Is Chicago Secure for Solo Feminine Vacationers?

In the event you’ve been dreaming of visiting the Windy Metropolis, chances are high it has crossed your thoughts to surprise, “Is Chicago protected?”

I’m from Chicago, and I’ve to acknowledge that it is a powerful query to reply. The fact is that Chicago’s total violent crime statistics are comparatively excessive in comparison with different US cities and even different international locations.

Most of those crimes occur in particular components of town, normally on the South and West Sides. Though Chicago is my hometown, I don’t really feel certified to dive into specifics, as a result of that may require a full dialogue of town’s complicated historical past and social and cultural dynamics.

Nonetheless, I can say that Chicago stays a protected place for solo feminine vacationers, particularly with these security ideas in thoughts:

1. Get aware of Chicago’s neighborhoods

Chicago has over 77 distinctive neighborhoods, many of which make an excellent base for getting probably the most out of town. My absolute favourite factor in regards to the Windy Metropolis is the quantity of cultural variety, which you’ll discover as you discover these neighborhoods.

When venturing outdoors of the Loop or no matter neighborhood you’re staying in, have a plan for the place you’ll go and the way you’re going to get there. Some neighborhoods aren’t the most effective for taking a leisurely stroll round, as sure pockets of the South and West Sides are susceptible to violence and gang exercise. Sometimes, there aren’t any vacationer sights in these locations, although, so that you’re unlikely to go to them anyway.

Nonetheless, in case you do wish to enterprise to the South or West Aspect, simply be sure you have a vacation spot versus strolling aimlessly. For instance, you would possibly wish to take a look at the Garfield Park Conservatory, because it’s among the best free issues to do in Chicago. In the event you aren’t aware of Garfield Park previous to visiting the conservatory, I don’t suggest exploring this neighborhood on foot.

2. Keep conscious of your environment

Like several huge metropolis, it’s essential to remain conscious of your environment when exploring Chicago. Don’t stroll round with headphones or earphones, as you gained’t be capable of hear any potential security threats. Think about not listening to an ambulance coming towards you as you cross the road — yikes. You would possibly see Chicagoans strolling with headphones or earphones, however it’s not a good suggestion.

3. Don’t have interaction with catcallers

is Chicago safe

Though I really feel like catcalling is much less frequent in Chicago than it’s in different cities all over the world, it nonetheless occurs. Typically being catcalled fills me with rage. Are you able to relate? Though at instances I really feel feisty and wish to hearth one thing again, it’s not a good suggestion.

Catcallers will be unpredictable in how they’ll react to your response and will turn into violent. Simply ignore them and don’t make eye contact. Chances are high they’ll go away you alone in case you keep impartial. Clapping again simply isn’t definitely worth the threat.

4. Don’t battle again

In the event you do have the unlucky circumstances of being robbed or pickpocketed, don’t try to get better your belongings from the thief, and don’t attempt to battle again. You don’t know if they’re armed or how violent they might be. As irritating and scary as it could be to be robbed, it’s essential to cooperate and provides them what they ask for.

In the event you can, put area between your pockets and your self by tossing it in one other path. This must also put area between you and the assailant, so you can also make your escape and get assist. Normally, they only need your issues and can go after them as a substitute of you.

5. In the event you see one thing, say one thing

Hopefully, you gained’t be a sufferer of any crime whilst you go to Chicago, however there’s an opportunity you might witness one. In the event you see a criminal offense taking place, don’t insert your self into the scenario. As a substitute, put a ways between your self and what’s taking place, and name the police to allow them to deal with it.

6. Be cautious of road sellers

You would possibly encounter folks promoting various things on the road in Chicago, particularly downtown. There could be someone promoting knock-off designer purses, and even Chicago memorabilia like T-shirts or magnets. They aren’t all dangerous, however some use this as a ruse for suspicious exercise, like pickpocketing — the sellers are simply there to distract you whereas another person snatches your pockets. More often than not, they aren’t promoting something you wish to purchase anyway, so simply ignore them.

7. Handle your belongings on the CTA

The CTA (Chicago Transport Authority) operates each the L trains and the buses all through Chicago. Trains and buses can get tremendous packed, particularly throughout rush hour, and pickpocketing is sort of frequent on public transportation within the metropolis.

Be sure to have your belongings near you. Don’t put any valuables in your again pockets or in unzipped coat pockets. I as soon as had my pockets snatched from my coat pocket as I used to be stepping off a prepare and couldn’t do a lot about it, because the doorways closed behind me and the prepare took off, with my thief in possession of my playing cards and money.

Don’t make the identical mistake I did — put your pockets deep inside your purse, fanny pack, or backpack. So long as it’s not in an out of doors pocket, try to be protected.

8. Keep away from buses at night time

This isn’t a strict rule, however it’s a great way to keep away from sketchiness at night time. Buses are effective to make use of through the day, however they aren’t as protected at night time. Versus getting dropped off at a well-lit station in a busy location such as you would on a prepare, bus stops are on the road, and typically you would possibly find yourself in an space that isn’t so centralized or well-lit, which isn’t splendid at night time, particularly in case you aren’t aware of the neighborhood.

