Louisiana : Safety by CityUnited States - safety as a country
If you want to dive into the culture that has generated a unique culture from two different types of culture, then you want to give Louisiana a visit.
The Cajun culture is a blend of French and Caribbean Island cultures fused, and they offer an experience that you cannot find anywhere else in the country.
Everything from the great food and history to the all-night recurring parties that New Orleans has to offer can be found in one direct trip.
Before you visit, however, make sure you understand the type of experiences you will be exposed to and the potential dangers waiting.
Warnings & Dangers in Louisiana
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
Know that when you travel to Louisiana, you take on a medium safety risk with all of the different factors below considered.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
There is a low chance of a safety risk when you take Louisiana transport and taxis. The busses and shuttle systems are managed by the state and monitored.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
If you are worried about your money or valuables being taken, then know you have a medium safety risk of being pickpocketed when you visit Louisiana.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH
Louisiana has a high risk for natural disasters. Almost every year for the last decade, they have gained national attention for different natural disaster events where millions of dollars of damage happened and so many lives were lost.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
You have a medium chance of being mugged when you visit Louisiana. Tourists across the state are taken advantage of regularly because they are not aware and vulnerable.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Unless you are looking at the number of visitors traveling to New Orleans, Louisiana is a low threat for a terrorist attack. There is only one place where the population is dense enough to cause such significant damage.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
You have a medium risk of being scammed in Louisiana. Even some legitimate offers for alligator hunting or taking airboat rides can be sketchy. There are easily a few scams out on the bayou and in the city.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : HIGH
Women travelers are at a high safety risk when visiting Louisiana. Many of the culture and criminals find women to be easier targets than men or groups of people.
TAP WATER RISK : MEDIUM
The tap water in Louisiana is still posing a medium threat. In more recent years, Louisiana has upgraded its water testing, but that has not always been the case.
Safest Places to Visit in Louisiana
If you want to see the best and safest areas of Louisiana, feel free to visit one of the places below:
These are some smaller towns throughout the state, but they allow visitors to come in and experience the culture without much threat that other towns pose.
It is also important that if you want to get the big city life safely, New Orleans and Shreveport are two of the safer cities in the state.
Places to Avoid in Louisiana
There is a crime in all the major cities in Louisiana.
However, there are a few that seem to have more crime than others, making them places that you may not want to visit, or at least not at night or alone.
Two of these cities are large cities with big-city crime rates, but Ponchatoula and Natchitoches often attract visitors for their culture and history.
With poor economies, they also bring out every thief and criminal for miles to lurk on those visiting.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Louisiana
As a visitor, especially one enjoying the nightlife of New Orleans, there are some safety tips that you need to keep in mind as you travel and how you carry your property when traveling.
- Know what the local scams are in Louisiana. Whether you are planning to take an airboat out on the water or enjoy some fun on Bourbon Street, there are some scammers in the rural areas and cities around trying to prey on those traveling to the area. Do some research on what these scams appear to be. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Let your loved ones know where you will be. While there is plenty of cell service in the cities of Louisiana, if you are out on the bayou, you may be out of range. Let your family and friends know the address and location of where you will be staying in case they need to reach you. Give the contact info for your hotel or Airbnb if that is your preference.
- Avoid storing money in your back pocket. If you are planning to visit the famous Bourbon Street where there is nothing but walking, dancing, and crowds, then you want to keep your money in a safe place on you. Keeping it in your back pocket is an easy target for pickpockets, and you will lose your money before you can get too many blocks on a busy night.
- Notify the card companies you are traveling to. Before you even board the first flight, make sure you have made contact with your bank and any credit card company that you plan to use. Let them know you will be traveling to Louisiana and will be making purchases. This will prevent them from freezing your accounts when you are trying to get essentials or buying dinner.
- Go with a group. If you are heading to Louisiana, you should not be traveling alone. In areas where there is criminal danger, these travelers are the ones targeted first, because they are easy to be mugged or robbed, especially by a group. There is strength in numbers and the chance of your group being outnumbered shrinks with the more people you have.
- Do not overindulge on Bourbon Street. With lots of walk-up bars and folks enjoying themselves, those who get too drunk are often the victims of petty theft or violent crimes. While it is tempting, try not to drink to the point of drunkenness, so you can walk yourself back to your room and sleep off the alcohol safely.
- Avoid street ATMs. Unfortunately, most places in Louisiana are not up-to-date with much technology or even cameras. They do, however, have ATMs stashed on corners that you can walk up to and use. While this may seem convenient when you need quick cash, you want to avoid these ATMs unless you are out of options. Consider using the indoor bank services if you are there during business hours. If not, try going to an ATM located within a grocery store, or making a purchase so you can get cashback from the cashier.
- Opt for bottled water. With so wetlands so prevalent throughout Louisiana, it is probably in your gut’s best interest that you drink bottled water over the tap for the duration of the trip. While you may be okay, the water testing is not as prevalent as other states, so your guarantee of clean water may not always be there. If the water is contaminated, you could become very ill.
- Avoid dark and sketchy alleys and trails. If something does not look safe or abandoned, do not walk or drive down that area. Consider your instinct that something is not quite right and turn around. If you are traveling around an area like Baton Rouge or New Orleans, areas like these should be avoided for your safety.
- Check the forecast. Louisiana has its share of natural disasters, with everything from large hurricanes to flash flooding. Before you travel, see if there are any indicators of severe weather before you leave. You could find yourself in a bad storm preventing you from getting to your destination or keeping you in Louisiana if it comes while you are there.
So... How Safe Is Louisiana Really?
If you consider all the different factors about Louisiana, it has two different ratings.
First, it is not that safe if you are traveling alone.
These travelers are preyed upon as soon as they exit the plane and run down the first taxi.
If you are traveling as a family or a group of friends, however, then Louisiana could easily be considered safe.
Targeting large groups is not ideal in Louisiana because it can draw a lot of unwanted attention.
Even if you want to travel to the quiet part of the state, do some alligator hunting or take on the open waters, you should still be aware of your surroundings and look out for anything that does not look suspicious.
Even if you have never been in an environment before, make sure you pack your stuff securely and use common sense when interacting with others.
You will start to see the difference between those who are trying to distract you and those who are legitimate.
How Does Louisiana Compare?
- Visas - If you are a citizen of the United States, there are no visas required to travel to Louisiana. You can travel from any state without restriction. Visas are required for those travelers, however, who are flying internationally and planning to stay for an extended trip.
- Currency - Louisiana accepts the US Dollar as the official currency of the state and the country. When you are traveling, you can use cash, check or card to make purchases in that currency. If you have foreign currency, one of the national banks in the larger cities will be willing to change that out for you, if needed.
- Weather - You do not have a lot of winter weather in Louisiana. Being on the ocean and along the Mississippi River, there are a lot of wetlands and swamps found throughout the state. This means that heat, humidity, and lots of rain are in the forecast year-round for Louisiana. If you want to pack a jacket when traveling in the winter, that's fine. However, if you are coming from April to October, you can expect warm weather and maybe even a heatwave in the middle of summer.
- Airports - There are several airports in Louisiana that you can travel into the state from. • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International • Alexandria International • Baton Rouge Metropolitan • Shreveport Regional • Lafayette Regional • Monroe Regional • Lake Charles Regional Of these seven public airports, two of them are international and take national flights across the country. Others are regional airports with flights coming in from the Midwest and Southern regions.
- Travel Insurance - Before you book your trip to Louisiana, you need to make sure you have secured travel insurance. With the number of natural disasters and other issues that may develop and are out of your control, you need an insurance policy to cover the expenses you have already put into the trip.
Louisiana Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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