Whether your on business or traveling for leisure you need choose your accommodation wisely, always choose a reputable hotel, following these simple hotel safety tips can be the difference to having an enjoyable or not so enjoyable experience.
Check before you Check-In – Always do your due diligence before booking a hotel, whenever possible you should make your own reservation and the fewer there is that becomes involved with your travel and hotel arrangements, the better. There will always be an abundance of information on line, a one stop shop for great information/reviews etc on hotels worldwide is http://www.tripadvisor.com/
- Going abroad, I normally use my employers address when making any reservations that allows such.
Rooms – Stay away from ground floor rooms, especially if the door opens to the outside of the building, this is a common fault some make when staying at a motel. Think about a room between the 3rd and 5th floor, that way should there be an emergency fire truck ladders are sure to reach you. Try to avoid rooms which are in isolated areas, use those that are located in a more heavily trafficked areas.
- Renting a car, make sure you check with the hotel reception about parking arrangements.
Room Locks – Most reputable hotels these days have modern electronic keycard locks fitted to rooms, which means it is less likely that anyone has a duplicate key and if you loose your key, hotel reception can re-key the lock immediately and replace the card. Your room should be fitted with an inside door locking system, normally this will be either a deadbolt or a U-clasp. A door peephole is also a must to see who comes a knocking. I always place the Do Not Disturb sign on the door handle and leave the television on, even when I am out, thus giving the impression that the room is still occupied, and if I need my room cleaned, I always call housekeeping and advise them. Remember to make sure that your balcony doors and windows are locked, it has been known for burglars to jump from one balcony to another.
- Smoke Alarms & Sprinklers – This is quiet simple, if there not there, then neither should you be! These are a must and should be located in every room as well as hallways, dinning rooms etc.
- Fire Exits, Stairwells & Escape Routes – Take the time to locate these, normally a diagram is positioned on the hotel room door or in the room guest folder.
- Valuables Storage – Most hotel rooms have a safe in them, some even large enough for your laptop. You can always ask at the reception to have them stored in the Hotel Safe, especially if they are extremely valuable. You might also wish to check if the hotels insurance or your travel insurance policy covers items when stored in room safes. As a rule of thumb, if you cant afford to loose it and or cannot replace it, don’t take it.
Luggage – Try not to leave your luggage in plain sight, whenever possible keep it locked and stored away in a cupboard or under the bed.
- Internet – Make sure you are connecting to the hotels network and not a Trojan horse, if you have a VPN connection then use that for more protection, if not, you should be turning on your computers firewall and disable file sharing, all before you connect.
- Unexpected deliveries, room service, or room repairs, never accept these, call the reception for verification.
- Passports – In some foreign countries you are required to leave your passport with hotel reception for Police checks, make sure you get a receipt for it, and always have your copy handy (paper or electronic).
- Credit Cards – Now I cannot emphasize enough on how much due care and attention you need take if using a credit card, especially in hotels/shops etc abroad! Firstly you should only travel with the credit cards you need and make sure you have them securely stored and know where they are at all times. I always alert my card provider if, where and when traveling abroad before setting off. Understandably you will make many payments with your card but whenever possible always keep it in your sights, watch who has it and what they are doing with it. Remember if you can see your card details then others close by will also have that opportunity. Check your statements regularly and if you have any concerns notify your credit card provider immediately. Remember to make at least two copies of your credit card numbers and place them in a secure location, thus preventing loss of all the information.
Stay Safe – Stay Secure!