When you’re at home, you may have plenty of personal and property security measures in place. You might, for example, use a home security system with alarms and monitoring. You might also have something like a video doorbell and cameras outside so you can keep an eye on things.
When you travel with your family, you lose some of those elements of control you might have compared to the security when you’re at home.
For example, if you’re staying in a hotel, you may have security concerns.
With those concerns in mind, the following are some tips to help improve your safety and security if you’re in a hotel.
Do Your Research
Hotel properties are notorious for creating appealing online listings that don’t represent the true property at all. Another situation that’s common is the hotel itself is beautiful, but maybe it’s not in a safe location.
Do your research on review sites to find out what you should expect. You can also use Google Maps to get a street view of the area.
Confirm before booking that the hotel has security cameras throughout the property, including inside the lobby and hallways.
Arrival and Check-In
When you get to a hotel initially, stay with your luggage, especially if the lobby is busy. Keep an eye on it throughout your check-in process.
If possible, get a room that’s not on the ground floor. The best place to stay, according to experts, is somewhere between the third and sixth floors. The reason is these rooms are harder to break into, but they’re low enough that if there’s a fire, ladders can reach you.
Let the hotel staff know not to give out your room number, although that should already be a protocol where you’re staying. You should also get a business card with the hotel’s contact information and take it with you when you’re out and about. You can then show the card to drivers so they’ll know where you’re going, or you can use it to contact the hotel if you run into an emergency.
When you arrive and you get your room, find out where the emergency exits are. You can also take a picture of the fire escape plan that should be on the back of your door so that you can keep it on your phone.
Securing Your Door
For added security, and since you never really know who might have access to your room as far as hotel employees, there are some things you can bring with you.
A door wedge is a simple, cheap option. You can bring a rubber door wedge that takes up hardly any space in your luggage and requires no setup. You just put the thin end of the wedge under the door jam and kick it into place.
Some options even have an alarm that will go off if the wedge is disturbed in any way.
For this to work, your hotel door has to open inward, which most do.
You can also consider a portable door lock. Portable door locks again prevent your door from opening inward. Most portable locks will have a piece that goes into the metal plate where the lock or existing latch is, and then another that goes across the back of the door. Without someone breaking your door down, it couldn’t be opened with a portable lock.
Another option is a travel door alarm. A travel door alarm won’t prevent entry but should typically scare anyone away if they’re trying to get in. These are good because it doesn’t matter whether or not your door opens inward.
Use Your “Do Not Disturb” Sign
A lot of hotels, because of the pandemic, are asking guests to request housekeeping right now specifically. With that in mind, it’s a good time to use your do not disturb sign. This will create the illusion someone is in the room, so you can protect the valuables you leave behind.
You should also keep your curtains or shades closed while you’re out. Otherwise, it’s easy to track what you’re doing and when you’re in the room versus when you’re not.
Finally, when you’re leaving your hotel to head and about, at least try to look like you know what you’re doing and you’re prepared. You never know who could be lurking around, attempting to target lost or confused tourists. Don’t open a map as you’re leaving or do anything that might make you look like an easy target.