You’ve worked hard all year, looking forward to a few blissful, worry-free days of vacation. Not only have you saved money for your much needed getaway, you resisted the urge to call in sick to work or leave early on Fridays, just so you could squirrel away vacation time for a few “mental health days” of living it up on vacation. As you head out on your getaway, you’ll be joining a great American tradition. According to American Hotel & Lodging Association, 4,900,642 hotel nights were booked at over 50,000 hotels in 2012. Sadly, that is nearly five million opportunities for thefts, break-ins and robberies which could ruin your peaceful retreat and eat up vacation funds replacing costly items. Though escaping reality on vacation should be your goal, it’s important to keep a few hotel security tips in mind.
Do Your Homework
Whether you’re planning to visit the winter wonderland of the Dells, or roughing it at a Motel 8 in Roswell, you need to do some research before checking in. Start by looking into potential hotels on TripAdvisor. Before you get caught up in the amenities, nearby activities, and eye-catching photographs, read the reviews with a critical eye and search for reports of thefts and robberies at the hotel. Often, hotel room theft goes unsolved, but if several visitors report problems, it’s a good sign you should stay elsewhere.
If you are planning an international trip, the U.S. State Department issues travel warnings and advisories specific to various counties and regions. These warnings are updated frequently and are a valuable source of information when deciding if an area is the right plan to visit.
Keep Valuables Safe
Between reading a book on your Kindle on the plane, using an iPhone app to find the best eateries at your destination and using your laptop to Skype with friends back home, you need plenty of gadgets on your trip. But, electronics can be magnets for would-be thieves. Even your luggage can be a tempting target.
To keep suitcases and large items safe, store them out of sight in the closet or under the bed. Though they could still be found, at least they will not be out in the open, inviting trouble. Small electronics, jewelry, wallets and travel documents should be kept in the in-room safe anytime they can’t be taken with you.
Laptops can be more difficult to secure since they will not fit in small hotel room safes. Kensington offers a variety of laptop locks, starting at $25, with cords that wrap securely around exposed pipes or towel racks on the bathroom or sturdy pieces of furniture that cannot be easily moved, such as bed rails.
Keep Your Room Secure
Keeping your room locked at all times is the most obvious, and important, aspect of security. While inside, keep the chain lock and bolt lock on at all times. While most hotels have card reader-based locks, many smaller or older hotels still rely on actual keys. Doors with key locks are easy to break into and the locks are rarely rekeyed, meaning that there may be many lost keys floating around. For an extra layer of protection when you are in the room, Corporate Travel Safety offers a wedge-shaped doorstop and alarm that both prevents the door from being opened and sounds an alarm if it is.