Personal Security and Safety in Hotels & Guesthouses

traveling might be exciting and sometimes you get carried away in such a manner that you start discussing your traveling details with anyone, which may leave you in danger. minimize your discussions, only share with few people who might be family or close friends.

Hotel Selection

Larger, brand name hotels usually have processes in place to protect guests and they have hotel security staff on site. They train staff and regularly prepare for emergencies. Sticking to larger chains may help you avoid some issues.

Room Selection

Avoid rooms on the ground floor or second floor when possible. These rooms may be more vulnerable to thieves because their windows are more easily accessible. Safer rooms tend to be in the mid-rise section of the hotel—floors 4 to 10. They’re high enough off the ground to minimize exterior access but not so high that you would have difficulty in the case of fire or other emergencies. Do not entertain strangers in your hotel room. Be alert to overly friendly locals who may have criminal intentions. They may offer to take you to a “special” restaurant. Their use may be to offer drugged refreshments. 

  • Use the door chain or bolt lock whenever you are in your room.
  • Use the door viewer (peephole) before opening the door to visitors
  • Do not discuss your room number while standing in the lobby or leave your room key on restaurant or bar tables
  • Keep your room neat so you will notice disturbed or missing items quickly.

Privacy

Do not share your last name or room number with anyone. Often, hotels will only write the room number down on a sleeve that accompanies your room key. If the desk clerk says your name or room number out loud, ask to be checked into a different room. Most hotels train the desk staff to be “welcoming.” That can sometimes translate into unnecessarily chatty. The desk clerk isn’t the risk, it’s someone who is overhearing your conversation. Even innocuous questions like, “Where are you traveling in from today?” can give away information that could be used to target you. Be polite, but don’t give up personal information.

  • Be alert to overly friendly locals who may have criminal intentions. They may offer to take you to a “special” restaurant. Their ruse may be to offer drugged refreshments.

Identification

Most hotels require identification to check in, but not all IDs are equal. Driver’s licenses contain personal information, including your home address…where you aren’t located right now. In the past, theft rings have shared information about people traveling. The less personal information you give out, the better. Use a business address for billing purposes and check in with your passport. If you’re attending a conference or event at a hotel, don’t wear your name badge through common areas. Badges often include your name, company, and city, which may be enough information for a thief to impersonate you and claim they have lost their key.

Awareness

Upon arrival, check the lobby area and floor layouts. Make sure you know at least three different ways out of the building and at least two different ways off of your floor—usually the elevator and at least one set of stairs.

  • Familiarize yourself with escape routes in case of fire or other catastrophes.

Assurance

Always lock your door while you’re in the room. Never open your room door for housekeeping, security or room service unless you can clearly identify them as a staff member. When in doubt, call the front desk.

Valuables

Most business-class hotels have in-room safes for valuables. How safe these are is anyone’s guess. If you’ve ever discovered that you’ve left valuables in a hotel safe after checking out, you know how easily (and quickly) the staff can retrieve them. Just remember that. If you have something truly valuable (jewelry, lots of cash, etc.), it’s best to keep it on your person or leave it at home in the first place. However, for minor valuables, the hotel room safe will stop most opportunistic thefts.

  • Never leave valuables in your hotel room exposed or unattended, even in a locked suitcase.
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