Hotel room security: Keeping yourself and your money safe

by Beth Graham

We’ve all heard those horror stories of travelers who have hotel room safety problems. I’m a pretty seasoned traveler and even I got caught off guard. While at a beach resort in the Caribbean with my husband, an employee gained access to our room and took our cash and some personal items. We broke the first rule of hotel room safety – we did not use our in-room safe. My husband is former law enforcement and usually very cautious about these things – he even shared some safe travel tips here for my readers.

hotel room safety

So I guess if there’s any advice or tips I can share to ensure this doesn’t happen to you, here’s what I’d say:

  1. Use the room safe. Again, we always do but there were cocktails calling our name. But honestly, I don’t even trust those safes. How easy is it to reset the code or open a safe for a guest who forgot their code?
  2. Opt out of room visits. Yes, getting your room cleaned daily is important but I’m going to opt out for turn down service and any other unnecessary visits. And most of all, avoid using the “Make up room now” sign. It just alerts people that the room is vacant.
  3. Before you leave, tidy the room and put away any items of value, especially those that won’t fit in the safe like a laptop or iPad. Even things like charging cords can be an attractive target. I often lock these things in my suitcase.
  4. Take a small lockbox for jewelry. Again, I’m terrible about leaving jewelry on my nightstand (not that I travel with anything valuable – heck, I don’t really own much that valuable). You can buy small lockboxes online to hold your jewelry and stash it in a toiletry kit or your locked suitcase.
  5. Keep the door locked: Always use all available locks on the door, including deadbolts and chain locks, when inside your hotel room. Keep the door locked at all times, even when you’re inside the room.
  6. Be cautious with strangers: Exercise caution when interacting with strangers in or around the hotel. Avoid sharing personal information with strangers, and be wary of anyone who seems overly intrusive or suspicious.
  7. Trust your instincts: If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe for any reason, trust your instincts and take appropriate action. Notify hotel staff of any concerns, and consider relocating to a different room or hotel if necessary.

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