Explore My World Travel Reveals Secret To Staying Safe At London Olympics
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Explore My World Travel Reveals Secret To Staying Safe At London Olympics
Sydney, Australia - 27 July, 2012 - With the London Olympic Games kicking off at the end of the week, and officials insisting that Olympic security will not be compromised despite the shambles surrounding a private contractor’s failure to provide sufficient guards, visitors are left wondering how safe the London Olympics will be. Victoria Ugarte, founder of Explore My World Travel, reveals the secret to staying safe at the London Olympics is about taking personal responsibility.
With the London Olympic Games kicking off at the end of the week, and officials insisting that Olympic security will not be compromised despite the shambles surrounding a private contractor’s failure to provide sufficient guards, visitors are left wondering how safe the London Olympics will be. Victoria Ugarte, travel author and founder of Explore My World Travel, a website dedicated to passionate travelers, reveals the secret to staying safe at the London Olympics is about taking personal responsibility.
Having recently launched the book ‘A Foodie & Fashionista’s Guide To London’, Victoria says,” Like most big cities of the world, London has its fair share of social problems, including pickpocketing, theft, begging and drug abuse. Social problems are bound to escalate with the population blowout and increased congestion around central London due to the Olympics. The key to personal safety, therefore, is to be aware of what’s going on around you, be informed on where the crime hotspots are, and to take responsibility for your own personal safety.”
Victoria provides some valuable safety travel tips below:
- Keep your distance from any rowdy behavior and fights around London’s bars and pubs - Normally occurring on Friday and Saturday nights, particularly after football matches, these sorts of skirmishes will increase exponentially during the Olympics, when pubs and bars get overcrowded with increasingly inebriated drinkers from opposing national loyalties. When harassed, it’s best to avoid confrontation, ignore those concerned, and walk away.
- Keep an eye out for your friends and have them do the same for you - Don't let a friend accept a drink from a stranger, or leave a bar, club or party alone or with a stranger. Make sure that you know where your friends are, and vice-versa. Keep in touch with your friends via phone or text to make sure that they get back to their accommodation safely. Have them do the same for you.
- Be extra careful around ATM machines - Many people have their cash stolen immediately after making withdrawals. Use ATMs that are in well lit areas like shopping centers, and make sure when using an ATM that no-one is looking over your shoulder. Cover the keypad so no one else can see you entering your PIN number.
- Keep your mobile phone in your bag or pocket when out in public - Duck into a shop when you need to use it. Theft of mobile phones is on the rise in London, with criminals as young as 13 being spotted on bicycles grabbing gadgets out of people's hands. In one area of London alone, Islington, mobile snatching has increased by 400% in the past 12 months. Phones are usually stolen when people are walking along a busy street, pulling them out of their bags or pockets as they get down from public transport, or leave them behind in restaurants. If your phone has been snatched or stolen, it’s important that you react quickly and contact the police straight away, so that they can check local CCTV footage to try and find the criminals.
- Avoid walking the streets on your own at night - Don’t befriend anyone that randomly approaches you and recommends a local bar or club. Lone visitors in London have been known to have been lured into a private clubs with the promise of something more than a drink. Before they know it, a substantial ‘hostess fee’ appears on their bill for several hundred pounds and they are not allowed to leave the premises before paying it, sometimes with the use of force.
- Keep away from problematic areas of London - The areas outside central London, such as the South and East suburban areas, are considered more problematic due to a higher concentration of housing estates and crime that stems from a street gang culture. Brixton, Hackney, Hackney Wick and the surrounding areas become increasingly dangerous at night and should be avoided. Some parts of North-West London, such as Harlesden and northern Camden, are also known trouble spots. Stick to the more commercial areas, where there are likely to be more people.
- Beware of strangers asking for assistance - This can be the older gentleman asking you for directions, a man in a suit asking for emergency money for the phone, or a man with a very convincing fake gash on his arm asking for money to get to the hospital. More often than not they are scam artists wanting your money.
- Only use black cabs or registered mini-cabs - Sexual assaults and robberies have been reported by passengers using unlicensed taxis. If you need to take a night bus, always travel on the lower deck where it is generally safer; you will be visible to the bus driver on the lower deck and there will more than likely be other passengers around.
- Avoid large public gatherings and demonstrations - This is not the time to be curious or to grab some quick holiday photos. The mood of a crowd can turn in a matter of seconds and an initially peaceful demonstration can turn violent, particularly when offensive weapons are brandished and used by authorities. A typical example of this is the student demonstration in London against tuition hikes in November 2011, which turned out of control as soon as they tried storming the building of the Conservative Party.
Victoria adds, “Although it’s unnecessary for us to approach our travels with a spirit of paranoia, it’s important to be prepared and to take responsibility for our own safety. Remember to be aware, be informed, be safe.”
For more information on Victoria Ugarte and ‘A Foodie & Fashionista’s Guide To London’, visit http://www.ExploreMyWorldTravel.com/
About The Author: Victoria Ugarte, the Intrepid Traveler, is becoming known around the world as one of the most recognized faces of travel and culturally correct behavior. Based in Sydney, Australia, Victoria has authored several books with Amazon, including Culture Savvy For Women and A Foodie & Fashionista’s Guide To London. She regularly publishes travel articles for Her Magazine (NZ) and Pink (NZ). You can find Victoria, wherever she is in the world, by going to www.ExploreMyWorldTravel.com.
Victoria is giving away a 3-Step Email Series to the Ultimate Travel Experience on her website www.ExploreMyWorldTravel.com.
In addition, Victoria is offering a Bonus eBook called ‘How To Enrich Your Life Through Travel’. Click here to download your FREE copy now: www.ExploreMyWorldTravel.com/bonus-download
About A Foodie & Fashionista’s Guide To London: Specifically written for travelers who want to know where the locals hang out instead of being caught in the tourist traps, A Foodie & Fashionista’s Guide To London will show you all the ‘happening’ places in London, borough by borough. Written in a relaxed and irreverent manner, you’ll get the low down on London’s climate and what to pack, getting around on public transport, and the best places in London to eat, stay and play. ‘A Foodie & Fashionista’s Guide To London’ is available on Amazon for Kindle and the Ipad for $2.99 and paperback for $14.95.