Safety Tips for New Orleans
The level of safety in an area is one thing that’s always on our minds. We ask ourselves is the location safe? Will I get hurt? Where shouldn’t I go in this area? These questions are asked for good reason. Safety is important and may be the determining factor on whether you travel to a location or not. Today, we’re going to look at New Orleans, how safe it is, and some tips on being extra safe while here!
Is New Orleans Safe?
Historically, New Orleans has higher crime rates than other cities in the United States. It is not uncommon to find New Orleans ranked in the top 5 list for highest homicide rates in the country. It has been a presence in the city for a very long time. There are robberies, burglaries, homicides, assaults, and more.
Officials and the police departments are working on efforts to reduce the crime rate. These resources illustrate and articulate the scary crime patterns, and it’s rate increases, throughout the decades.– NOLA.com, NOLA Police Department, Crime Statistics
While this city has its fair share of crime, is it really safe to travel to? Overall, I’d say it’s safe. With any area, there are places to go and places to avoid. Less touristy neighborhoods and places may see more crimes occurring. This doesn’t mean that Bourbon St. or any other touristy spot is 100% safe either. There may be a chance that something may happen.
At the end of the day, it’s relatively safe and you are able to travel to New Orleans!
Based on the research I’ve done, in addition to my trip to New Orleans, I’ve compiled some safety tips you should use when visiting NOLA.
1. Keep Valuables Out Of Sight
If you’re a travel vlogger like myself, or if you like taking pictures, then you know you have your equipment out and in view. You have to capture some awesome shots and footage of the location! However, you have to be careful when exposing your expensive stuff in view of the public.
Since robberies and thefts are prevalent in New Orleans, please be careful and try to avoid putting anything expensive out on display. If you do like I did, only do so for brief moments or when you’re with other people.
2. Don’t Walk Alone At Night
Experiencing the night scene is a must when you’re in NOLA! However, you need to be careful when you are walking around at night by yourself. You should be careful when you’re walking at night no matter where you are.
Especially in a place like New Orleans with higher rates of crime, exercise caution and walk with others if you can. When I was roaming at night, I was with my boyfriend at all times or we were with a tour group. There’s safety in numbers and if you need to then take a Uber ride home.
3. Be Aware Of The Risk
I believe this is something that should be taken into account no matter where you’re traveling to. If you know you’re going to a place with higher crime rates, like New Orleans, definitely do your research and be aware of the risk you take by going here.
Now, I don’t want to scare you into thinking you can’t travel here at all. But for your safety I just want you to be aware of the statistics and possibility that something may happen. Doesn’t mean something will happen but better to be safe than sorry.
4. Watch Out For Scammers
Be on the lookout for those trying to scam you. One scam I saw online prior to visiting the city was the shoe scam where a local would tell you they know where you got your shoes from. This is just one of the many scams out there.
Needless to say I didn’t encounter anyone trying to scam my boyfriend and I. Even if some attempted to, we would just keep walking and not pay them any attention. Just be on the look out, don’t believe everything everyone tells you, and don’t give them anything.
5. Use A Ride-Share App When Possible
One of the best things about New Orleans is that almost everything is within walking distance. Most tours, activities, events, and so on occur near the French Quarter and Bourbon St. Even if they’re not, things are usually within a 5 to 15 minute walk.
There’s a ton of options since you’re in a city. You can even take public transportation and ride a trolly car.
Depending on the situation (i.e. if you’re alone at night, had too much to drink, or you don’t feel safe going down the narrow side streets) don’t hesitate to use public transportation or a ride-share app like Uber or Lyft to get around.
6. Don’t Drink Too Much
If you’ve read my post on New Orleans, I discussed how alcohol and drinking is a big part of the scene down there. You can buy drinks literally anywhere and drink on the streets (as long as they’re in a plastic or to-go cup).
With that being said, don’t drink too much where you can’t walk straight or your judgement is impaired. Especially if you’re planning on walking around for the day, play it safe and limit the amount you drink. The same is true when you’re out at night, definitely don’t drink too much and put yourself at a greater risk of being a victim.
7. Take Only Necessary Items
I get it, you go away on a trip and it’s tempting to take anything and everything with you. While in some places you can do that, I recommend NOT doing that in New Orleans.
Only take the necessities and leave the rest in your hotel room/accommodation spot. Take things like cash, 1-2 cards, phone, portable charger, a travel pouch like I do, and that’s it. I also took my camera to vlog my time there. I have a small, compact camera that fits into any day bag I take with me so it’s easy to conceal in a pinch.
To avoid any theft or robberies, essentially bring as little as possible.
8. Be Alert
Stay alert, be vigilant, be safe! Always be aware of your surroundings no matter what time of day or night. Although I enjoyed filming New Orleans and wandering around, I always kept my eyes and ears open at ALL TIMES.
You never know what could happen, so please be 100% alert but have fun!