Where not to go in New York

 

Visiting New York can be very exciting. There are a lot of places for you to see, especially plenty of areas you have probably seen only in movies or photos. It is clearly an opportunity that’s not to be missed. However, there are some places you’d want to avoid going to, mainly if they’re swarming with tourists and masses of people that bump into each other.

While some of the areas that we will be talking about in the following paragraphs might be on your list of places to see, you’d better listen to our recommendations and visit them at the right times of the day or of the year.

Without any further ado, let’s get straight into the places where you wouldn’t want to go while traveling through the Big Apple.

SoHo

Everybody’s heard of SoHo at least once in their lifetime. It is considered the shopping Mecca of New York and could provide you with plenty of things to see. But there are still some dangers and disadvantages that you expose yourself to when visiting this part of Manhattan.

First of all, the alleys of this neighborhood are usually home to muggers that will definitely try to rob you as soon as the sun sets down. Therefore, it’s best to avoid this area as the night settles in.

On the other hand, most people have recommended places like the Lower East Side and Williamsburg if you are looking for a better shopping experience. This is because SoHo can offer you only mainstream accessories and clothing, which some of us are trying to avoid.

 

Little Italy

You may fancy tasting some of the Italian cuisine you’ve heard so much about, but the good days of Little Italy are long gone. Now, the only type of food you can find here is one that’s overpriced and not satisfying at all.

Luckily for you, New York has two Little Italies, so you can visit the one on the Arthur Avenue of the Bronx.

Times Square

We know, this is one of the locations you wanted very much to see, but not all hope is gone. The main disadvantage when reaching Times Square are the enormous tourist crowds that fill this area entirely. In such a crowded place it’s likely that you get pickpocketed and left without any money to buy souvenirs – which are as overpriced as the food in Little Italy.

However, if you really want to get a shot of Times Square, you should plan on visiting on an early weekday, when the crowds are not as big as during the rest of the week. And, of course, keep your possessions close to you to avoid any unpleasant scenarios.

Also, if you happen to have children with you, you should consider equipping them with a GPS kid tracker as they might get lost easily in the tourist crowds. The last thing you want to happen is to lose your child among the people of Times Square.

 

Any lesser-known neighborhoods

Life in New York is safe in general – it is deemed as one of the safest cities in the States. Still, that doesn’t mean you should wander around and get into every shady alley or neighborhood you might find. The central parts of the city are always safe, but straying off the beaten path will lead you to danger.

There’s the risk of you encountering muggers and getting robbed if you travel to any lesser-known neighborhoods, so it’s better you stay in the areas that are recommended for tourists. Moreover, you should avoid traveling after dawn, especially in parks – yes, even in Central Park. These areas may get filled fast with all sorts of suspicious people that might take their chance and try to rob you.

 

 

Top 5 places to avoid in Hawaii

 

If you’re planning on grabbing your favorite telescopic fishing rod and enjoying a day in the sun on the Hawaiian islands, you might want to double check a few of the spots in this tourist destination.

It’s common knowledge that crime rates in crowded areas are high, but according to recent research, it appears that this area, in particular, has experienced a decrease in this field at least in the past years.

We agree that Hawaii is a pleasant and safe destination to visit, but we want to warn you with regard to a few of the spots that you should avoid to stay out of trouble, especially if you’re traveling alone.

 

 

Wahiawa

This is one of the areas where crime rates are unusually high compared to the other parts of Hawaii, almost 22 percent higher, as statistics show. To avoid being the victim of pickpocketing, petty theft, and other criminal behavior, we suggest you avoid walking here late at night, after dark.

One of the reasons for this increase in crime is the drug use in this area, which always brings along trouble. This neighborhood is known as the armpit of Oahu, and it’s rated as one of the most dangerous parts of the islands.

 

Kipu Falls

Instead of discussing other areas that are prone to crime and violent encounters, we’ve chosen to address one of the tourist spots that is the cause of around five deaths per year.

We’re of course talking about the Kipu Falls, with beautiful scenery that is unfortunately too dangerous to be observed from a close distance, and due to this fact, tourist access is prohibited in this area.

