Sometimes when we make travel arrangements, we give little thought to the hotel. Perhaps because it is part of the package deal or maybe you have been to the area before and liked the location. Whatever the reason, hotel safety is just as important as airport safety and flight safety. Here are ten things to look for when booking a hotel.
1. Try to avoid hotels that are in secluded areas. Choose a hotel that utilizes modern technology such as electronic locks for the rooms or has a deadbolt in addition to the standard lock. The room should have a peephole as well. Do the windows have locks? Are the hallways well lit? Are there ample security personnel within the hotel?
2. Always know where your luggage is located once you arrive at the hotel. Ensure that you are with your luggage when it is taken up to your room. By the way, it’s a good idea to always book a room on a higher floor.
3. When registering at the hotel, use your first initial and last name only. Women travelling alone are advised to book the room using Mrs. Jones or Mr. & Mrs. Jones (or whatever their last name is).
4. When asked for your credit card, keep a close watch on what the clerk does with it and make sure it is handed back to you. If there is a hotel brochure on the counter, take two. Keep one in your purse and one near the telephone in your room. It will make it much easier to tell a cab driver where to go if you forget the address or name of the hotel.
5. Always be aware of those around you, especially if the hotel has an elevator. Stay as close to the buttons as possible in case you have to hit the panic button on the panel. If you are alone in the elevator and an individual comes on who seems a bit suspicious – get out the next floor.
6. Sometimes we take hotel rooms for granted. When arriving at your room for the first time, check everything. Doors, windows, bathroom, closets, under the bed, the telephone (to ensure it is operating), locks, and most importantly – check to see if there is the fire safety information posted on the door to the room. It is required that the information contained therein shows where you are and where the nearest exit is to your room.
7. Always use the lock and deadbolt when retiring to your room for the night. In fact, you can purchase a door stop with an alarm if you are travelling alone to ensure your safety.
8. Do not, under any circumstances, open the door to your room unless you know who the person is. In fact, if you have been out for the day and you return to find a few things out of place in your room – leave immediately and have security check your room.
9. When you go out touring for the day, it is recommended that you leave the TV on. Have your room made up while you are having breakfast, then put the ‘Do Not Disturb” sign on the doorknob when you leave. Leave one lamp lit as well. In this way someone will think you are in your room.
10. If the hotel has a safe, use it to store your valuables. Only take out what you need for the day. Do not wear lots of jewelry, and if you have brought a laptop with you – have the clerk lock it up with the rest of your valuables until you return.
Finally, identity theft has increased dramatically all over the world. If someone calls your hotel room to verify your credit card and says he or she is the desk clerk or manager, hang up and call the desk again. Odds are someone was attempting to steal your credit card number.