How to Have a Safe Hotel Stay

by Jules on July 22, 2010

Relax and enjoy your hotel stay

OK, so you’ve already followed our tips on choosing the right hotel, so now make sure that your stay isn’t ruined by a hotel room theft. Taking a few sensible precautions by following our tips will ensure that you and your belongings stay safe;

Choose your location wisely – As well as opting for a hotel with a killer view and saving money, make sure you pay attention to the number one priority; location. Choosing a great hotel in a dodgy area could be a problem, especially if you’re a woman traveling alone or a vulnerable traveler.
Research the location – Do as much research on your chosen destination as possible, whether it’s in your own country or further afield. Look up travel reviews but do keep them in context. Search the latest news stories for your area and hotel – I found a hotel in my country had had a spate of recent break-ins and as a lone female traveler, I moved my reservation.
Hotel facilities – Wherever you stay in the world check whether reception is staffed 24 hours a day, what time the doors are locked overnight, if there are security guards, whether the car parks are lit at night, is there CCTV and what the hotel policy is on bringing guests in.
Be prepared – Make copies of your passport, credit cards and itinerary and leave one set at home and carry the second in a separate place to the originals. Make sure your mobile phone is loaded with all the useful phone numbers you might need; local embassies, local emergency numbers etc, and make sure you pack your phone charger!
Hotel check in – The best floor to stay on regarding safety and security is between floor 3 and 6. Try not to get stuck with a ground floor room as the risk of a break in increases. If your room door isn’t on a hall and opens to the outside then check whether there’s CCTV and what other security measures are in place. If hotel staff announce your room number loudly, you can ask to change rooms.
Hotel room security – Before you raid the minibar, check the fire escape route, details of which should be in the room. Also read the hotel information book and check your door and window locks. If any present a security issue alert reception and if necessary ask to change rooms.  Keep your door locked whilst in the room and keep the key in the same place, should you need to find it in the dark. Vet room visitors by using the door spyhole and if in doubt, call reception.
Belongings security – Use the in-room safe if you have one or use the reception safe if possible, although check if the hotel accepts liability for any loss. Lock your suitcases whilst unattended and buy locks for anything that can’t be stored in the safe, such as laptops. And read our guide on how to prevent theft when traveling.
Check your insurance – Check your home insurance policy, which may well cover your possessions in the event of something going wrong. And if something does go wrong complain to hotel management in writing and if there is a serious incident, report it to the local police.

And if you want to turn your hobby into a full-time career consider taking a course at one of the hospitality management schools where your travel expertise will be admired!

And don’t forget to actually enjoy your stay, the risk of anything untoward happening is thankfully pretty rare, so follow some common sense and have a great travel adventure!

By Julie Bowman

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