Yes, it’s safe to travel to USA. Crime is no worse than it ever was and possibly a bit better. If you are comfortable in big cities around the world, like Paris, London, or Rome, use the same sorts of precautions in New York City, Washington DC, or Chicago and you will be fine. Many people travel to USA and have experienced their best time. One of our reader says that her 25 year old daughter, who is Chinese, and her husband, who is Indian, live in the heart of New York City, walk their dog at night, use public transportation, and are frequently out and about. Other than some racist remarks linking them to COVID-19 – they are both vaccinated – they have not experienced crime.
Know where you are going, don’t flash wads of cash, avoid looking too prosperous unless you are going to a formal event, avoid drinking enough alcohol to impair your judgment, and treat people with respect, regardless of their race or gender. She is a 75 year old woman, and she has never been the victim of any sort of crime, though I have traveled for business and tourism, often alone.
As to corruption, other than the political sort you hear about on the news, you are far more likely to encounter it in certain other countries than in the US. Our police won’t demand a bribe if you drive through a red light. You will get a ticket and either have to mail it to the court with a fine or go to court to contest it. The price of any item you see in a store is the price for everyone. Don’t try to bargain. And also remember that most states have a sales tax on items, which is not included in the price on the sign, but will be added automatically at the cash register. You are not being cheated.
If you are non-White, or look seedy, you may be viewed with some suspicion by both police and random citizens, especially in smaller towns. Police may want to know who you are and why you are in a certain location; just ask politely if you can reach for your passport and explain your circumstances. (Ask first, so they don’t assume that you are reaching for a weapon) In some places, Immigration authorities (ICE) may overstep their authority and ask for proof that you are in the US legally, especially if you look Hispanic or are speaking a foreign language. Just flash your passport with its visa stamp. These events, which are fairly uncommon, may make you angry, but don’t react angrily. The US, like every other country, has its share of jackasses, who love to bully people. Don’t give them the satisfaction of letting them see you react.
Personally, She loves living in the US, and feel very safe in most places. She has never seen anyone pull out a gun or witnessed a shooting. Where She currently lives, in Rockville, Maryland – a suburb of Washington, DC – the police actually go around to apartment complexes, senior centers, etc, and host “coffee with a cop” events, where they talk about crime prevention, listen to resident concerns, and generally try to promote good will. Of course, She is an American-born White woman, and a senior citizen, but She’s very conscious of racism and xenophobia, and know that her non-White and immigrant neighbours may have had more negative experiences in their lives than she has had. Our world is not perfect, certainly, but she thinks you will find that the US is a much friendlier place than what is shown on TV.