Unless you’re a professional hiker or you have some special permit, we doubt the local authorities will allow you to enter this secluded area.

 

Napili-Honokowai

This neighborhood might not seem dangerous at first sight, but that’s only because it looks like a regular hometown. The problem is the people that live here are victims of poverty and low-quality living conditions, which result in an increased rate in property crime.

We suggest you keep your personal belongings close while passing through this area, and avoid renting a place here because you can risk being robbed while you’re away from your accommodation.

Honolulu

This famous holiday destination is not the safest place you could be in while you’re visiting Hawaii, which might come as a disappointment for most people. The US Department of Justice has admitted that this area struggles with drug traffic, being one of the critical commercial harbors and providing access into the country.

Also the fact that it’s a large city with many inhabitants doesn’t help. The local police struggle to maintain the order because it’s hard to keep track of visitors with so many tourists around.

However, there are safer spots and dangerous ones. Most of the neighborhoods are not as bad, but we suggest you steer clear of Kalihi and Chinatown, especially after dark.

 

Olivine Pools

Do not allow yourself to be fooled by the picturesque scenery of these pools. Although the landscape is breathtakingly beautiful and almost invites you to enjoy a quick swim, the path that leads to this area is slippery and has caused many injuries over the years.

A lot of tourists drowned here due to the strength of the currents and the rogue waves, and many others have been victims of various injuries. If you’re not an experienced swimmer, we suggest you do not enter this dangerous area.

 

 

Top 5 places to avoid in Los Angeles

 

People are drawn to visiting Los Angeles because it’s considered to be one of the top cities in the world where the majority of actors, singers, and show-business personalities live. Plus, it’s the place where all major movies and TV shows are shot. It’s impossible to get bored in this incredible city.

However, if you dare to venture through long lines of crowds to get a perfect capture to brag about it on social media, you might want to consider a few things. Los Angeles has some particular areas that you should avoid if you don’t want to compromise your little getaway.

 

Gang-Plagued Areas

When planning a visit to Los Angeles, keep in mind that this place is an extremely under-manned (when it comes to police) city, meaning that there is only one police officer for 426 residents and only 19 divisions to cover an entire area of 100 neighborhoods.

Even though there are numerous gangs in LA, these are concentrated in locations far from the tourist attractions. Typically, gangs can be found in Downtown Los Angeles, Culver City, Venice, Inglewood, Santa Monica, and East Los Angeles.

If you book a staying at a hotel located in one of these areas, ask the concierge to help you with transportation to the famous entertainment and tourist places in Los Angeles. Also, check whether the accommodation facility has an outdoor security camera so that you can have a proof in case someone attempts to rob you.

South Central Los Angeles

This place has a lot of bad history due to the infamous 1992 riots between white police officers and the African American population. Because of these incidents, the entire neighborhood, as well as other local businesses, were severely damaged.

Stay away from areas like Watts and Compton because they are known for the high number of murders that have happened here. From 2007 until present day, there have been reports of 407 killings along with numerous other types of crimes.

 

East Los Angeles

You can get a clue if you have stepped in a gang area by looking for graffiti or other signs on the buildings. If you get lost, and you manage to end up in East Los Angeles, it’s best to be smart and go to a police station or enter a brightly-lit store with a motion sensor light installed.

However, before going outside, get a GPS and don’t go on these streets that aren’t safe for tourists.

If you intend to rent a car, get something less flashy or expensive. This way, you won’t be noticed and draw unwanted attention if you don’t know your way around Los Angeles.

Venice

Venice is indeed a fantastic beach with famous residents like Dennis Hopper or Anjelica Huston. It’s understandable that you might want to go there and get yourself a five-star tan. The vibe in this place is incredibly bohemian and artistic, and people seem to be worry-free.

However, there’s a dark side to this paradise, and that is the Oakwood gang community which is rather strong with many members. It’s not a great idea to walk alone at night in Venice, especially on the beach or next to a park.

