Is Chicago Protected for Solo Feminine Vacationers?

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

I’m from Chicago, and I’ve to acknowledge that this can be a powerful query to reply. The fact is that Chicago’s general 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 the 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 might require a full dialogue of the town’s advanced historical past and social and cultural dynamics.

Nevertheless, I can say that Chicago stays a secure place for solo feminine vacationers, particularly with these security suggestions in thoughts:

1. Get acquainted with Chicago’s neighborhoods

Chicago has over 77 distinctive neighborhoods, many of which make an excellent base for getting probably the most out of the 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 exterior 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 very best for taking a leisurely stroll round, as sure pockets of the South and West Sides are liable 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.

Nevertheless, for those who do need to enterprise to the South or West Aspect, simply be sure to have a vacation spot versus strolling aimlessly. For instance, you may need to try the Garfield Park Conservatory, because it’s top-of-the-line free issues to do in Chicago. In case you aren’t acquainted with Garfield Park previous to visiting the conservatory, I don’t advocate exploring this neighborhood on foot.

2. Keep conscious of your environment

Like all huge metropolis, it’s essential to remain conscious of your environment when exploring Chicago. Don’t stroll round with headphones or earphones, as you received’t have the ability to hear any potential security threats. Think about not listening to an ambulance coming towards you as you cross the road — yikes. You may see Chicagoans strolling with headphones or earphones, nevertheless 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? Regardless that at instances I really feel feisty and need to fireplace one thing again, it’s not a good suggestion.

Catcallers might be unpredictable in how they’ll react to your response and will turn out to be violent. Simply ignore them and don’t make eye contact. Likelihood is they’ll depart you alone for those who keep impartial. Clapping again simply isn’t well worth the threat.

4. Don’t struggle again

In case you do have the unlucky circumstances of being robbed or pickpocketed, don’t try and get well your belongings from the thief, and don’t attempt to struggle 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 case you can, put house between your pockets and your self by tossing it in one other route. This must also put house between you and the assailant, so you may make your escape and get assist. Normally, they only need your issues and can go after them as a substitute of you.

5. In case you see one thing, say one thing

Hopefully, you received’t be a sufferer of any crime when you go to Chicago, however there’s an opportunity you might witness one. In case you see against the law taking place, don’t insert your self into the scenario. As an alternative, put far between your self and what’s taking place, and name the police to allow them to deal with it.

6. Be cautious of avenue sellers

You may encounter folks promoting various things on the road in Chicago, particularly downtown. There could be any individual promoting knock-off designer purses, and even Chicago memorabilia like T-shirts or magnets. They aren’t all unhealthy, 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 need to purchase anyway, so simply ignore them.

7. Care for 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 kind of widespread on public transportation within the metropolis.

Be sure you 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, you have to be secure.

8. Keep away from buses at night time

This isn’t a strict rule, nevertheless it’s a great way to keep away from sketchiness at night time. Buses are effective to make use of throughout the day, however they aren’t as secure 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 may find yourself in an space that isn’t so centralized or well-lit, which isn’t excellent at night time, particularly for those who aren’t acquainted with 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 snug strolling the remainder of the way in which, you may seize a rideshare and wait on the station for it to reach.

9. Take rideshares as a substitute of taxis

I don’t assume taxis are essentially unsafe in Chicago, however Uber and Lyft are nonetheless a safer guess. On each of those platforms, you may 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 grievance 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 trip from the airport to downtown Chicago shouldn’t price greater than $60, which you’ll have the ability to 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 shortly, after which you will get a trip from there to your lodging for less expensive.

This isn’t essentially a “security” tip, however getting scammed into paying lots of 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 out of the country or simply spending the weekend in a brand new metropolis, this tip applies wherever you’re touring solo. Have a buddy who you may share your stay location with. Allow them to know for those who’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 might be and can know instantly if one thing is unsuitable.

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

The lakeshore is gorgeous, particularly at night time, with the lights of the 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 secure. For instance, Navy Pier is all the time full of individuals on any given summer season night time, making it a secure alternative for a lakeside stroll. Alternatively, it’s best to keep away from locations like Belmont Harbor which can be completely empty and really darkish at night time.

A very good rule of thumb is to stay to components of the lakeshore which can be near downtown and have loads of folks milling about. Navy Pier, the Museum Campus, and Concrete Seaside are all effective, whereas any of the lakeside seashores or parks on the north aspect of the town might 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% snug strolling wherever at night time. Even within the metropolis’s most secure neighborhoods, there’s all the time a heightened threat of crime after darkish. Although most streets within the metropolis are nicely lit, strolling alone might be unpredictable even when you understand the neighborhood nicely.

When doubtful, simply take an Uber or Lyft. It won’t be the most affordable factor on this planet, nevertheless it provides you with peace of thoughts.

14. Keep heat within the winter months

Though there may be nonetheless so much to like about Chicago within the wintertime, it’s not all the time the very best time to go to for those who aren’t ready for very chilly temperatures. Sometimes “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 no less than. Waterproof boots with loads of insulation, together with thick gloves and a hat, are additionally key to maintaining heat. Nighttime temperatures are typically extra excessive, so avoiding going exterior at night time may additionally be a good suggestion.

15. Convey security instruments

is Chicago safe

For added safety, think about bringing a few security instruments with you in your solo journey to Chicago. A transportable doorjammer provides you an additional layer of safety in your lodge 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. Pretend it ’til you make it

With a purpose to keep away from turning into a goal for petty theft or catcalling, be sure to seem like you understand the place you’re going. Even for those who’re simply exploring downtown, stroll with goal 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 take a look at each little factor will stand out like a sore thumb. I do know it would sound harsh for those who 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 unimaginable metropolis to go to. I want I might see it with the contemporary eyes of a newcomer another time, as I vaguely keep in mind what it was wish to be enchanted by the Windy Metropolis for the primary time. My hope is that these security suggestions provide help to put together your self to remain secure 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 avenue smarts.

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