Although Sin City is safer than it looks on TV crime dramas, drunken tourists carrying piles of cash draw unsavory characters like ants to a picnic. Robbery, auto accidents, and aggravated assault are the biggest risks to guard against. Here are 6 tips for staying safe in Vegas.
Avoid Pickpockets and Identity Thieves
Carry only what you need in your front pocket. A purse is a bad idea, but if you must bring one, keep it close. Always inspect ATMs for tampering and cover the keypad when entering your PIN even if no one is around. (Identity thieves sometimes install fake card readers that also have tiny cameras to record your PIN.)
Don’t Get Drunk and Wander the Streets
If you go out at night, take cabs, the bus, or the monorail. Walk only in well lit areas.Never let someone you’ve just met talk you into going anywhere alone with them. Intoxication makes you a target for theft and violent crime. Save heavy drinking for larger casinos and hotels with lots of security, and appoint one member of your group to stay sober. If you’re alone, drink in your hotel, and ask security to walk to your room. Don’t get drawn into shouting matches or brawls between drunken guests. Let security handle it.
Piles of Cash and Buckets of Chips are ThiefBait
Coins are safer in the machine tray than in a bucket that someone can snatch and grab. Exchange piles of chips for larger denominations that you can stow in your pocket. If you win at the tables, ask for a payout by check, or keep your winnings in the hotel safe. Watch out for anyone who points at dropped coins or chips and asks you if they’re yours. That’s a scammer distracting you so his or her partner can grab your change bucket. Don’t take part in games outside the casino — especially Three Card Monte, a shell game.
Your Hotel Should be Your Safe Zone
A good hotel will take your safety seriously, offering security, cameras, and a state-of-the-art safe. Book your room through a reputable service like www.gogobot.com. Don’t hesitate to call security if a stranger comes to your door asking to enter your room at night. Take advantage of your hotel’s safe, and ask for security to walk you to your car or room if you feel threatened.
Heavy traffic, flashing lights, 24hour alcohol consumption, and roadside distractions make the Strip dangerous for drivers and pedestrians. Many people are killed in alcohol-related collisions around the city each year, and a drunk driver can endanger you even if you’re sober or walking. Use crosswalks and streetlights even when others are ignoring them.
Be Aware of Desert Dangers
Nevada is a desert state, with very low humidity and temps that can range over 105o. Drink lots of water, and if you start feeling overheated, get indoors and sit down until you cool off. Wear long pants and closed shoes to avoid snakebite in the desert.
Guest post provided to Jen is on a Journey.