To get across the metropolis at night time, I like to recommend utilizing the trains and Uber or Lyft. For instance, in case your vacation spot is a number of blocks from a prepare station and also you don’t really feel completely comfy strolling the remainder of the best way, you possibly can seize a rideshare and wait on the station for it to reach.

9. Take rideshares as a substitute of taxis

I don’t suppose taxis are essentially unsafe in Chicago, however Uber and Lyft are nonetheless a safer guess. On each of those platforms, you possibly can simply report an unsafe driver proper within the app. Alternatively, if one thing occurred in a taxi, you would need to get the automobile’s quantity and file a criticism with the taxi firm, which is extra of a problem.

10. Don’t take taxis from the airport

If there’s wherever you shouldn’t hail a cab in Chicago, it’s on the airport. These taxis cost outrageous quantities and prey on vacationers. A experience from the airport to downtown Chicago shouldn’t value greater than $60, which you’ll be capable of see in your rideshare app.

I like to recommend both hopping on the Blue Line prepare from O’Hare to the Loop or getting an Uber or Lyft. To be trustworthy, the Blue Line will get you downtown simply as rapidly, after which you may get a experience from there to your lodging for less expensive.

This isn’t essentially a “security” tip, however getting scammed into paying a whole bunch of {dollars} for a cab is tremendous annoying if not completely sketchy.

11. Share your location with somebody you belief

Whether or not you’re mountaineering within the mountains overseas or simply spending the weekend in a brand new metropolis, this tip applies wherever you’re touring solo. Have a buddy who you possibly can share your reside location with. Allow them to know in case you’ll be going wherever at night time, in order that they know to check out you. This manner, you’ll have somebody who is aware of the place you’re and can know immediately if one thing is incorrect.

12. Keep away from components of the lakeshore at night time…

The lakeshore is gorgeous, particularly at night time, with the lights of town glowing within the water beneath. Though there are some superior locations alongside Chicago’s lakeshore to hang around at night time, not all of them are very protected. For instance, Navy Pier is at all times full of individuals on any given summer time night time, making it a protected alternative for a lakeside stroll. Alternatively, you must keep away from locations like Belmont Harbor which are completely empty and really darkish at night time.

A superb rule of thumb is to stay to components of the lakeshore which are near downtown and have loads of folks milling about. Navy Pier, the Museum Campus, and Concrete Seashore are all effective, whereas any of the lakeside seashores or parks on the north aspect of town will be harmful at night time.

13. …or just strolling wherever at night time alone

is Chicago safe

Even after residing in Chicago for a number of years, I nonetheless didn’t really feel 100% comfy strolling wherever at night time. Even within the metropolis’s most secure neighborhoods, there’s at all times a heightened threat of crime after darkish. Although most streets within the metropolis are effectively lit, strolling alone will be unpredictable even when you realize the neighborhood effectively.

When unsure, simply take an Uber or Lyft. It may not be the most cost effective factor on this planet, however it will provide you with peace of thoughts.

14. Keep heat within the winter months

Though there’s nonetheless so much to like about Chicago within the wintertime, it’s not at all times the most effective time to go to in case you aren’t ready for terribly chilly temperatures. Often “the lake impact” can push temperatures as little as -22°F. This may be harmful for guests who don’t have the correct gear to remain heat in these temps. Convey loads of layers and a heavy coat that goes right down to your thighs a minimum of. Waterproof boots with loads of insulation, together with thick gloves and a hat, are additionally key to preserving heat. Nighttime temperatures are typically extra excessive, so avoiding going outdoors at night time may additionally be a good suggestion.

15. Convey security instruments

is Chicago safe

For added safety, contemplate bringing a few security instruments with you in your solo journey to Chicago. A conveyable doorjammer offers you an additional layer of safety in your resort or Airbnb, plus it’s sufficiently small to throw in your purse or carry-on baggage.

One other useful gizmo to have is a private alarm. If anyone ever will get too near you or threatens you, use this personal alarm with a strobe light to scare them away earlier than they shut in.

16. Faux it ’til you make it

In an effort to keep away from changing into a goal for petty theft or catcalling, be sure you appear like you realize the place you’re going. Even in case you’re simply exploring downtown, stroll with objective and don’t spend an excessive amount of time dilly-dallying. Chicago is a fast-paced metropolis, and anybody who’s strolling slowly and stopping to have a look at each little factor will stand out like a sore thumb. I do know it’d sound harsh in case you aren’t from an enormous metropolis, however trying like a vacationer will instantly make you extra of a goal for theft.

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is Chicago safe

Chicago is an unbelievable metropolis to go to. I want I might see it with the recent eyes of a newcomer another time, as I vaguely keep in mind what it was prefer to be enchanted by the Windy Metropolis for the primary time. My hope is that these security ideas enable you put together your self to remain protected in Chicago with out intimidating you. I feel it’s a incredible vacation spot for solo feminine vacationers, so long as they train warning and use road smarts.

Gear up in your journey with this epic record of issues to do in Chicago, and tell us what you’re most enthusiastic about!