in Boston. Also, you might be attacked by gangs and mobs who become more active after the sunsets.
  • Tourists should avoid going to secluded areas and make sure to stick to their itinerary.
  • Visit touristy places and landmarks only in groups. 
  • While taking a taxi, make sure that you don’t hire an unmarked cab. 
  • Make sure that the driver’s photo ID is pasted on the cab you take. 
  • If you are hiring yourself a car to commute, take proper precautions to save yourself from car thefts. 
  • Do not hire a car from an authorised dealer. 
  • Before hiring is done, make sure that proper documentation is completed.
  • Understand the terms and conditions, liabilities in case of a car theft before hiring one. 
  • Park your cars in well-lit parking lots.
  • Always prefer to stay in the crowd and commute in well-lit areas and busy streets only. 
  • Things you should be careful about while travelling to Boston

Pickpocketing

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Pickpocketing is very common in Boston. Being a top-rated tourist destination, travellers run the risk of falling prey to such crimes. 
Save yourself from losing money by keeping your bags close yourself. 
Do not travel with valuables. 
Avoid wearing jewels, fancy watches. 
Abstain from carrying items that are eye-catching as all these things attract attention and make you an easy target. 
Look as simple as possible just like a local.

Scam in Boston

Boston is not safe for tourists when it comes to scams. Here you will find homeless people asking the tourists for monetary help. If you don’t give them money, they can get aggressive and coerce you to pay them. Beware of scam offers and discounts offered to you on roads from people who say that they are locals and know the city better.

Kidnapping and Mugging 

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From the past few years, Boston has been witnessing a surge in cases of kidnapping. This has jeopardised safety in Boston for tourists. With racist attacks and gangs lurking around, mugging is something that you should be careful about. Violent street crimes are also widespread in the city. It is advised not to move around much at night and avoid dingy places that are less crowded, especially public parks. It is highly likely that some sort of criminal activity is taking place along with drug use.

Popular Adventures and Related Safety Tips

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Boston is very popular when it comes to adventure and outdoor activities. However, certain precautions and safeguards need to be taken to ensure the best experience without getting injured. 

Boating 

Interested in boating? It is highly recommended that you take a boating course so that you are well acquainted with all the risks involved. If not, never go boating without taking an expert along. Avoid boating in cold water and wear a safety life jacket. Understand the tides, the direction of the wind and get the hang of how to row your boat.

Boston’s Winter Activities

Boston is extremely in demand for its winter adventures. Comparatively winter adventures are safe in Boston.  Avoid taking pets, but if you do, keep them leashed. Avoid areas where there is flowing water with ice formation. Remember that new ice is always stronger and sometimes there is no uniformity in ice freezing. So before you take up any adventure related to ice, check the strength of ice because if you ignore this part,  you might end up hurting yourself. Always carry a map and be well acquainted with the snow-clad areas to not land up in a secluded place.

Hunting in Boston

Hunting is a safe adventure in Boston. Follow the general guidelines given to you by authorities concerned and strictly avoid alcohol consumption.

Hiking in Boston 

Hiking too is a safe adventure in Boston. Always use a map so that you don’t get lost. It is recommended to hike in small groups. Make sure that the trail is not too crowded and social distancing as practised. Do not carry dogs and bikes for the hike.

Covid-19 Guidelines

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Owing to Covid 19, some attractions in Boston are temporarily closed. However, with time a handful of places have opened up with their virtual tours like The JFK Library, The Museum of American African History and Museum of Fine Art.

Succeeding in the fight against Corona, the Government has imposed strict regulations and guidelines to promote safety in Boston during the pandemic. These are -
  • Everyone must wear masks and practice social distancing.
  • All the gatherings will be reduced to 25%, which is a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
  • The tourists arriving in Boston need to fill a Massachusetts travel form unless they come from a lower risk state as designated by the Department of Public health.
  • Visitors have to either get quarantined for 14 days or produce a negative Covid 19 test result that was conducted and administered 72 hours before arriving in Massachusetts. Failure to comply would lead to a fine of USD 500 per day.
  • Travellers should always have a sufficient supply of masks for themselves and should follow the masking orders of the government of Massachusetts.
  • While arriving, keep your documents and reports ready. Declare on your goods, gifts, food items if any.
  • If you are carrying medicines only carry for your personal use and make sure that your supply is not more than 90 days.    
Boston is now becoming a little safer for travel. Healthcare in Boston is very competitive. If you develop symptoms on arrival, it is advised to get quarantined and inform the person who took your test. That person will connect you to the facilities and healthcare available to travellers.

If you take proper care and caution, safety in Boston is assured to everyone.

This post was published by Shreya Peshawaria

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