When you’re traveling for business or you’re on vacation and you book a hotel room, you’re probably not thinking a ton about taking safety precautions. After all, you’re in a building that is pretty well-lit, you’re surrounded by staff (and other guests) and it’s not like there are a lot of news stories out about people who have been victims of crimes while visiting in a hotel.
However, when you do think about the fact that you’re oftentimes in an unfamiliar city and yes, surrounded by lots of strangers in a close proximity, it certainly can’t hurt to be as proactive as possible about protecting yourself and your belongings. This article will explore five ways to help you to be safe so you won’t have to be sorry when you’re lodging at a hotel:
Book above the bottom floor. Although it might initially seem convenient to ask for a room on the bottom floor (for one thing, you don’t have to wait for an elevator by doing so), the reality is that it’s a lot easier for a criminal to break into your room that way as well. So, if you can avoid being on the same floor as the lobby, that’s usually best.
Keep your items close. When you’re in the midst of checking in (or out) of the hotel, treat your items in the same manner as you do while being in an airport. Keep your bags with you at all times, do not leave your credit card or cell phone sitting on a counter or table and if your name or hotel number happens to be said in a loud voice (where several people can hear) or inadvertently over a loud speaker, request to have a different room.
Do a “once over”. Whether someone is accompanying you to your room or you’re entering into it alone, avoid simply walking in and shutting the door behind you. Prop it open with your bag, keep your cell phone in hand and give it a quick once over (including under the bed and in the closet). Also make sure that your lights (both overhead and lamps) work, that one is by your bed and that your lock works. Also, when it comes to your door, make sure that it’s locked at all times when you are in your room.
Ask for two business cards. When it comes to hotel security, one thing that they will probably advise you to do is take two business cards from the hotel. Keep one on your person and the other by the phone in the room. That way, if something unfortunate does transpire, you are able to immediately tell 911 where you are. Speaking of cards, sometimes we lose the key cards to our door. If that does happen to you, don’t simply ask for another one. Ask to be changed to another room altogether.
Take your paper with you. If you did happen to write phone numbers or credit card info down, do not simply through it into the trash can. Put it in your purse or luggage so that when you leave, there will not be a “confidential paper trail” left behind. This will help to protect you while you’re at the hotel and also it will prevent you from being a victim of identity theft once you check out.