When you’re out of town for business or on vacation you may find yourself worrying about your home. You might be thinking about someone breaking into your house when you’re not around. You could be preoccupied with thoughts of a flood or fire happening without you knowing. Those are valid concerns and they should certainly be addressed by a strong home security and fire prevention system. However, you should also be thinking about your personal safety and staying safe while you’re staying in your hotel.

Some people think that they will be safe in a hotel because the lock on their door and the fact that the hotel has a concierge at the front desk. While those factors certainly help protect you, you also have to be careful about feeling “invincible” when you’re in a hotel. You will still need to focus on staying safe. It’s important to keep your own safety and security as well as the security of any items in your room in mind when you’re staying at a hotel.

Staying Safe with Valuables and More when Travelling

Only take the electronic devices that you will actually need. These days it’s quite common to take a laptop, tablet, smart phone, camera and many other electronic items when you travel. However, these items are expensive, lusted after by criminals and generally easy to steal. No one thinks twice if they see someone leaving a room with a laptop computer. When you travel, take only the items that you are actually going to use. This is crucial for staying safe and keeping your valuables secure. You may not need to bring your computer or tablet with you at all. You can likely use your smart phone for email and accessing the Internet. If you don’t have a smart phone, many hotels have “business centers” where you can access the Internet. If not, there is probably an Internet cafe nearby somewhere. If you are traveling on business, for example, and you absolutely need to bring your laptop along, carry it with you or lock it up in your room somehow. Many hotels offer in-room safes.

You should avoid taking other valuables with you when you travel as well. Jewelry and other expensive items can easily be stolen from rooms. Take only what you need when you travel and leave the rest at home. You’ll be glad that you did.

Avoid placing the “Please make up room” sign on your door. This sign lets criminals know that you are not in the room. Criminals will take this as an invitation to break in. It’s even possible that someone would break into your room and then switch the sign to “Do Not Disturb” so that he or she can work without being bothered. If you’d like to have housekeeping come to your room, phone down to the front desk and ask.

Another tip for staying safe is to bring a doorstop or “door alarm” with you when you travel. Most hotel rooms have secure locks and chains on their doors, but some do not. Placing extra security on your door will prevent criminals from breaking in while you’re in the room. You may want to add some extra security to your windows as well, especially if you’re on a lower floor. If you find yourself worried about security and you don’t have any additional security tools with you, place a chair or another item from your room in front of the doors and windows. These won’t stop someone from breaking in, but they’ll let you know if someone tries to enter your room while you’re sleeping. The noise may spook the crook as well.

Always use the peephole in your room before answering the door and do not let anyone into the room unless you know exactly who they are. This is a key method of staying safe in a hotel. Criminals sometimes pretend to be room service workers or hotel staff in order to get inside your room. If you didn’t order room service or if someone claiming to be staff knocks on your room for seemingly no reason, call down to the security desk first to verify before answering the door.

It’s also a good idea to learn about the surrounding area. This is quite easy to do using online maps. Knowing exactly where your hotel is and where you can find nearby stores, shops and services will help you get around the neighbourhood faster and function without consulting a map, which will increase your chances of staying safe. Criminals often look at tourists as easy targets, so if you know where you’re going, you won’t stand out. Scouting your location beforehand will also keep you from accidentally wandering into a bad neighbourhood.