London is the first choice of most people around the world, particularly Asian-Americans for a sightseeing tour and for spending a holiday. However, many of these travellers have faced unforeseen, dangerous situations in the city like losing their passport, getting robbed and even getting stabbed in the process. Although it is basically a safe city, some such stray incidents do take place and as such it is important for travellers to exercise caution during their stay in the city. Many people, who believe in Murphy’s Law, ‘if anything could go wrong, it will go wrong’, will find the following tips on how to stay safe in London useful.
Staying Safe on Buses, Trains or Tubes
It is important to be prepared with full knowledge of where you are going and the route that you will follow. It takes very little time to study the Tube map or the bus routes and if you do this research in your hotel room with the concierge, you will feel and look confident and not give yourself up as being an ignorant tourist. You must also check the times of the last buses and Tubes so that you don’t get stranded late at night. You should wait for the train or bus in a well-lit place and if you find yourself alone in a bus, travel on the lower deck. You must ensure that all your valuables like mobile phones, purses, wallets and music players are out of sight. It would help if your oyster card or the contactless payment card is adequately loaded with money so that you can easily take another bus, train or cab in case you are stranded. Always be aware of the locations of the help points and passenger alarms so that you can use them immediately, in case of an emergency. It would be a good idea to sit close to the driver if you feel unsafe in a bus. If you find yourself near a person who is making you uneasy, just move away to another spot.
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Travelling by Cab
You should either use a Black Cab or any other licensed cab and avoid using mini cabs that are not licensed. You should book your cab by phone or at a mini cab office. Avoid choosing a cab off the street except a black cab which is licensed to pick up customers off the street. When the minicab arrives, you must check with the driver whether he knows your name and destination that was conveyed while booking the same. You should check the driver’s photo ID and always sit in the back and have your mobile phone handy. If you feel uncomfortable with the driver, call a friend and if you feel threatened, you should call 999 immediately.
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One of the important factors regarding a sightseeing trip is to be able to stay at a comfortable place that is strategically located close to most of your places of interest and in this regard it would be best to stay at Park Grand London Paddington Hotel since it is located in the heart of London, close to most attractions.
If you are travelling on London’s public transport, you must always act sensibly and give due respect to others around you. If you indulge in smoking, using offensive or threatening language or bullying others, playing loud music, damaging your oyster photocard or giving to others for using, or if you commit any crime, your travel on the transport can be terminated and you may even be handed over to the police.
If you are on a tight budget while travelling to London, you can easily get a comfortable accommodation at a cost that you can afford if you avail of London hotels special offers that provide attractive discounts and many freebies.
If you wish to remain safe while on the roads or at any tourist attraction you must try to act like the Brits do. It does not matter if you don’t look like one because nearly 21 percent of London’s population is of Asian descent. Nearly 300 languages are spoken in the city and many British hipsters look just like the American hipsters as they are similarly dressed. Even if you don’t have a British accent, you will be quite safe at most places of the city as long as you don’t make silly blunders while speaking and revealing your complete lack of knowledge.
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If you are an Asian American, you should not face any problems in London as not many people will think that you are an American. Your Asian descent will give you the label of being an Asian immigrant in London because there are hundreds of thousands like you on the streets of the city. You will be safe as long as you do not show your passport and reveal your nationality. In case, you get caught on the wrong side of law, you can tell that you are from an oppressed Asian nation and you may be able to get off lightly or without any penalty. In case, you do something great so as to get rare accolades, you can then tell them that you are from America and glorify your country.
Take it as a Challenge
Whereas you may feel safer with all the above tips, it will be no fun at all if there is no excitement factor in your trip. You need a sense of adventure if you really wish to enjoy your trip. As it is, any travel involves a certain amount of risk as you will have landed in a completely different culture than your own. You will, no doubt, be exposed to new challenges and a different environment. So, without worrying about the risks involved with your travel, you should just take it in your stride and stand up to your challenges and try to make the most of your trip.