 

Homeless gathering points

One of the most dangerous places in Los Angeles is without any doubts the Skid Row area. On these sidewalks, many homeless people live so don’t open your purse or wallet or flash your phone.

Even though they are mostly harmless, poverty is a difficult situation and sometimes stealing from tourists is their only way to survive.

 

 

Where not to go in Savannah

 

Savannah is considered the “Hostess City of the South” as it has been voted many times as one of the most beautiful cities in America. Here you can visit lots of mansions and historical places, as the Historic District is the center of attention. The Historic District has been kept intact because of one wise decision of a former mayor of Savannah – when General Sherman got into town, in 1864, the mayor at the time offered him the city so as the general wouldn’t burn it down.

Therefore, Savannah can offer you sights of antebellum architecture that has been untouched over the years.

But as with every beautiful city, it also has its bad sides. So, in the following paragraphs, we’ll tell you which places you’d want to avoid while visiting Savannah.

River Street

This zone, especially the river area should be avoided during the night, as it can get crowded pretty fast. Moreover, if you happen to be in Savannah on St. Patrick’s day, you should definitely keep an eye out for any suspicious activity. While people here are generally calm and welcoming, at holidays, situations can become uncontrollable.

However, if the night is silent, you can freely have a walk on River Street and watch the boats and freighter ships in the distance.

 

North-West of the Historic District

In general, things in the Historic District are pretty calm, because this is where most of the tourists will be – and it is the most crowded place as well. Here, you can travel by foot without any worries, but traveling to the outskirts of the Historic District, specifically to the North-West, could prove to be dangerous because this area has been deemed as less safe due to recent crime reports.

This is why it’s recommended that you take a cab or rent a car if you want to travel and see more areas of the town. Moreover, if you happen to have a dog that is sometimes a runner, you might want to get him or her a GPS dog tracker on and proceed to track the pup down while in a vehicle if the pet has wandered too far away – like in shady neighborhoods and low-populated areas.

 

West Savannah – Louisville Road

As with our previous entry, this part of the city has also been deemed as being less safe due to recent reports of crimes that have been committed in this area. According to statistics, Savannah has been marked by 1,944 counts of theft and 370 counts of burglary in the past year.

Any area that doesn’t look like it’s for tourists

Since crime rates are not to be overlooked, it is recommended that you – as a tourist – stay away from the slums and outskirts of Savannah. Basically, you’d want to avoid any place that doesn’t look tourist-safe. This includes the South, on Elisabeth or 37th – here is recommended that you have a ride straight from your hotel or have a cab to take you through this area. Industrial districts are also not recommended – after all, there’s nothing for you to see there.

The places you are looking for are Forsyth Park, the river to Anderson, and MLK. Also, to ensure your safety, make sure that you are able to see police officers – either on foot, bicycle, or horseback – especially in the Historic District. Not being able to see any of them means that you’ve gone too far into the city and you should return to a safer place.

 

These were the places that you should avoid going into or where you have to be very careful – that if you want to see some of them. But, as stated before, most parts of the town that are meant for tourists are entirely safe and shouldn’t pose any danger to your holiday.

 

 

Places to avoid in Key West

 

This is probably one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in Florida. There’s nothing like witnessing the sunset on the coast while sitting on the beach and enjoying a coffee or maybe even a cocktail if you’re still partying from the night before.

There are plenty of tourist attractions to satisfy even the most demanding of customers, from local restaurants with excellent menu options to the local architecture and the welcoming nature of the inhabitants, but there are also a few critical issues that you need to know about.

What most people are not aware of is the rate of crime in this area, which can be quite frightening. Despite the pessimism of this statement, it’s safe to say that not all the neighborhoods in Key West are risky spots, and you can get by without having to deal with any troubles.

However, to make sure that you stay safe during your travels, we’ve decided to discuss a bit more about which places you should avoid, especially if you don’t want to put yourself in risky situations.  

 

 

Drug trafficking

This is one of the most severe issues that the island is dealing with, and it affects this spot because of the accessible route it provides towards South Florida. The tricky thing is that the neighborhood most affected by this hazard looks just like any regular hometown, peaceful and quiet on the outside.

