As a security analyst, I know of many things you can do to help ensure your safety and security when staying in a hotel, but I’ve decided to put together 11 of the surest strategies, so keep reading.
Have you ever walked down the hallway of a hotel and passed by rooms with doors left wide-open by cleaning staff? Ever thought of how easy it would be to enter and pretend the room is yours? Imagine what you could steal.
This is why a hotel that takes security seriously will be very strict about whom is issued an electronic key to rooms, and will issue regulations regarding housekeeping tasks. In more remote hotels or those in less developed countries, the hotel staff itself may be the thieves.
Nevertheless, whether you’re in the ritziest hotel or the shoddiest dump, there’s a baseline of precautions you should take to maximize your security and safety.
#1. Never leave valuables in your room unless you’re present. If you must, use the hotel safe and be sure to get a receipt.
#2. When in the room, keep the door locked, including the chain feature.
#3. Always use the peephole before opening the door.
#4. If you anticipate the door won’t have a lock (such as in a foreign country), bring along a traveler’s door lock, a motion detector that you hang on the knob that sounds when the door opens, and/or a doorstop alarm-it wedges against the door’s base.
#5. Don’t open the door to strangers.
#6. If the “stranger” claims to be a hotel service person, call the front desk for verification first.
#7. Have all food deliveries made to the lobby. You never know if the delivery person is actually a rapist looking for a target. Men should also practice this procedure; men can be targeted for violent crimes too. The delivery person may also case you for targetability later on.
#8. Be mindful of what you leave outside your door. E.g., what appears to be leftovers from one person’s meal, indicates you’re alone.
#9. Before going to bed, double check all possible entry points.
#10. Make people think you’re there when you’re not: Place the “do not disturb” sign on the door-after you put the TV on loud. But first make sure this won’t coincide with maid service.
#11. If your hotel wants you to turn your key in when you go out, keep the key so that nobody knows you’re out. However, if you use the hotel’s amenities, leave your key with the front desk.
Never assume you’re automatically safe in a hotel just because it’s very expensive to stay there.