Mardi Gras is a fun festive time for revelers young and old alike. Whether your going to the French Quarter to partake of adult beverages and entertainment or heading to the Grandstands to watch the Kings and Queens of Mardi Gras roll in you are bound to have a fun and exciting time to remember for years to come.
While I would love to say all things are good and safe in my home town we too have problems with crime from time to time. While the number of police officers on foot and horseback are increased for the worlds greatest free show, there are a number of things you can do to assure your own personal safety.
In New Orleans stick to the main streets, the tourist area’s and area’s with plenty people. You may be on a very nice street, and after wandering off only one block find yourself in a bad neighborhood. This is particularly true when you are on St. Charles. This is one of the major streets parades travel down.
Try to stay in well-lit area’s and well-traveled streets. Avoid alley ways. Travel in groups when possible.Don’t flash money or other tempting items such as jewelery or expensive name brand clothing. Instead of wearing expensive jewelry wear a pepper spray ring. If you must carry a purse, carry it close to your body. If possible take only your necessities such as drivers license and cash and put them in your pockets. When carrying a wallet, put it in your front pocket.
Wear clothing and shoes that you can move easily in that do not restrict your movement. Have your car key preferably with a mace keychain, women may prefer to carry a pepper spray lipstick. Mace is legal in New Orleans and can be carried on your person. Only use ATM machines in your Hotel/Motel are inside a bank or establishment. Notice if anyone is watching you.
If you think someone is following you, stop walking, and face the person until he/she passes you or move to the other side of the street. If the person confronts you in some way, don’t be embarrassed, call for help in a loud way. Say “someone call the police” “leave me alone”. There are always local scammers on Bourbon St. who try to rip off tourist by saying “I’ll bet I know where you got those shoes” sometimes people will unknowingly say ok, I’ll bet you $5.00 you don’t know. At which time the scammer will reply “on your feet”. Don’t fall into that trap, just tell them “yeah, on my feet” and they usually leave you alone. If you are drinking alcohol, which you probably will be. Don’t accept drinks from strangers. And, always keep your drink with you. Never leave it unattended. Most Importantly, always know your surroundings. Be aware and on the defensive.