Do not let yourself be fooled by appearances, because below the surface of Windsor Lane lies the violent world of trafficants and addicts, with all the conflicts that might ensue.

Even though most of these situations usually only concern the people involved, so they shouldn’t bother tourists, we still recommend that you steer clear of that place, to preserve your safety. This is currently rated as the most dangerous area in Key West.

 

Pickpocketing and theft

Every tourist town becomes a victim of this common practice, but it’s a lot worse in South Street and Reynolds Street area. There are two main reasons for this. One of them is the fact that both the police stations of the island are very far from this neighborhood, so they don’t have much control over it.

The other reason is the fact that, being a small island where all the residents know each other, the criminals wouldn’t want to be recognized, so they mostly attack tourists, because they’re sure they’re the ones who are going to leave soon.

This makes the neighborhood especially unsafe for visitors, so we suggest you avoid it at all cost, although it might look safe and reasonable during the daytime.

Dangerous entertainment

If you’re not much of a family person, traveling with an expensive designer diaper bag and everything, or you’re merely looking to have some harmless fun without being judged for it, then some districts in Key West might appeal to you.

For example, around Whitehead Street and Truman Avenue, you’ll find a bar called Bare Assets. The name probably already suggests what you’re likely to find there, and if that’s your type of entertainment, no one is judging.

Our only recommendation is to take note that this is situated in an area dominated by crime, and you should be cautious while you’re there. Make sure you park in the vicinity of the location, and you avoid getting into unnecessary conflicts with strange looking individuals.

All in all, if you’re looking for a bar or a liquor store, chances are you’ll find one just as good in the safe areas where tourists are protected, so there’s no need to venture into the unsafe part.

 

 

Where not to go in Chicago

 

Chicago, Illinois, is the third city in the United States in terms of size, and it is the economic center of the Midwest area. It is also called The Windy City and it is notorious for its unique skyline of skyscrapers, its art, science museums, and culture. Chicago has always been the front-scene for numerous Jazz and Blues bands.

 

A history of violence

Since the 1990s, this city has registered a decline in crime, although the history of disorder remains, starting from Al Capone’s mafia to the rival gangs of the 1970s and 1980s.

Anyway, this city cannot be called the safest place in the United States, as there are a few neighborhoods where violence is right at home, and many thieves operate in the subway. These areas are best avoided as much as possible.

Common risks in Chicago

This city is overall secure, but being a victim of pickpockets or muggers is a high possibility, especially in public transportation, like buses and subways, and while walking alone at night. It is recommended to use a personal car, rather than walking at late hours.

Scammers also represent a risk, so try to avoid persistent homeless people or others who offer to help with your luggage — you might end up missing them.

Regarding transportation, fake taxis can become an issue sometimes, so make sure you know about the company of the cab you get into.

The risk of natural disasters is quite low, although some occasional strong blizzards have been recorded. Terrorism does not pose a real threat, as the city has not been targeted by terrorist attacks recently, but it is good to stay alert.

Five areas to avoid in Chicago

Are you dreaming of moving to Chicago, buying a beautiful house and gathering with your family for a barbecue made on your new gas grill on Sundays? Would you like to come home from your job and exercise on your workout machine? Maybe you are just planning a trip to this city for the first time.


That is all possible, as Chicago can be a safe place for you and your family. Before you move, however, it is best you know about which areas to avoid.

Three of these regions are from Downtown — The Loop, Near North and Near South. These areas make up the city’s business district, where many national and international companies are headquartered. Here, you can find museums, shopping centers, movie theaters, and beaches on Lake Michigan.

Although you might think you are more than safe in such a crowded place, the truth is that the streets get really empty very fast, especially after working hours. Beggars sometimes display aggressive behavior, so it is best you try to ignore them or immediately enter a shop or a restaurant.

The Fuller Park and nearby neighborhoods from the South Side are among the most precarious of the city. Tourists should definitely avoid them, especially at nighttime.

The neighborhoods of the far West Side, after the West Avenue, are distinctly dangerous and are very poor in touristic attractions.

