Going to the Olympic Games? Here’s How to Travel Safe
Many people dream of seeing the Olympic Games in person. Since the host city changes every year, and people fly in from all over the world to enjoy the event, it can be a bit overwhelming to plan your trip. However, don’t let the excitement blind you to safety risks that can be involved.
Whether you are considering visiting Pyeong Chang in 2018, Tokyo 2020, or Beijing in 2022, make your trip to the Olympic Games one to remember for all of the right reasons by keeping these tips in mind.
Book Travel and Accommodations Early
When most people think safety, they don’t focus on planning their trip and stay as part of that equation. However, the earlier you plan, the more likely you will be to secure your ideal location. Every city has lower and higher crime areas.
By researching your choice location, and planning to book your trip early, you have a better chance to get the room and flights you want. If you wait too long, you may have fewer options as many locations will be booked solid relatively quickly. By acting early, you can avoid having to choose less desirable options simply because your top choices are no longer available.
If you are traveling as part of a group, try to stay together as much as possible. There will be thousands of people near the event areas, and the scene can seem quite chaotic. Regardless of the city in which the games are being held, you are less likely to be targeted if you are part of a group than if you are traveling alone.
Be Aware of High-Theft Items
Having a smartphone in your hand, or a bag casually hanging from your shoulder, may make you look like an easy mark to potential thieves. Ideally, you don’t want to have anything valuable that can easily be snatched from your possession by someone running by. Since it can take a moment to realize what happened, the thief may have a significant head start even if you try to pursue. Go the extra mile by ensuring all of your important property cannot be easily removed from you.
You also want to make sure anything important left in your hotel room is properly secured. Many rooms offer access to safes to protect your valuables. Consider locking anything away that could be attractive to potential thieves, especially identification items like passports, excess funds or credit cards, and high-value jewelry.
Threat of Attack
One of the biggest concerns many people (and host nations) have about attending the Olympic Games is the threat of terrorist attack. For example, Paris, France is in contention for the 2024 games. With recent terror attacks in the country, France has to plan appropriately to remain in consideration.
While a threat is not imminent by design, large events of this nature can be targeted. Many groups work to end the threat of terrorism, like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, but your vigilance can also help make these events safer for everyone. If you see anything suspicious or out of place, consider alerting authorities or other onsite security personnel. While it may turn out to be nothing, it is better to be overly cautious than not cautious enough.
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