Whether you’re travelling on your own or with a companion, it’s important to stay safe and aware, no matter where you are. We’ve compiled a list of tips for how to keep safe when staying in hotels, focusing on being aware for all eventualities. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared!
1. Prior to booking, check the location
Before you confirm a hotel booking, look on Google street view to get a feel for the area where the hotel is based. Does it seem safe? Would you feel comfortable walking around at night? Also take some time to look at reviews of the hotel, checking Trip Advisor as well as doing further research.
2. Don’t let your luggage out of your sight
When you arrive at a hotel, it’s all too easy to leave your luggage in the lobby while you are distracted with looking around or checking in. Even if you are offered a porter to take the luggage up to your room, keep it within your sight at all times and insist on waiting for the porter to arrive rather than walking off and leaving your luggage for anyone to take.
3. Ask for a room on a middle floor
Carefully consider where in the hotel you would like your room to be, based on safety precautions rather than the aesthetics of a particular room. Avoid the ground floor or lower floors, as they are easier for thieves to break into, especially if you like to sleep with your windows open. It’s recommended to opt for a floor in the middle of the hotel, to ensure that you could easily escape in a fire or emergency when ladders may not reach the upper floors.
4. Lock your door
It’s surprising how many people have had their hotel rooms broken into, only to discover that they had forgotten to lock the door, giving the thief an easy ride. Make sure the lock works correctly on your door and don’t forget to lock it whenever you leave your room, even if you’re just popping to the bar or reception. Also lock your room from the inside with any deadbolts when you are taking a shower or sleeping.
5. Keep your valuables in a safe
Use the safe in your room to store any valuables in case your room is broken into. Remember that cleaning staff will enter your room each day and often leave doors open while cleaning, making it easy for a thief to slip in and rifle through your belongings. If you feel like your room safe would be easy to remove or to break into, ask reception if they can keep your valuables in their safe. Better still don’t take all of your valuables on holiday with you!
6. Be cautious with your key card
If your key card or room key has your room number and hotel name written on it, be careful where you flaunt it. Consider leaving your key card at reception when you are heading out for the day, so they can look after it. If you lose your card when you’re out exploring, anyone could pick it up and use it.
7. Memorise your escape route
When you arrive at your hotel room, immediately make an escape plan in case of a fire or emergency. If you had to get out quickly, where are the nearest exits, and what is the official evacuation procedure? Be prepared for making a swift exit by keeping important items, such as your passport, phone, bankcard, and room key by your bed so you can grab them in a hurry.
8. Be cautious of the Wi-Fi
When connecting to the hotel Wi-Fi, make sure that you change your computer settings to state that you’re using a public network. This will set your computer’s firewall to its maximum-security settings to help to protect it from hackers.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.