The Americas

USA: Travel Safety

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Current smart traveller advice

The US government has heightened security procedures for every passenger on commercial flights to America. This includes enhanced screening of passengers themselves along with electronic devices.


Random checks from immigration and customs enforcement officers of travel documents, including visas and passports, have been put into place since early 2017. Ensure that all your travel documents are valid and correct before entering.


The terrorist threat in the US is at a high level due to the extremists involved in the Syria and Iraq conflict.


Visitors must also be aware many US states allow for resident members to openly carry certain firearms in public.

Safety tips and advice


Some of the most common scams to occur in America include:

  • Telephone
  • Banking
  • Investment
  • Charity
  • Ticket


Although not all may be applicable to your circumstances, it is always best to err on the side of caution when giving out personal details. Ticket scams may be one of the more relatable for those whose involve excursions and events. Always buy from a trusted and reputable site, and if you’re not 100 per cent sure, it is best to avoid.

General crime in the major cities

Los Angeles

LA is the largest city in California and is home to a population of over 4 million people. Unfortunately, this popular American city does have a relatively high crime rate. Of these crimes, over 50 per cent were thefts, according to a 2015 city data study. Visitors to the city must be vigilant, keep belongings secure and avoid areas that look run-down and dangerous.

San Francisco

Although San Francisco’s crime rate is 127 per cent higher than the California average and 142 per cent higher than the national average, according to, visitors mustn’t be put off visiting the city if the right precautions are in place, such as the points stated above.

New York

New York is the most popular city in America for citizens and tourists alike. Although so vast, the overall crime rate in New York is 26 per cent lower than the national average, stated by It also happens to be safer than 20 per cent of the cities in the United States.

Las Vegas

As with any densely populated city, crime rates are always going to be higher than rural areas. Although Las Vegas is made up of some of the most luxurious hotels in America, guests must always store valuables in secure compartments and be on high alert at all times to avoid petty theft.



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