Staying at a hotel can be a relaxing and pampering escape, but it doesn't mean you should completely let down your guard. "Even on leisure trips, when you're thinking only how to have fun, it's important to stay alert," says Peter T. Tomaras, owner of Apollo Hotel Consultancy.
"The person most responsible for your well-being is you," he says, so know how to protect yourself.
Hotel safety tips for theft
Hotels often have low liability for lost or stolen items, so you may consider insurance to protect your valuables. "If you travel a lot, speak to your insurance agent about what is covered with your homeowners policy or with special travelers coverage," Tomaras says.
Here are ways to protect your belongings:
- Don't flaunt cash or expensive jewelry.
- Use the in-room safe, not your vehicle, to store valuables.
- Place the "do not disturb" sign on the door when you leave.
- Keep your credit and identification cards out of sight.
- Lock all doors to connecting rooms.
Also make sure to protect the valuables you leave at home while you're away.
Safety practices that may help prevent assault
Opening the hotel door to a stranger is the one factor most hotel assaults have in common, said Tomaras. With that in mind, always look through the peephole before opening the door, use all locks, open the door with the chain or door guard on and don't open the door for someone you don't know.
Other good practices for personal safety:
- Ask the front-desk clerk to write your room number on the key sleeve rather than say it out loud.
- Keep your key card with you when you leave your room. If you lose it, ask for a new card and updated code.
- Use only the main entrance after dark.
- If you use your key card to access a locked entrance, make sure no one is lurking behind to follow you in.
- Keep the deadbolt and door guard secured when in the room.
Hotel fire safety
Review the fire safety instructions posted on the back of your hotel room door and familiarize yourself with all emergency exits.
If you smell smoke, notify management immediately and leave as quickly and safely as possible, taking the stairs rather than the elevator.
If the fire alarm sounds and you cannot leave your room due to fire or smoke proximity, call 911 so you can make them aware of your location. Be prepared and keep these hotel fire safety tips in mind.