New York Safety, security and travel insurance

Safety and Security

A melting pot of culture and a vibrant metropolis, New York City is constantly on the list of the top ten most visited cities in the world, and for a good reason too; it has a vibe all its own. Travelling to the Big Apple is on everyone’s bucket list but going to a city as busy as New York with children in tow, although a lot of fun, can be an ideal condition for many safety concerns.

You can put your worries to bed as New York is one of the safest cities in the world, constantly under the watchful eyes of the vigilant but friendly police force. Aside from being prepared and pragmatic, follow these simple tips for peace of mind.

Always be aware of your surroundings

You have to be conscious of your environment, regardless of wherever you are. Parents who are distracted by their children make easy targets for thieves. They don’t attack right away. They watch you across the street to find out where you keep your money. Make your cards and funds inaccessible so you don’t end up becoming a victim.

Consider taking a purse that can be worn across the body and keep things out of your back pockets. Remember that street performances often attract pickpockets, so pay attention to the people around you.

Make good use of the buddy system

The buddy system works well when travelling to unfamiliar places, especially massive cities. Ensure someone is in charge of specific people, especially when walking around the city. Siblings can buddy up with each other, but parents should keep their eyes open for children who wander off or get distracted easily.

Plan your route before heading out

New York is great for walking. However, it is also one of the busiest, so the streets are often packed. The kids can easily get lost in a sea of people so take a few wise precautions. Only walk on main pathways and streets and always look for the intersection when crossing. Pay attention to signals, be on the lookout for oncoming traffic and be doubly careful when going out at night.

Plan your route before heading out and refrain from making last-minute changes. Be conscious of landmarks and cross streets that will help you get back to your accommodations easily. When lost, seek out a police officer or ask shopkeepers to help you find your way.

Book accommodations ahead of time

Not booking accommodations ahead of time can result in scrambling to find a roof over your head. When vacationing in New York with the family, your priority is to find a safe place to call your temporary home. Read reviews and research the neighbourhood where your hotel is before making reservations because some areas are not as secure as others, but more on that later.

Picking a hotel over alternative options, especially for a family, is much safer considering hotels have 24-hour security, a secured Internet connection, and rooms with a safe. Go straight to your hotel after you land and never open your door without knowing who is on the other side.

Be careful when taking the subway

Taking the subway is an excellent option for families who want to explore the city because it is efficient and affordable. However, you should only purchase MetroCards from approved vendors in the station, and when waiting for your ride, always stand behind the yellow line and mind the platform gap.

The train takes you anywhere in the Big Apple but be careful when figuring out where you should stop. Nearly every train car has maps you can consult if unsure, but we recommend carrying your subway map and checking it ahead of time. Should you find yourself at the wrong stop, you can wait for the next train and get back on.

Avoid certain areas in the city

As mentioned earlier, there are specific neighbourhoods in New York City that are best to avoid. Explore the Lower East Side and Alphabet City with caution. Other areas that still struggle with high crime rates and are notorious for mugging are Hells’ Kitchen, Brownsville, and Hunts Point.

The good thing is that these places aren’t tourist hotspots but if you venture into any of them, be sure to do so during the daytime and know precisely where you are heading.

Be careful when taking taxis

Whatever you do, never get into an unmarked taxi. New York City taxis are easily identifiable; they have the ubiquitous yellow colour with a light on the roof that displays the driver’s medallion number. The hood of the taxi should also have the ID number. If you can’t see any of these things, move on and wait for another cab. Uber and Lyft are also available, but are not regulated, so it’s best to use them with caution. Remember that it is customary to tip drivers, and refusing to do so might lead to an altercation.

Lastly, don’t let the small things stress you out

New York is a thrilling city to visit, and the last thing you want is to worry about every little thing that can go wrong. There’s no fun in that so, learn to relax! The Big Apple is a friendly city full of beautiful people who are more than happy to help tourists. Thanks to technology, it’s now easier to plan your vacation and find your way through the use of interactive maps. With common sense and these safety tips, you’ll enjoy New York.

However, should you find yourself the victim of a crime, don’t hesitate to report it to the New York City Police Department by calling them at 311. You can also call 911 for emergencies.

Health and Medical, Emergencies, Insurance

Nobody expects to get injured or sick while on vacation. Unfortunately, it happens more frequently than people think, especially where children are involved. A medical emergency is an unexpected or sudden illness or injury that can cause serious harm if left untreated. Some of the most common medical emergencies while travelling are:

  • Trauma
  • Fractures from falls
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Pulmonary/Respiratory problems

When you have a medical emergency while in New York, the first thing you should do is call local emergency services, for New York that number is 911.

Hospitals in New York

For non-emergency medical situations where you need to see a doctor, you can go to any hospital or clinic in New York. You can find a list of hospitals here. The state has a total of 277 hospitals, of which 64 are government and 4 are private hospitals. 77 of these hospitals have helipad facilities. The biggest hospital in New York is Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City with a capacity of 1144 beds.

New York is the most densely populated city in the US, so it’s no wonder that the Big Apple has the most number of hospitals within its city limits. New York City has 11 public hospitals and 11 acute care hospitals.

Getting travel insurance

Exciting, isn’t it, getting ready for your big trip to New York with the family? It is easy to get lost amid preparations that you forget important things, such as taking out travel insurance. Medical emergencies overseas can be extremely costly. 

With travel insurance that includes emergency medical benefits, you will have peace of mind. Paying for losses will no longer be an issue because your medical and dental emergencies are covered. Emergency medical transportation benefits will take care of transportation to the nearest hospital. Furthermore, it can cover the cost of getting you home too.

Emergencies

Call 911 if you have a life-threatening condition or have a serious injury. You can also call the same number when you find yourself in immediate danger or are a witness to a crime in progress.

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