 

Safe places

In case you are wondering where the safe places in Chicago are, you can consider the North Side, with its upscale neighborhoods such as Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Boystown, and Old Town, where you have many choices in clubs, restaurants, and bars.

Compared to the rest of The Windy City, these areas are secure, but usual precautions should be taken by sticking to crowded, well-lit places.

South Side is home to the Museum of Science and Industry, University of Chicago, and Chinatown. Here you can find many great Jazz and Blues bars.

The Near West Side is a relaxed region, and the area around Logan Square is home to a lot of concert venues and bars.

 

 

Zika places to avoid

 

The Zika virus, also known as ZIKV is an infection that is carried by mosquitoes and causes an illness that is usually very mild; in some cases, it can even be asymptomatic. The name comes from the place where this virus was first isolated in the year 1947: The Zika Tropical Forest in Uganda.

Since then, this virus has been known to appear in countries close to the Equator, thus spreading in the shape of a belt around the Globe. Starting from Africa, it reached Asia at first, then it reached over the Pacific Ocean into to American continent.

One of the reasons that the Zika virus has been of so much concern lately is not due to the infection itself, but rather due to the late consequences on patients, more specifically, pregnant women experience.

Travel destination to avoid

The main locations you should avoid if you are concerned about coming in contact with the Zika virus include but are not limited to: Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, all of Central Africa, Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Maldives, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cuba, Fiji, etc.

All these countries and areas are situated around the Equator and all have reported cases of Zika infections within their territory.

 

Pregnant women

Zika virus infection during pregnancy causes congenital abnormalities that affects the fetus. One of the most common defects that fetuses develop when the mother is infected with the Zika virus is microcephaly.

Among other severe birth defects, this one affects the newborn’s brain and can be related to other problems such as stillbirth or miscarriage. Another sickness linked to this virus is the Guillain-Barré syndrome, which affects the nervous system.

 

How to prevent Zika

Unfortunately, in terms of a vaccine, there is none existent at the moment to stop the Zika infection. The best method to prevent this sickness from spreading is to stop the mosquitos from reaching you. Protect yourself from mosquito bites by wearing shirts with long sleeves and long pants. Besides covering up any exposed skin, you could try to acquire pre-treated gear or clothes or to treat what you are wearing yourself.

Use sprays that contain insect repellent substances and follow the instructions on the labels. If used properly, these products are proven to be safe for pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding.

Take care when using such sprays around small children and infants, since some of these items contain chemicals that are not suited for children under the age of 3 and none are suited to be used on babies under 2 months old.

Use door and window screens in your home in order to keep the mosquitos out and install an air conditioning unit. When going outside, you can cover baby carriers and strollers with mosquito netting. Use the same type of protection for yourself if you plan on sleeping outside.

Avoid having sexual contact or use a condom in order not to get infected with the Zika virus or to stop spreading it if you or your partner recently traveled to an area with potential risk. The time needed for you to use these preventive methods depends on a few factors such as whether you or your partner show any symptoms and whether one of you is, or trying to get pregnant.

 

After returning home

Even if you’re not feeling any discomfort at all after you have returned home from a country which has the risk of Zika, you should still take steps towards preventing mosquitoes from biting your skin for at least 3 weeks. This way, if you are infected, at least you will prevent the virus from spreading.

It is extremely important that you talk to your doctor in the following cases: you have symptoms after returning from a location with a known Zika risk; you are pregnant and just have returned from such an area, even if you don’t feel bad; you are thinking about becoming pregnant after a trip to a country with a known Zika risk.

What to do if you have Zika

As mentioned before, there is no specific treatment or vaccine for the Zika virus. Treat the symptoms according to the following methods:

  • Sleep more; give your body the chance to rest.
  • In order to prevent dehydration drink more water.
  • Take acetaminophen against fever and joint pain.
  • In the case that you are already following treatment for another condition, talk to your doctor prior to taking new medication.

 

Zika and animals. What we know.

