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8 Great Tips for Staying Safe During Event Travel

Travel Team | Jun 8, 2023

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Woman holding red drink cup at outdoor festival.

The summer months are full of events, festivals, vacations, and holidays that often require travel. If you’re attending an event with large crowds, the usual hectic feeling of travel can feel even more chaotic. These big crowds can pose a daunting list of safety concerns — for you and your belongings — and for good reason. But don’t let that hold you back from the experience of a lifetime. Keep these eight safety checks at top-of-mind during your travels for a seamless, worry-free trip.

How to Stay Safe at Festivals and Events

1. Watch your drink.

This is something you’ve heard since college, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded. It’s easy to want to let loose in the midst of an event. Maybe you’re at a concert for your favorite band or doing a holiday bar crawl. Having a good time is great, but never let your guard down when it comes to your drink.

You should always keep your drink with you. If you’re ordering from a bartender, keep your eyes on your drink while it’s being made. And, although it seems like common sense, don’t accept drinks from strangers.

If you find yourself in an unsafe situation — you think something was put in your drink, you’re getting unwanted attention from another partier — order an “angel shot.” Most bartenders know this is actually a request for help that doesn’t call extra attention to the person.

Some venues may have similar codes. For example, Seven Corners blogger Becky Hart attended a concert in St. Louis where there were signs posted in the women’s restroom. These explained that all she had to do was ask the bartender “Is Valerie working?” and they’d know she was feeling unsafe and could provide assistance.

2. Bring only what you need to the event.

Avoid bringing unnecessary items to your event. It is much easier to keep track of all your belongings and minimizes the risk of lost or stolen items. Plus, who wants to lug around a bunch of stuff, anyways?

Unnecessary items could include extra cash — some venues are cashless anyway and only accept credit card or tap-to-pay options like Apple Pay — as well as flashy jewelry or other items that call unnecessary attention to you.
Keep items in a front pocket where it’s more difficult for pickpockets to reach unnoticed. Backpacks are also easy targets, as are large purses, especially those with thin straps. Fanny packs (also known as bumbags, waist bags, or belt bags) are a safer alternative.

3. Stay aware of your surroundings.

It takes just a moment of letting your guard down for something unexpected to happen. The more you’re aware of your surroundings, the better you’ll be able to take action. Maybe someone is acting strange near you. Maybe there’s a pickpocket in your midst. When you’re observant, you can remove yourself from a situation before it becomes a problem.
Included in this is knowing your way around. We all rely on our phones to help us navigate these days, but it’s a good idea to have an idea of how to get places. For starters, you’ll be less likely to call attention to yourself as an outsider — and, therefore, an easy target — but you’ll also be able to get somewhere safe more quickly when you already have a general lay of the land.

4. Use the hotel safe.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Just because your hotel room is locked doesn’t necessarily mean your items are secure. Almost all hotel rooms have a safe with a programmable code. Take advantage of this to keep your valuables as secure as possible.

5. Be smart about transportation.

Taxi on a city street

If you’re traveling to a touristy destination, you will likely see taxi cabs waiting to take you anywhere. Be careful though.  Taxis often factor time into your travel fare, and scheming drivers might try to take you on a longer route to get more money out of you. This is often seen in areas like Las Vegas, and the state recently issued a flat rate for taxi rides based on your zone.

When you’re traveling, opt for ride services like Uber or Lyft. This lets you see the price before confirming the ride, and you have the driver’s route available to you on your phone.

Other options include letting your hotel arrange a ride for you, even if it’s just using a taxi service they trust, or by taking advantage of the event’s shuttle service. These can save you money and help keep you safe.

6. Avoid illegitimate tickets.

If it’s not clear by now, tourists can be targeted more than locals. It is common for street vendors to hand you gifts or offer their services for free. But once you accept, you are badgered until you pay them.

If you’ve ever walked the Vegas strip, you know there are people dressed in costume or offering props for a photo. It might seem like a quick, harmless snapshot, but you’re almost always on the hook to tip them after that camera takes the picture.

Avoid buying event tickets or passes unless it is through the respective organization. Third-party sellers may be pawning off counterfeit tickets.

7. Have an emergency plan.

No matter how much you plan, there’s always a chance of the unexpected. Before you go, make a plan for how you’ll respond to emergencies. This includes if you get sick or hurt at the event. Find out if there’s a medical tent at the venue or festival. If not, how will you find medical care?
This also includes what to do if there’s a problem at the venue. Of course we hope this isn’t the case, but in the event of a fire, stampede, or act of violence, you’ll want to know where all the exits are, how to protect yourself, and where to meet up with friends if you get separated.

8. Don’t go solo.

Group of friends outdoors

If you are traveling solo, make friends at the event. The point is to have a support system, even if it’s just temporary.

There’s often safety in numbers. With a friend or two, you’ll be safer walking to or from the venue. You can keep an eye out for each other, and if you are in a situation where you need help, hopefully they’ll be in a position to do so.

When you’re traveling to an event with other people, make a plan for staying in contact, even if you don’t spend every minute together. This could mean setting up specific times and places to check in occasionally, or using apps to stay in touch. Some phones have an option that lets you share your location, but if not, download an app like Life360.

Protect Your Event Travel with Travel Insurance.

Traveling to a new destination comes with some risk, but the rewards are also high, especially when you’re attending an event or festival. Spend less time worrying about the unexpected, and more time exploring confidently with Seven Corners travel insurance.

Protect the money you’ve spent for your trip with Seven Corners Trip Insurance in case of travel interruption or cancellation. If you’re traveling to an international event, consider Seven Corners Travel Medical Insurance to protect your health while exploring.

Get a quick quote at SevenCorners.com or talk to one of our licensed agents to find the best travel insurance for your trip.

About the Author

Natalie Isbell is a senior studying General Management at Purdue University. Her interest in marketing and love for travel is what brought her to Seven Corners for an internship. Outside of work, you can find her spending time with family, staying active outdoors, and planning her next getaway.

Robin Thomas and Becky Hart also contributed to this blog.

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