Holiday ‘Safety Smarts’ for Travelers to SF

Traveling to San Francisco this holiday season? As locals know, the city comes alive with seasonal cheer and festivities during the holidays—from a plethora of retail offerings to ice rinks to tree lightings to fabulous restaurants and so much more. Add to that the city’s incredible tourist attractions and you have the recipe for a perfect vacation, that is, if you mind your safety smarts.

SF SAFE’s team has some tips for travelers to San Francisco to help keep their visit to our city merry this holiday season. Follow our top tips and you’ll be well on your way for a safe and memorable visit.

Personal Safety Smarts

Use travelers’ checks—which if lost or stolen, will typically be refunded—and keep your passport, airline tickets, credit cards and other important documents on you. Ideally, also keep your cash separate from your ID and credit cards. And when you go out exploring, only take what you need.

Put your wallet or purse in hard-to-reach spots. Men should carry their wallet in their front pant pocket rather than the back pocket. Women should place their wallet deep within their purse.

When using a backpack, never wear it on your back; carry it in your hands at your side. Stash your wallet in the backpack’s main compartment, NOT in the small outside pocket. Fanny packs and money belts should be concealed under your clothes and toward your front.

Maintain close and secure possession of your cellphone when using it or taking photos so it doesn’t get snatched from your hands.

Be aware of your surroundings and be wary if someone attempts to create a distraction. Also stay alert, show confident body language and make eye contact with passersby,

which discourages pickpockets.

Vehicle Safety Smarts

When taking vans from the airport and also at other places, maintain ownership of your luggage. Never leave it unattended and refrain from asking a stranger to watch it.

Don’t bring your valuables or “Sunday best” everywhere you go, lest you attract unwanted attention. Tourists have been known to visit Vista Point on their way out of town and get their valuables stolen. If you want to visit a top tourist attraction, don’t do it with all of your valuables in your car.

Relatedly, and as we like to say here in San Francisco, remember to “park smart.” This means, in part, that if you love it, don’t leave it in your car EVER. Smash and grabs are unfortunately a common occurrence in our city, so keep your valuables in your hotel room.

Also on the “park smart” front, make sure all your vehicle’s windows are closed and doors are locked before leaving it and park in a well-lit, populated area whenever possible.

Never leave your key in the ignition with the engine running.

SF SAFE hopes that these safety smart tips for San Francisco visitors will help you stay safe while visiting our beautiful city by the bay. However, if you do need to file a

police report with the SFPD, click here.