  • The way Zika virus spreads among people is primarily through infected mosquitoes’ bites.
  • Apart from humans, only apes and monkeys can be infected with Zika. Afterward, these animals may experience mild sickness and fever.
  • Pets such as dogs, cats, birds have not been reported as becoming infected with the Zika virus.
  • As far as current studies suggest, mosquitoes are the only animals that contribute to the spread of the virus.
  • There is no proof that the virus can spread to people from animals through interactions like touching, licking, coughing or sneezing.

In some parts of Africa and South America, mosquitoes could become vectors (get infected) by feeding on the blood of apes or monkeys infected with Zika. Those mosquitoes could then pass the virus to a human, although there is a small chance of that happening.

Currently, more research is required in order for us to better understand how apes and monkeys may spread Zika among humans. Although we do not have a vaccine yet, researchers are working on one and hopefully, it will not be long until they get a breakthrough.

It is not hard to stay away from this infection as a tourist, even if you visit some of the countries mentioned at the beginning of this article. All you have to do is be cautious and protect yourself mainly from mosquitoes during your trip and for a few weeks after you return.

 

 

Top 5 places to avoid in Brooklyn

 

If this is your first time traveling to New York, you probably want all the information that you can get on the famous Brooklyn district. Over the years, it went from an area to avoid to being one of the coolest, hip neighborhoods that young people enjoy living in to avoid being mainstream.

It’s a community of more than one million people, and it’s generally safe, especially after the crime rates in the city drastically dropped in the 90s. However, if you are visiting alone, or you are concerned about safety, and you want to be sure you don’t go off the beaten tracks, here are a few spots for you to avoid.

 

 

A unique mix

The housing market and the unstable economy of the past few years have turned Brooklyn into an unusual blend, especially regarding safety in relation to the geography of the neighborhoods.

You’re likely to find really expensive apartments in well-rated areas, and a few blocks away you would be amazed by the sudden drop in the quality of the place, from crime rates to housing units.

Knowing the district’s geography is key, and we suggest you do a bit of research before coming to Brooklyn in the first place so that you won’t have too many surprises.

 

Brownsville

Unfortunately, the years have not helped this neighborhood lower its crime rates. As time passes, the eastern part of Brooklyn is filled with low-income residents that live in public housing units prone to theft and small crime.

As we all know, poverty and low quality of life is always the environment where criminal behavior arises, and this neighborhood was called the murder capital of New York because a band of paid assassins used to reside here between the 1930s and the 1950s.

 

East New York

The main issues that this area deals with relate to drug abuse and poverty since it was developed as an industrial region and after World War II, many of the jobs were lost, resulting in social and economic issues that made the population poor and the crime rates didn’t fail to rise.

 

Downtown Brooklyn

The third largest district in Brooklyn is affected by robbery as a main criminal activity. The research says that about 72 crimes happen per 1,000 residents, but the good news is most of these encounters are not violent.

So if you keep your golf club travel bag, designer bag or anything valuable that you may have with you close and you avoid walking alone or in isolated areas, you shouldn’t be the victim of any incidents of this type.

 

Greenwood Heights

The economy of this neighborhood dropped in the 19th and 20th century, which resulted in a decrease in the number of jobs, the average income, and as an apparent result, the quality of life decreased as well.

Ethnic groups have started to gather around this district due to the low living costs, and they only help to accentuate the economic disparity. Aside from the obvious class difference, this area also struggles with non-violent crimes, at a rate of 26 per 1000 citizens.

 

Bushwick

German immigrants in the mid-1800s developed this area, and it began as an industrial area with lots of breweries. There is not much to say about this district really except the fact that the stats show it has a higher crime rate than other Brooklyn neighborhoods.

However, despite these severe signs, young professionals move here all the time to avoid the high costs of living in Manhattan. We hope that as time goes by, this process will make the neighborhood a safer place to live.

 

 

Where not to live in Phoenix

 

In case you are considering moving to Phoenix, we wanted to help you by showcasing what five of the most pest-affected areas are, which should be avoided.

