Safety Tips

Safety Tips for Attendees

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877.678.5263 or 503.275.8355
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Visitor Information Center
701 S.W. Sixth Ave.
Pioneer Courthouse Square
Portland, Oregon

Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sundays (May-Oct. only) 10 a.m.-2 p.m.


  • Plan your route in advance; consult maps indoors before leaving your hotel.
  • Locate places on your route where you can go for help.
  • Be aware of your surroundings; leave an area if it appears unsafe.
  • Ask directions from service providers, hotel desk staff, telephone or power company employees, police or traffic officers. Avoid asking strangers on the street.
  • If you get lost, find an open business and ask for directions.
  • Remember, alcohol consumption diminishes awareness.

Homeless/Displaced Persons

Like every major city in the world, Portland has a homeless population. Most homeless people are harmless; however, some street people are chronic law violators who may infringe upon the rights of others. Demonstrate a combination of respect and caution around panhandlers and strangers.
If you feel inclined to financially assist someone in need, it is suggested that contributions not be given to individuals on the street, but rather to one of the many charitable organizations that address such needs. Your hotel should be able to direct you to such organizations.

Avoiding Pickpockets

  • Use travelers checks whenever possible, and carry only cash and credit cards you will need. Do not display cash.
  • Do not discuss plans with strangers.
  • Carry your wallet in the inside front pocket of your pants or your jacket.
  • Carry shoulder bags or other handbags under your arm, not by the handle. While sitting, keep the bag in your lap. In a restaurant, keep your purse in your lap, not over the back of the chair. Keep your bag next to you in the public restroom instead of using door hooks.
  • Consider using a fanny-pack or a concealable money-belt to carry cash and credit cards.
  • Carry some cash and credit cards in a second wallet, besides your purse or fanny-pack.
  • Be alert, particularly in crowded situations. Staged distractions are a favorite ploy of pickpockets.

Hotel And Motel Security

  • Watch your luggage when checking in and out of your hotel.
  • Make sure no one hears your name and room number while at the front desk.
  • Don't invite strangers to your room.
  • Find out your hotel's policy on key control and the room cleaning schedules.
  • Call the desk to verify the identity of room service, repair persons, etc., especially if you did not call for them. Know what the hotel identification badge looks like.
  • Deposit your valuables in the hotel safe and keep an inventory of what was deposited; never leave cash or other valuables in your room.
  • Lock your luggage when it is left in the room.
  • Know how to double lock your room door.
  • Use the door viewer to identify anyone requesting entry to your room; report any suspicious activity to hotel staff.
  • Keep the key with you at all times; never leave it at the front desk.
  • Return your key to the front desk when you check out; if you leave it in your room it could be copied.
  • Familiarize yourself with the fire exit routes posted in your room.

Shopping Alerts

Be Aware...
  • Each store may set its own refund or exchange policies. Check them out before making purchases.
  • When buying with a credit card -- stores cannot charge you an extra fee.
  • When buying with cash -- stores may offer you a cash discount.
  • Portland OR has no sales tax.
Before Leaving the Store...
  • Get an itemized receipt, and check for accuracy.
  • Inspect packages thoroughly for correct contents.