As independent as we are in our worldly travels, we want to feel and be safe in our journeys. These easy-to-follow safety tips will help increase your security during your hotel visit:
- Always have the hotel’s phone number stored in your cell phone. Use it to call ahead late at night to ensure your room is available.
- For late arrivals to the hotel, call the hotel as you are nearing their location, and ask that someone meet you outside and escort you in.
- For early departures when it is still very dark outside, ask for an escort to take you to your car.
- When you do not have a rental car and would like to go out to dinner, ask the hotel if their van can drive you to a local restaurant.
- Always engage all locks on your door once you are in your hotel room. I was sitting in my room working one afternoon and a man just opens up my door. He was a hotel employee and had no reason to enter my room. A few friends have also had men open up their doors when the hotel had given out the same room twice.
- Do not open the door unless you have called for room service and verified that it is your meal at the door. Ask the restaurant to phone you before bringing up your meal.
- If you are venturing out on your own, let the front desk know your agenda or itinerary and when to expect you back.
- Do not leave valuables, including your laptop, cell phone, iPod, purse or jewelry, out in the open when you are not in your room. Use the hotel safe if possible. One of my friends had her wallet stolen from her hotel room; another friend had her laptop and cell phone stolen. Both hotels were very reputable conference hotels, and yet it was employees who were found to be the guilty parties.
- If possible, stay at hotels with interior rooms, not exterior rooms.
- Note where the emergency exits are located on your floor.
- Stay on lower level floors, generally 2 through 7, so that you are not on floor 1 where many people roam, nor are you too high for a fire truck to reach you in the event of a fire.
- Keep your room key, shoes, mobile phone and ID near your coat so that in an evacuation you have your important items all together.
- If the front desk orally gives you your room number when there are other people standing nearby, ask for another room. Have them write down the room number instead of tell you.
- If you are given a hotel room with an adjoining room, ensure the lock is in place between the rooms. I place the suitcase rack in front of the adjoining door so any attempt at opening the door would knock down my suitcase and make noise. If you are uncomfortable staying in a room with an adjoining door, ask for another room.
- Feel comfortable asking the hotel staff for any assistance that you may need. The hotel would rather have you ask to be escorted, walk you to your room, etc. than have you experience any problems or uncomfortableness.
With these easy to follow safety tips, you will experience more confidence in your journeys. Safe travels!