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How to Explore an Unfamiliar City


When moving or traveling to a new city it can be both very exciting and daunting. For those experienced travelers, getting aquainted to a new city can seem like a breeze, but for those of us who don’t travel a lot it is a challenge.

Lucky for you I have been both the newbie traveler and the seasoned veteran. Here are some actionable tips that will mak exploring an unfamiliar city a walk in the park.

  1. Make a list

Before you start your trip you should plan ahead to make it a million times more stress free.

What I like to do is create a list of all of the local points of interest that I think would make my trip the most memorable. If the place doesn’t seem like it would create an experience that you could brag about, then you might want to find another.

Once you have your points of interest, double check that they are actually exciting by looking up the location on Instagram. Instagram will give you many picture ideas for when you get there, but also show you different perspectives of the place that you might have not known about.

  1. Let someone know where you will be at all times

No matter the city you are traveling in you should always let someone know where you are going to be and what you are doing.

This is just an added safety percausion. Regardeless if you are in a fancy city or a third world country I always follow this step.

Besides, I am sure your loved ones would love to know how your trip is going.

  1. Use Google Maps to help you not get lost

Google maps, or some kind of map app, will be your best friend when you are in an unfamiliar place.

Figure out where the local landmarks in the city are on Google Maps so you always know where you are in relation to them.

Try to divide the city into sections, even they are made up sections. As long as the sections help you understand where you are in a city then it can help. Dividing the city into sections can even help you determine what points of interests you will have time to visit in a single day.

  1. If taking a ride make sure you get dropped of in a well lit area

When you are taking a ride somewhere in the city make sure that you are getting dropped off in a well lit and safe area, if you have the ability to. You should always know where “safe” places are in relation to where you are getting dropped off just in case you get uncomfortable.

If you are taking public transportation this can be hard to know how safe a destination will be so it might be best to avoid taking this at night.

A cheap alternative would be to hire a car or to take Uber and Lyft if its available where you are. However, if you don’t want to hop into a general car owned by a random person you could always try to take a taxi.

Taxis, while they are a little more expensive, are safer because your driver is government background checked, has passed taxi exams, and operates a vehicle that is regualrly inspected by the city. RideYellow is a great taxi app to help you get around a city.