5 Key Things to Know for Maintaining Your Safety in New York City
1. The Airport
Due to the heavy traffic of visitors at all the three airports i.e JFK, LaGuardia and Newark, it's high chances that you may lose your luggage. Before boarding make sure you have an elaborate plan about which transportation to take as well as some easy to identify luggage.
Never leave your luggage unattended. The airport is highly safe and secure but chances of misplacement are never zero.
2. Transport in NYC
Most of the New York city's taxis are marked; yellow with the driver’s medallion number on top of the taxi. Never make the mistake of entering a taxi which doesn't have an ID number on the taxi's hood. Try to use only those taxes which are authorized with the NYC taxi commission.
Uber is quite popular in NYC, but always be cautious about using them. Make sure you know where you are going, keep a tab on GPS, and while exiting the taxi, check out for cyclists and pedestrians.
Note: 15% tip is quite common for NYC’s taxi.
In addition to taxis, the New York Subway is an affordable option for travel around the city. Issue a MetroCard as soon as possible from the MetroCard ticket machine. Subways are generally safe all day round but one should be cautious during night time travelling.
3. Beware of pickpockets
Pickpocketing is quite common in New York City. Always keep your luggage close to yourself. Try using anti-theft backpacks and a travel money belt instead of regular wallets. Pickpockets often work as a team so always keep an eye out for suspicious distractions.
Public transport & crowded streets are the highest risk areas for pickpocketing. If you don't have anti-theft bags, try to keep your wallets in your front pockets. Important documents like passports and ID should be inside the chains of your backpack, away from the reach of a pickpocketer. Mobile phones are the favourite targets of pickpocket so make sure your cell phone is quite within your reach and safe at all times. You can also use mobile covers that attach either with your front pockets or with your hands.
New York City has tens of thousands of places to stay. Always try to book a hotel which has good reviews. Try to validate the reviews about a particular hotel from multiple review sites. Not only that, try to know about the safety level of the neighbourhood before confirming the stay. Hotels are generally safer than hostels and homestays. Wi-Fi and 24*7 security may look like some extra features to pay for, but they are worth it. Also, Airbnb is quite a popular option in New York City, but Airbnb rooms don’t come with a safety guarantee.
5. Where to go and where not to go ?Areas like Tudor City, Battery Park City, Beekman, and Roosevelt Island in Manhattan are generally considered extremely safe. Even during night time.
Areas like Times square and the meatpacking district are the most famous destinations among visitors but these are the same areas with the highest crime rates in the entire NYC. This doesn't mean that you should cross off those areas from your bucket list.
Most of the crimes can be easily avoided with the help of simple and basic precautions.
Other areas with low crime rates are Hudson square, Flatiron district and Columbus circle.
Central Park is relatively safer than most areas in NYC.
Battery Park City is considered one of the best neighborhoods of NYC. It is safe during the day and night time alike.
The Bronx is infamous for gang related violence. Try to avoid Hunts point Bedford park and high bridge.
Brooklyn is relatively safer. And areas like borough Park, midwood park and South Williamsburg are quite safer. Vinegar hill and crown heights have higher crime rates than other areas of Brooklyn.
Queens is very safe. And areas like Belle Harbor and Upper Ditmars are considered safer than most of NYC.
Be sure to remember these tips to ensure your safety in New York City.