What is the so-called “sketch factor” that travelers are talking about today? Simply put, “sketch” is the likelihood that the area you’re going into is a dangerous one, which could include high crime areas or simply a lack of easy transportation options.
Download an App
Believe it or not, there are smartphone applications specifically designed to identify “sketch.” These applications, available for iPhone and Android OS, will let you know which locations have highly reported instances of danger. The information here is crowd-sourced, so what you end up with is a very reliable reporting of the area based on its own inhabitants rather than something that might be more biased, such as economic polling or even crime rates (since property crime occurs in more affluent areas quite often).
Look for Business Reviews
Before you head out, don’t just look for the business reviews of the place that you’re going to — look for reviews of the places around the place that you’re going to. Many a traveler has been caught unaware by going to a place with a fantastic rating that happens to be in an area that is extremely dangerous. This matters not only for restaurants but also for hotels. Learn to keep a critical eye for fake reviews, too, as they can happen; some companies even hire people to review them! The negative reviews are usually the most illuminating.
Use Google Earth to Take a Tour
If you haven’t visited Google Earth recently you may not realize just how detailed it is. With Google Street View and Google Earth you can quickly review the current status of almost any neighborhood that you want to visit. Your boss might have fine recollections of the area around the Convention Center… from ten years ago… but in the mean time, it may have become a very sketchy location. Using Google will let you walk through the neighborhood virtually and get a feel for whether or not it is truly sketch free.
Don’t forget that you can also avoid the sketch by setting up your own plans far in advance. One of the beauties of chauffeured transportation is that you get from your origin to your destination without having to go through anything in between!Tags: travel managment, travel safety tips