Moving is always a big challenge, accompanied by mixed feelings of excitement and heartbreak. However, after settling in, all these will pale in the wonders of residing in Arizona.

There are 295 bugs and other insects identified by the Arizona Insect Identification. To fight some off, there are a few methods you can apply, like a good insect repellent, fogger or even using a somewhat basic mosquito net.

 

Common pests in Phoenix

The trouble is that bugs are not the only pests in Phoenix. We’ll begin with the most common ones, out of which the Africanized Bee seems to be the most aggressive and vicious. The American Cockroach is also known to take refuge in homes and other buildings, especially in warm, humid areas.

Ants are also very easy to find in Arizona. From Fire, Black, Pharaoh, Carpenter to Harvester Ants, some of them will bite while others won’t.

In Phoenix, it is very likely to meet the Arizona Desert Scorpion, which is also the largest species of scorpions in the United States. They are nocturnal creatures, and although venomous, they do not pose a threat to human life.

Spiders come in various species, some harmless, others very harmful. Among them, the most dangerous ones are Black Widows and Arizona Brown Spiders.

Termites represent every homeowner’s nightmare. They are great survivors, feed on wood, and work in family groups. Ticks are also notorious parasites which are very dangerous as they carry the Lyme Disease pathogen.

Last, but not least, Yellow Jackets are very common in the Phoenix area. They are very aggressive and their stings are quite painful.

 

Areas in Phoenix to avoid

Arizona is very similar to the Amazon, where it never gets cold; therefore, life cycles never actually stop. Creatures like scorpions, termites or crickets are right at home in this region.
Based on specific pest issues, the valley of Arizona, Phoenix in particular, a few so-called bug hot zones clearly stand out.

For example, scorpions can be found everywhere in this area; however, there are larger concentrations in specific zones.

 

Top five pest hot zones in Phoenix

Now that you know what you are up against where pests are concerned, you should know which areas to avoid. According to specialists from pest control, there are five main bug hot zones in Phoenix.

The Scorpion hot zone includes 85383 in Peoria, 85207 in Mesa, 85338 in Goodyear, and 85268 in Fountain Hills. As mentioned earlier, scorpions are everywhere in Arizona, but the largest concentrations can be found here.

Bed Bugs hot zone includes 85281 and 85282 in Tempe, where there are many student housings.

Mosquitos represent an issue as well in this city. Most of them are concentrated on 85029 and 85027 in Phoenix.

The Roof Rats hot zone includes older neighborhoods with a big number of orange trees, such as 85018 in Phoenix and 85251 in Scottsdale.

Cockroach hot zones include 85017 and 85008 in Phoenix.

Vintage stylized photo of skyscrapers in Manhattan at sunset, New York City, USA. View up of building

Conclusions

Although the Phoenix insect diversity can get pretty strange, harmful and sometimes even life-threatening, this should not stand in the way of your moving plans. This city has a lot of positive things, too. Affordable housing, quality education, extended activities for children, and generally beautiful weather are just a few of the qualities Phoenix has to offer.

According to the U.S. Census from 2015 Arizona, Maricopa County, and Metro Phoenix ranked among the top 10 areas in the country for national population numbers added. The Phoenix Business Journal reported Arizona as the eight fastest-growing state in the United States.

 

5 areas to avoid when visiting Athens

 

Athens is a cultural hotspot, considered to be, by many, the birthplace of civilization and democracy. It is the capital of Greece and the country’s largest city. In 2018 Athens was visited by over 32 million tourists, thus becoming one of Europe’s most visited cities, a major tourist destination.

If you plan to visit Athens as well, you should take into consideration that not all the city’s areas are as safe as you might expect. Depending on the situation, you may want to avoid the following ones.

Omonoia

Omonoia is a neighborhood that has a bad reputation when it comes to safety for tourists. Even locals advise avoiding this area, especially at night. Omonoia is well known for beggars, prostitutes and pickpockets, so if it happens that your route takes you through there, keep an eye out for your valuables.  

If your accommodation happens to be located in this particular area, keep your important belongings in the room’s safe, avoid going for walks during the night hours and carry your personal documents and money in your inner chest pockets.

