Hotel Safety

Tips on how to stay safe in your hotel.

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• General: DIY / How-To • General: Educational
• General: Guide • General: Kid Friendly

Matt Anderson's Take
Nobody wants to deal with an emergency situation or a theft on their vacation. At the same time, we don't want you to vacation in fear. Follow these tips to help avoid putting yourself at risk of being put in a bad situation without knowing what to do.

Leave Valuables At Home


As much as is possible and practical, consider leaving valuables at home. Extra jewelry will be safest at home and not having it on your body will make you less of a target to potential thieves.

Stay With Your Luggage


Keep your luggage with you until you're at the hotel. Even then, keep it with you during check-in unless using the hotel's bell services to handle your bags.

Note Your Info


Make notes about the hotel you're staying at and include the full name, address, and phone number. Keep this info with you at all times. If you ever get lost this can be handy to have to get back to your hotel.

Elevator Safety


Avoid hotels where the elevator runs from the parking garage to the room floors. You want hotels that offer a separate garage elevator that only goes to the lobby and from there separate elevators to the room floors.

If someone suspicious enters the elevator just exit at that time. Always stay near the control buttons, if there is an attack hit as many buttons as possible to get the elevator to stop at the next floor as well as ring emergency buttons.

Avoid Ground Floor Rooms


If possible, try to get a room higher than the ground floor. Many safety experts suggest a room between the third and sixth floors. That's the sweet spot for a room that's tough to break into but still allows you to easily get out in case of a fire, as well as allows most fire engine ladders reach the windows.

Courtyard Views


If your hotel room opens directly to the outside, rather than an interior hallway, consider getting a room that faces an interior courtyard of the building rather than a parking lot.

Hide Your Room Number


Make sure your room number isn't written down on anything others can see. At the same time, make sure you don't mention your room number out loud and make sure the check-in agent doesn't say it outloud either. If they do and others are around consider asking for a new room.

Get Escorted


If you're traveling alone, especially if you're a woman, and are not feeling safe then ask to be escorted to your room. The hotel staff will happily escort you to make sure you safely arrive at your room.

Know Emergency Numbers


If you don't know what numbers to call for emergencies, make sure to ask when you check in. In most places in the USA, you can dial 911 in an emergency, but it's also good to know the numbers for the hotel's security people. Get familiar with your room's phone as well. Do you need to dial a number to get an outside line? If so, you may need to dial that number before calling 911 as well.

Know Escape Routes


As soon as you get in your room, make sure you know the proper escape routes. In many hotels, there will be a diagram on the back of the hotel door that show the emergency exits. Get to know these before there is a real emergency and always have a backup route (or two) in case the main route is blocked.

Lock Up


Make sure all of the locks on your room's doors and windows work and are being used. Keep all of them locked at all times and check them each time you return to your room in case housekeeping unlocked any during their cleaning. Never leave doors left open or propped open for any length of time. Keep lanai / balcony doors locked when you leave and while you sleep as some burglars can hop from one lanai / balcony to another to break into your room.

Wedge Up


If you're concerned about somebody breaking down your hotel door then consider traveling with a Hotel Door Wedge. These are inexpensive devices that can add an extra layer of door security to your hotel room.

Be Ready To Leave


At night, keep your shoes, keys, wallet, and phone in the same place near the bed. If there is an emergency you'll easily be able to grab those items and go quickly.

Verify Identities


If somebody knocks on your door make sure you know who they are before you open the door. If they claim to be hotel staff ask them to wait before opening the door and call the front desk to see if they sent somebody up. Always use the peephole as well.

Hotel Safes


Most hotels offer a safe these days so consider using it. You may want to leave half of your cash and credit cards in the safe, that way if you lose your wallet you'll still have money to hold you over. Passports or a second ID can be left in here for the same reason as well.

Do Not Disturb


When you go out, you can make it appear as though somebody is still in your room by leaving the Do Not Disturb sign on the door. You can also leave a light on as well as the radio or television.

Close Door On Exit


When you leave your room, make sure the door closes behind you. Check it manually, do not rely on the auto-close mechanism to close and lock the door.

Report Lost Keys


If you lose your hotel key you need to report it to the front desk staff immediately. Since most hotels use electronic key cards, they can instantly deactivate that card so it cannot be used.
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