by L.J. Bothell
When you’re planning a trip, the last thing you want to think about is something bad happening. Certainly, it’s usually a very good idea to look into travel insurance so that you’re covered in the event of an emergency, but there are also things you can do to prevent problems before they arise. Health-related precautions may be obvious (don’t drink the water, use bug spray), but general safety tips may be less so. Keeping that in mind, then, these are some hotel safety tips which may be useful to you.
You can use these precautionary measures whether you’re traveling alone or in a group, and clearly you’re going to have to judge just how cautious you want or need to be based on the situation you’re in. Of course, if you find yourself in a really dodgy hotel, skip these safety tips and go straight to the part of the story where you check out of that place and find a new hotel room!
Some things you can do to minimize potential hotel security issues are:
- Use only a first initial when checking in.
- When taking phone calls in your room, refer to “we”, not “I.”
- Avoid staying in rooms on the main floor or near stairwells and elevators.
- Always use the elevator, especially at night, as long as it appears to be a safe model.
- If staying with a friend or group, make sure everyone knows the room number, easy exits, has a copy of the key, and knows what to do in an emergency. Go over any hotel evacuation instructions immediately.
- If there is someone watching you or following you from the hotel, return to the front desk and get a security guard. If someone follows you in, make sure to alert the front desk.
- Leave a television or radio on in the room, even if you’re not there.
- Never leave your room unlocked, even if you’re just stepping out to the ice or vending machines or going to a shared bathroom.
- Never leave your key where someone can glance at it and get your room number.
L.J. Bothell is a graphic designer/writer with marketing communications emphasis who lives and temps/freelances in Seattle, Washington. Questions? Contact ljbwrite (at) att.net