This weekend will see a huge influx of people into Washington, D.C. to celebrate the second inauguration of Barack Obama. Though the turn out is expected to be less than four years ago, the capital is still bracing for over 500,000 visitors. In anticipation of so many tourists, Mike Kelly, CEO of On Call International, a leading provider of medical, security and travel assistance, is sharing some tips for staying safe while being patriotic:
- Be Street Smart: Pick-pocketers are bound to happen in any large crowd environment, especially while tourists are sightseeing and attending celebratory festivals. Kelly suggests that women wear cross body bags to have more control of their belongings and men transfer their wallets to their front pockets and put a rubber band around it to make it harder to remove. Pick-Pocketers are often well trained, so keep an eye on your personal belongings at all times.
- Keep A Closed Door Policy: Most hotels in the nation’s capital will be filled to capacity and guests should expect constant foot traffic in and out of hotels. It is important to remember to practice the same common-sense precautions that you would in your own home. For example, if you didn’t request a hotel bell hop to bring up towels or shampoo, its best to stay safe and communicate via phone or through the door. Don’t open your hotel door to “room inspectors” who will swipe a valuable or two as they pretend to check the “quality of housekeeping.” When leaving your room for the day, keep your hotel key with you, instead of at the front desk, and leave your do not disturb sign on your door so others think it is occupied.
- Go Green & Go Public!: Public transportation in major cities is often the most convenient and greenest way to travel, especially in Washington D.C. Kelly suggests picking a hotel close to one of D.C.’s 86 MetroRail stations. In addition to the convenience factor, driving through the city, especially during rush hour, can be an extreme nightmare. “Be sure to leave some extra time when taking the MetroRail for the first time. Buying a ticket from the fare machine is often confusing – you might need to ask a Metro station manager for help,” Kelly states.