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Hotel Safety Tips for Solo Travelers
When you travel alone, it can be a very rewarding experiencing. You can go where you want, when you want. You change your itinerary as you please. Lone travelers, men and women, are more susceptible to crime, though. And, while you would like to think that you are safe in your hotel room, that’s not always the case. With a few simple hotel safety precautions, though, you can make your stay in a hotel a safe one. If you are traveling solo anytime soon, here are twenty hotel safety tips to keep you safe.
1. Research Your Destination
Our first hotel safety tip will help keep you safe in your hotel and when you go out. Before you travel anywhere, go online and read up on your destination. If you are traveling overseas, find out what the risk of crime is in the country you are traveling to. Read reviews about the hotel you are going to as well. You’ll find plenty of reviews of destinations and hotels on sites like TripAdvisor. You can find official travel safety advice for the country that you are visiting on the Travel.State.Gov website.
2. Don’t Disclose Your Gender When Booking a Hotel Room
When you book a hotel room, use your initials, not Miss, Mrs or your first name. That will stop people finding out from the hotel records that there is a lone woman staying in the hotel.
3. Watch Your Luggage While You Check In
When you check in to a hotel, don’t turn your back on your luggage. If you can, keep your luggage in front of you, in between you and the desk. It’s quite common for people to have their luggage stolen when they are preoccupied with the formalities of checking in at a hotel.
4. Be Careful with Your Credit Card in Hotels
This isn’t just a hotel safety tip, it’s a general safety tip for when you are traveling. Be wary of who may be looking over your shoulder when you hand your credit card to people. Don’t leave your card lying face up for too long, or someone might take a photo of your card. Then, they’ll have your name, card number and expiry date.
5. Always Keep Your Hotel Door Locked
Even if you are awake watching TV or reading, keep your door closed and locked. Use the deadlock and the security chain if there is one. It may seem excessive hotel safety tip when you are wide awake, but it will prevent anyone coming into your room unexpectedly.
6. Don’t Take a Room on the Ground Floor
Avoid staying in ground floor rooms in hotels. Ground floor rooms are far more susceptible to break-ins than rooms that are on the upper floors. The safest rooms in a larger hotel are on floors four to six. They are high enough to be safe from intruders breaking in. But, they are low enough for fire ladders to reach in an emergency.
7. Carry a Personal Alarm
A personal alarm can be useful for hotel safety in a hotel, as well as when you go out. So, keep your personal alarm by your bedside when you sleep. If someone tries to enter your hotel room, sounding your personal alarm will most likely scare them away. It may also wake up the people sleeping next door to you. Criminals don’t want to get caught. They are not going to hang around when there is a loud personal alarm going off!
8. Cover the Door Peephole
Always use the peephole in the door before you open your hotel door room to anyone. But, cover it up when you are in your room. Peepholes are hotel safety devices that are supposed to be one way, but that is not always the case. Stick a band aid over it, hang a bag over it, or stuff a bit of toilet tissue into it. You don’t want people spying on you when you are getting undressed or when you are asleep.
9. Ask for a Different Room When You Check In
When you arrive at a hotel, ask to be moved to a different room. This is in case someone has been pre-warned that a lone traveler will be staying at the hotel. Also, when you check in, ask the front desk employee to write down your room number. If they do announce your room number loudly, ask for a change of room. Most hotel employees are aware of this simple hotel safety precaution, but they don’t always follow it.
10. Check Your Room Over Before You Unpack
As soon as you get to your room, do your own hotel safety checks. Make sure the windows can be securely closed and locked. Make sure that the hotel door lock works properly. If there are any problems with the security of your hotel room, ask to be moved to another room.
11. Ask for Two Hotel Business Cards
Ask for two business cards that have the hotel address and phone number on. Keep one by the bed in your hotel room, so you can tell emergency services where you are if there is a problem. Keep the other one with you are when you are out, so you can show it to cab drivers if you need to.
12. Keep Valuables Securely Locked Away
Keep valuables and important travel documents safety locked away. If there is a room safe, use it. If not, ask at the hotel lobby of they have a safe. You may also want to think about taking a travel safe with you on your travels.
13. Find Out Where the Fire Escape Is
Just about every hotel room in the world has fire escape instructions on the back of the door. It’s the diagram of the layout of the hotel that you probably never look at! Take a minute to read the emergency instructions. Make sure you know where your exit route is. It could save you valuable minutes in an emergency.
14. Don’t Open the Door to Strangers
If you are not expecting anyone, don’t open the door to strangers. If they say they are hotel employees, phone the front desk and check before you let them into your room. Whenever you are unsure about the identity of someone at your door, leave the security chain on while you check their identity.
15. If You Lose Your Key, Ask to Be Moved to Another Room
If you lose your hotel key or entry card, report the loss to the hotel and ask to be moved to another room. You may have lost it, but it may have been stolen. Also, don’t keep your hotel key-card in the wallet that the hotel provides with it. That wallet usually has the hotel room number on it. If anyone finds your lost key-card, they will know which room the key will open. Hotel safety is all about being safe rather than sorry.
16. Always Keep Hotel Safety in Mind
A very basic hotel safety tip is to be wary of what you tell strangers when you are traveling. A seemingly innocent question, like what floor are you staying on, could be an attempt to find out what room you are staying in.
17. Use a Portable Door Lock or Door Wedge
You can easily add security to your hotel room door by using a door wedge or a portable door lock. This will stop someone entering your room while you are asleep, even if they do have a key.
18. Make Your Room Appear Occupied
Unless you want housekeeping to make up your room, it is safer to make your room appear occupied when you go out. Leave out the do not disturb sign or leave the TV on. If it appears that your room is occupied, it is much less likely that someone will try to enter your room when you are not there.
19. Keep a Flashlight next to Your Bed
Keep a flashlight by your bed when you are sleeping in hotel rooms. It will help you find your way out in an emergency if there is a power outage. This is especially important when you travel overseas. The power supply in some countries can be very unreliable.
20. Trust Your Instincts
If a hotel doesn’t feel safe, move to another hotel. Even if you researched the hotel before you travelled, it could have changed since people left their reviews. Trust your instincts and walk straight out if you don’t feel comfortable. Even if doing so means you that you lose your deposit.
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