Even if you are a charitable person, refuse anyone who is looking for charity and does not give money to beggars. All these could be scams and you have no way of knowing.

If you have children with you it is a good idea to avoid bringing them there. Even in the daytime and in plain sight there are people who use drugs. This can be a terrifying thing to watch for tourists who are not used to Omonoia and especially for the little ones.

Specific places to be avoided are 3 September St. and the roads right of the National Archaeological Museum. Another major street that has become notorious for drugs and crime is Sofokleous St.

To reduce the chances of becoming a pickpocketing or scam victim, you must not act like a tourist. Hide your camera and try not to be easily distracted or confused. Do not fumble with your wallets or bags. Pickpockets search for such easy targets.

 

Areas where immigrants reside

Even many locals are not happy with the Greek Government’s policy regarding immigrants. In the last years, some central areas of Athens have literally been flooded with immigrants, who are considered by Greek people illegal immigrants. These foreigners along with gypsies are known to practice crimes, mainly pickpocketing tourists and even locals.

The places where immigrants reside are dangerous to pass by during the night. Unfortunately, a young Greek who had just returned home from a trip abroad was thrown off a cliff by a gang of immigrants.

 

Downtown metropolitan areas and University Campuses

Athens is the often the site of protests. If such events are announced to take place, try to stay clear of Embassy Row, Panepistimou and Syntagma Square. The downside is that these places also include some of the best hotels.

You want to avoid being surrounded by people who take part in such protests. Because you are not of Greek citizenship, police may consider your involvement in demonstrations or strikes as being illegal. These events are more likely to happen during vacations such as Labor Day or on 1st of May and 17th of November.

You can find out about the kind of protests in advance from social media in order to stay out of their path. This could affect your ability to move around Athens or even to travel to and from Greece.

The State Department warns the public that some anarchist groups are known to use student campuses as a refuge. They can be violent and usually gather at the Polytechnic University or in its vicinity. The Aristotle University is another gathering place for them, therefore avoid going there if such groups show up.

Even though media tends to be unsettling, the protests in Greece are civil. Most of the times nobody gets hurt, and usually, the only damage is done to property, instead of other people. If there are a lot of people that show up to protest and the streets become crowded with demonstrators, expect difficulties regarding public transportation and even closures.

El Greco bar and Hollywood bar

There is a classic scam going on the streets of Athens. Around Syntagma Square you may pass by a few elderly men who seem extremely friendly and who will invite you to have a drink with them to the El Greco bar.

They may even go as far as to pay for your drink. However, the drink could be spiked with a drug. They then steal your money and other valuables and disappear. Be wary of this particular bar and watch out if somebody is being too generous in buying you a drink.

Another bar that you may want to avoid if you are a tourist is The Hollywood bar. That place is known to charge insane sums of money for basic drinks. Some tourists claimed that after they have been invited to have some drinks on the house, they have been asked 150 USD for only two drinks.

There is a simple way to avoid this bar scam. Tell the person that is trying to invite you into a shady bar that you are expecting an important message or telephone back at your accommodation. Also, add that he is more than welcome to come with you to the hotel and have a drink with you there. He will not come.

 

Crowded and narrow places

The easiest places for you to get pick-pocketed by thieves are the metro, the public buses, in the line at the Acropolis and even looking at the flights’ board when you are in the airport. If someone bumps into you in a crowded place, chances are they already have stolen your wallet or smartphone.  

A good countermeasure against pickpockets is to use a decoy wallet, that is visible out of one of your pockets and of course, empty. Thieves will go after the decoy and after they steal it, they will immediately get away from you, leaving you safe and with all your valuables still in your possession.

In some places, the sidewalk becomes more narrow. For example, when walking down a street, you are forced to pass between a periptero, which is a kiosk-newsstand, and a fridge that contains drinks, or a postcard display.

That tight spot is ideal for a pickpocket to steal from you. They are extremely skillful when unzipping backpacks, as well. One person claimed that he came back to his hotel room and only then saw that every zipper on his backpack was open.