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Last Minute Questions: Crime and Customs

Atlanta, Georgia
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Last Minute Questions: Crime and Customs

We are leaving tomorrow!

A few questions, Hubby is worried about London crime, but don't you think if we stay where there are a lot of people and avoid going out really late by ourselves that we will OK? We will keep our $/passports in a waist type belt under clothes that you cannot tell we are wearing but he is worried about digital camera/muggings. The thing is we lived in downtown Chicago for 4 years and I grew up visiting NYC often so we are used to the city but London has a high crime rate, any other tips for us?

On the way home we transfer through Dulles, will we go through customs there or when we get to Atlanta, our final destination? Assuming Atlanta since we will just be switching flights in DC.

Well off to finish packing, those space-saving airtight bags are awesome I can pack so much now thanks to those!! 4 Sweaters taking up the space of one.

We'll report when we get back!

San Diego...
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1. Re: Last Minute Questions: Crime and Customs

For a large city London is safe. I've made 8 visits there and never had a single problem. I've been on the tube at 11 PM with no problems. You'll be fine.

You'll go thru customs at Dulles since that is your first entry point back into the US. I go thru this all the time coming back to LA before I catch my flight back to San Diego.

Have a great trip!

London, United...
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2. Re: Last Minute Questions: Crime and Customs

it isnt as bad as people make out honest!!

just be sensible ie dont use a mobile if its a flashy one in full view etc, most places you will be using a digi cam is in public areas so dont worry.

make sure you have a zip up bag as people have their bags dipped at busy traffic lights when waiting to cross etc, so be aware in busy areas.

my husband is a london copper and rarely deals with tourists it is normally people tired from work etc ...he does have a habit when we drive through london saying...victim, victim pointing out the people who are walking with the bags swinging nearby a road waiting for someone to come swipe it etc.

just be sensible!

Boston
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3. Re: Last Minute Questions: Crime and Customs

Tell hubby not to worry. London is much safer than NYC (sorry)Atlanta, Little Rock, Boston, Chicago, etc...However, comon sense always prevails. Now, I'll let the experts jump in. Have a nice trip.

Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: Last Minute Questions: Crime and Customs

Well thank you for your reassurances, we are sensible travelers so i'm sure we'll be fine.

Thanks!

Oceano, California
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5. Re: Last Minute Questions: Crime and Customs

I felt very safe traveling as a single girl in London. I never had anyone bump into me like they were trying to pickpocket or anything. I did not carry my passport with me but rather my CA driver's license and a photo copy of my passport. I locked the oringal passport in the hotel safe in my room. I used a messenger style bag by default to carry everything around and keep everything dry. I tried a back pack, was a pain in the rear. Also used a large satchel type purse to hold all my stuff but that was a pain also. I wound up getting a cool messenger bag in Camden Town I used.

The only crime I saw was some police man at a small shop taking a report from the shop owner. I'm not even sure it was crime related or what.

As for customs, I had to go through customs at LAX which was my first point to land in the US. Then I rechecked luggage through to my home airport I'm assuming it would be the same for you, customs at Dulles.

I used packing cubes for my trip and they were great to keep everything organized and wrinkle free, not to mention ease for the TSA rummaging through my bag.

Have a great trip!

Washington, DC
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6. Re: Last Minute Questions: Crime and Customs

Unfortunately, you'll have to claim your luggage at Dulles and then re-check it after clearing customs and immigration. This post-9/11 change has caused many people to miss their connections. Here's a blurb that describes the process:

"US Customs and Immigration regulations now require passengers to disembark at their first port of call in the US to clear customs and immigration. This means that if your flight stops off on the way to its final destination, you will be required to disembark at the first stop, and collect your baggage to be screened. You will not be required to clear customs again at the final destination, if it is within the US.

If a separate connection is involved (you change to another carrier or aircraft), you will not be required to clear customs and immigration again when you arrive at your final destination."

San Diego...
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7. Re: Last Minute Questions: Crime and Customs

travelbug61

Thanks for the clarification. Having never flown to Europe with checked luggage I didn't know that. There are a lot of changes due to that sad day.

Salem, Oregon
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8. Re: Last Minute Questions: Crime and Customs

RumRunner, what is a messenger style bag?

Oceano, California
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9. Re: Last Minute Questions: Crime and Customs

It's the type that has the strap that goes across your chest. You see people using them to lug lap tops around or students using them for books and papers. I don't like this style but it worked best for me while in London. You can find more fashionable and functional ones if you shop around. You can go to eBags and look them up, too, if you want a pic. They range from grungy to sporty to fashionable.

Salem, Oregon
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10. Re: Last Minute Questions: Crime and Customs

Oh! I had one for my last trip to London (and didn't know that's what it was called). Much better than the daypack I had used on previous trips.