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10 Big City Safety Tips for Student Groups

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by Rhoda Venture
Education TripPerformance TripTravel

Traveling with students is always an adventure but traveling to a big city can pose some added challenges.  To reduce the risks, we’re sharing 10 big city safety tips for student groups!

1. Travel Lightly

Chances are good that you’ll be doing lots of walking so travel lightly.  Take ONLY what you’ll need for the day

  • Phone
  • Water
  • ID
  • A little cash or debit card
  • Face covering

Leave anything irreplaceable in your hotel room or on the bus so you don’t risk losing it.

big city safety tips

2. Carry Valuables in Front

Avoid the temptation to throw everything in a backpack and keep things close to your front!  Backpacks or back pockets are easy targets for pick-pocketers.  Use front pockets or cross-body bags that hang in the front of your body.

3. Be Discreet with your Dollars

Grandparents and others love to shower student travelers with “a little spending money.”  Keep it safe by not flashing wads of cash at your spending stops.

Better yet, use mobile payment apps like Apple Pay and Venmo for the safest way to pay.

big city safety tips

4. Put Your Phone Away!

Don’t focus on the perfect selfie or lose focus in your surroundings.  Pay attention to what’s going on around you.  Avoid big crowds and suspicious activity when possible.

Remember that your phone is (probably) your lifeline and losing it or having it stolen leaves you with no way of communicating with group leaders, family, or friends.

5. Avoid Posting on Social Media in Real-Time

Nothing shouts “I’m a tourist” more than a barrage of social media selfies in real-time.  Posting photos or live streaming as you move about the city sets you up for potential threats.

Save your social posts until the end of the day or the end of your trip!

big city safety tips

6. Stay Off the Public Wi-Fi

Using public Wi-Fi makes you vulnerable to hackers waiting to swipe your data and personal information.

My daughter recently traveled with her school to Florida and promptly paid for Wi-Fi on the flight there.  Hackers just as promptly gained access to her credit card and racked up significant charges before we realized what had happened.

Keep your private information private and set up a virtual private network (VPN) that allows you safe and secure access to the internet.

7. Safeguard Your Hotel Room

Today’s hotels are incredibly safe, but you can still take steps to ensure it is as safe as possible.

  • Lock and deadbolt the door
  • Keep windows locked
  • Use the room safe for valuables
  • Walk with a buddy to the ice machines or elevators

big city safety tips

8. Stay in Public Places

While this one seems like a no-brainer, it can be easy to be lured away from the group by the bright lights and busy streets.  Always stay in public places and never agree to follow someone to a private place alone!

9. Use Communication Apps

Be sure your group uses a communication travel app like Remind or GroupMe for faster real-time messaging or updates.  Communication apps connect you with important information like safety procedures, meeting places, or itinerary changes.

Great Travel Apps for Student Groups

big city safety tips

10. Stay Safe on the Subway

The subway is a great way to get around a big city.  It’s affordable and efficient (if you know what you are doing!)  A few tips for riding safely…

  • Stay behind the yellow line while waiting for the train
  • Don’t try to hold the doors open and keep your hands inside
  • Hold on! Sudden starts and stops can throw you off-balance
  • Buy your passes only from approved vendors
  • Pay attention to the destination signs
  • Stay with your group

Related Reading: Last Stop for MetroCards in NYC

10 Big City Safety Tips

Traveling to a new place is exciting, and big cities are especially thrilling.  Keep these 10 big city safety tips in mind on your next student trip and enjoy every minute!


10 Big City Safety Tips for Student Groups

Updated March 2024

Why Kaleidoscope Adventures?

As a leader in the student travel industry for 30+ years, Kaleidoscope Adventures exceeds expectations for student and performance group travel.

We’ll work with you to plan an exceptional travel experience and provide impeccable customer service from start to finish

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