Even in the top hotels and resorts you still need to be vigilant about your safety and security.
We understand that when you’re on vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is hotel security but returning from a day of relaxation and fun to find that your hotel room has been ransacked will quickly ruin an otherwise amazing trip.
Read on for our top tips to staying safe in a hotel.
Giving Your Name
When checking into a hotel, don’t use your first name but instead use just the initial of your first name along with your surname. This will help to keep your information private.
If you are a female traveling alone, use “Mrs” too as this gives the impression that you’re traveling with at least one other person.
Ask for a Room Change
Most reputable hotels with honest staff know that they should not give out names of guest or their room numbers, but it’s still known to happen.
If your room number is compromised (i.e., announced out loud), ask to be given another room. You never know who is listening and your room number is a matter of personal security.
Instead of telling you the room number out loud, have the front desk employee write the number down.
Watch Your Luggage
Try and keep an eye on your luggage as it’s being transferred from the coach or taxi to the lobby as this is a prime time for thieves to strike while everyone is preoccupied with checking in.
Test the Front Desk
When you first get to your room, use your cell phone to call through to the front desk and ask to speak to ‘yourself’.
If the hotel gives you your room number, that’s a red flag straight away. The response you want to hear is: “Let me connect you.”
When you get into your hotel room, start your checks. Take a look in the bathroom and closets just to assure there is no one there or nothing that looks out of the ordinary. Also, check the windows to make sure they’re locked and that the locks are working properly.
Do Not Disturb
To give the impression that people are in the room, when you leave, put the “do not disturb” sign on your door.
As an extra precaution you could also leave the TV on in the room to sound like people are chatting inside.
Cover the Peephole
A door peephole is there to be used by guests to check who is outside their room. This can however be used in reverse which many people do not seem to realize.
If it is damaged or has been tampered with, guests should immediately ask to change rooms.
This is because the peephole could have been altered to add a secret camera to film the inside of the room.
A simple band-aid can be used to cover the peephole and stop anybody wishing to spy on you.
Floors Four to Six
It is always a good idea to plan ahead and prepare for the unexpected emergencies such as fires in the building.
The highest floors a ladder truck can reach in the event of a fire are typically floors four to six. You may also wish to ask for a room that is close to the stairwell.
Ground floor rooms are often the easiest targets for robberies so try to avoid a ground floor room wherever possible.
Front Desk Confirmation
If somebody comes to your room claimimg to work at the hotel, call the front desk to verify before letting them into your room. Anybody actually working at the hotel will understand you being cautious.
It’s also a good idea to consider hotels that have a 24-hour staffed front desk, in case of any emergencies.
Use a DoorJammer
For an additional piece of security consider purchasing and using a DoorJammer.
These are relatively inexpensive and an extra security measure that you can put under your door.
Take Two Business Cards
Ask for two business cards from the front desk that should show the hotel name and address. Keep one by the phone in your room so that should you need to call for help in an emergency, you’ll have the name and address of your location.
Keep the second card in your pocket or purse. If you have to take a cab or get lost, you can show the driver your location and avoid being taken to the wrong hotel.
Using the Safe
When leaving your room, lock any items that you don’t want to be carrying in the room safe. Modern hotels with a safe that lets you select your own combination are safer than those with keys. Never leave your passport behind.
If the safe in your room doesn’t appear safe, lock your valuables in the hotel safe, but always be sure to get a written receipt for your items and ask about the coverage for loss. Most hotels do not accept liability for items left in the guestroom safes but they will for those locked in the hotel safe.
Memorize the Fire Exits
When you first get to your floor, learn where the fire exits are and memorize the steps and turns from your room to get there.
This may seem too much but during an emergency, you probably won’t be thinking straight.
Each room should clearly display a fire escape plan on the back of the door. If needed, use your phone to take a picture of the plan.
I hope these tips will help you to feel a little more safe the next time you have the opportunity to travel whether it’s to visit friends or for business.
As always, if you have a specific safety concern please let me know. If you have a question it’s likely someone else does too.