While those who party spend days and even weeks planning the perfect night out for New Year, many forget to plan getting back home safe.
While any other night out may not warrant such preparation, the sheer number of people out on the streets for this occasion may leave you regretting the lack of a plan.
Metrolife has put together a few tips to make sure you get back home safely.
Know the area
If you’re going someplace you’re not familiar with, take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with landmarks, bus stops, auto stands and Metro stations close by. Download an offline map of the locality on Google Maps for easy access.
Public transport is a great way to get around the city. Map out bus and Metro routes prior to going out. Make a note on your phone lest you forget. Keep an alarm to remind you of the last bus/Metro timings. Don’t travel alone.
Ride-hailing apps are a popular option to get back after a night out. With New Year, the number of people trying to book cabs will go up, so try to book a cab in advance. Both Uber and Ola allow users to schedule a ride in advance. This guarantees you a ride and helps you tackle exorbitant surge charges if you try to book at the last minute. Make sure to fill the emergency contacts section of your app, and familiarise yourself with the option.
If you own a vehicle, carpooling with your friends is a great idea. But unless you have a friend who doesn’t drink or has decided not to drink that evening, this is not a practical option. Even if you are planning to go the designated driver route, make sure there is parking available where you are planning to go. Alternatively, you could ask a sober friend or parent to pick you up after you’re done with your night. Try to arrange this beforehand, no one likes to have their night interrupted.
Catch an auto
While app-based auto booking is an option, sometimes you may just have to catch a regular auto. When you enter the vehicle, call someone and tell them loudly about what time you are expected to reach home. Regardless of gender, don’t travel alone late at night. Always share your live location with someone you trust and keep a track of your route.
If you live close by, walking is a good option. Walk back with the same group you went with and have them crash at your place for the night. Make sure you’re not bringing back strangers.
While many who hail rides use digital payment options, it’s always a good idea to keep cash in hand. Make sure to keep change: a Rs 2,000 note may get you nowhere. Don’t keep all your money in one pocket or in one place in a purse.
Keep your phone fully charged, and carry a power bank if you can. A fully charged phone helps you stay in contact with people and allows you to access your transport options.
Carry a pepper spray. There are always reports of drunken misbehaviour at clubs, and the safety risk remains all the way till you get back home. You can find sprays online and also at stores like Health and Glow.
Tracking: Use tech well
It is advisable to share your live location on WhatsApp or Google Maps. Be aware that latter drains less battery.
Make sure to adjust your phone’s location permissions accordingly before and after you activate live location share.
Alternatively, you can also share your app-based trip details with your friends so they can both track your ride and have information regarding your cab number.