Professional thieves tend to hang around hotels and resorts, especially the lobbies, looking for tourists and travelers that are easy pickings. Here are some travel tips that may help you feel more safe and secure in your hotel room when you are traveling, or are on vacation.
First of all, the lobbies of hotels and resorts should never be considered secure, even the upscale ones. They are all easy pickings for opportunistic luggage thieves, especially at peak times when the hotel reception staff is extremely busy with new guests arriving and other guests that are trying to check out. Never leave your luggage unguarded unless you know for sure that it being looked after by a bellman.
If you are having a bite to eat in a hotel restaurant, especially a buffet, never leave your laptop, briefcase, or handbag unguarded to get a drink or something more to eat. It takes thieves only a split second to make off with them. It is impossible for the hotel staff to be constantly on the lookout for these criminals.
When booking your room, try to book one that is on the second, third, fourth, or fifth floors, as ground floor hotel rooms are more susceptible to break ins. Keep in mind that rooms above the fifth floor may not be accessible by many fire engine ladders if a fire breaks out in the hotel.
Always check to make sure that the door to your room locks properly, and that the windows and sliding doors open, but also lock securely. Most hotels use electronic card keys for their hotel room doors as they offer more security than the standard metal keys. Don’t carry you key card in its folder if the folder has the room number on it. Write down the room number on a piece of paper, keep it on your person when you go out, and leave the folder in your room.
Always identify unexpected staff or visitors to your room before opening the door. Call the front desk if in doubt as to the authenticity of that person. It is advisable to not give out your room number to anyone that you don’t know and trust.
It may not be a good idea to hang a “please clean the room” sign on the door knob when you go out, as it signals to a would be thief that there is probably no one in the room.
Don’t assume that your hotel room door is locked just because it closes automatically when you go out. Check to make sure that it has really locked. If your room has a balcony make sure the sliding glass door is also locked as it may be possible for someone to climb on to your balcony from a balcony beside, above or below yours.
Do not leave any valuables lying around in plain view in your hotel room. They may be too tempting for some cleaning staff to resist. Place any small valuables in your in-room safe if there is one. Keep in mind that safes that use metal keys are not as secure as the ones that use electronic key cards.
The next best bet if there is no safe in your room is to lock your small valuables in your largest suitcase when you go out. Locked, hard sided luggage offers the best security. Some travelers even use duct tape to secure small valuables to the underside of the hotel room furniture.
Always use your door’s deadbolt or chain lock at night before you go to sleep or if you feel like taking a nap.
There is a small, inexpensive, battery-operated, motion-sensitive, burglar alarm that can be hung on the inside hotel door knob, or there is a wedge-shaped alarm that you can wedge under the door that accomplishes the same thing. If someone tries to open your door, the alarm will sound.
There are two less sophisticated methods you could use. You can move a chair in front of the hotel door and place the back rest under the knob, or wedge a standard rubber door stopper under the door. Either of these two methods are also effective.
When you pack and get ready to check out of your hotel, don’t forget to empty your room safe. And last but not least, count the number of pieces of luggage when you check out and make sure that everything has been put in your taxi.
Dorothy Yamich has a passion for travel. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe as well as traveled in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. She is a travel consultant and specializes in luxury cruises as well as vacation packages. If you are looking for information on cheap airfares, fabulous discounted luxury cruises and great holiday deals, visit: http://www.traveltipsguide.com