You’re planning to attend the London Olympics. Great! London is a beautiful city, full of life and places to visit. While it’s not a particularly dangerous place to travel to, it’s important you take some precautions just in case. Keep on reading for a few tips for your safety during the Games.
Arrival at the airport
Heathrow Airport is the biggest in Europe and the world’s busiest airport for international passenger traffic. “Big” doesn’t necessarily mean “dangerous”, but you should pay attention if you’re there and you’re planning to take a cab. According to WikiTravel, “all transport companies that operate transfer services must be licensed with the relevant local authority. Drivers are issued a badge after undergoing various checks and vehicles are issued licenses confirming that they have passed rigourous safety checks and have the correct insurance in place.” If you’re booking an airport transfer you should always check that the company has a license from the council. Visit London has a great guide on London taxis.
I’m there, now what?
This might seem Travel Advice 101, but before leaving, plan your route. Bad things are much more likely to happen if you’re wandering the city without a clear destination. The Transport for London is a great website for that. If you plan to carry your smartphone, a good idea is to install some tracking software in case you lose it, like Prey. Maps and GPSs could help you a lot if you’re discovering great places to visit, but chances are that the extraordinarily crowded Olympic streets might also host pickpockets or such.
Try not to carry a lot of things with you. We recommend not to carry a lot of cash, your IDs and a map if you’re not bringing your smartphone. If you’re taking pictures, take close care of your camera.
Walking the city
The most important tip for people walking in the UK: remember cars drive on the left!! Be careful before crossing the street, since this could be seriously dangerous if you’re not on alert. Use only designated crossings.
Avoid dark roads and walking too lake at night. Few cities in the world are truly safe 24/7, and London is not one of them. If you’re walking late anyway, don’t do it alone. A small group of friends would be much more safer than roaming solo.
Nightlife in London
This probably goes without saying, but just for the sake of completeness: 1) try not to get drunk (yes, we’re not kidding). Getting drunk in a foreign city is can lead to unexpected results, specially if you’re not looked after by someone you trust. So if you plan on staying up late by yourself, let one of your friends know.
2) Never leave your drinks unattended. Strangers could put substances in them to take advantage of you. 3) Never leave your friends alone. But we know you wouldn’t if they’re truly your friends. ;-)
Something bad already happened to me :(
Ouch, we hope it’s nothing serious! If you need to make a call, the important phone numbers are:
999 or 112 for police, ambulance or fire department – They’re free to call but only use them in a real emergency
101 for non-emergencies related to police – Like theft
Although authorities are taking a lot of security measures to ensure these Olympics are danger-free, don’t leave all the work for them. Keep yourself safe, look after your feisty friends and have a hell of a good time!
Image: megoizzy (cc)