Travel trends are always changing, but one aspect that has remained consistent over the years when we take a closer look at the travel industry is the popularity of hotels. Even with the rise of private rentals and alternative accommodation options, the vast majority of travelers still turn to hotels when they’re heading somewhere away from home.
Those travelers have a lot of options to choose from! There are more than 700,000 hotels worldwide, according to the latest estimates, and the hotel industry itself is worth hundreds of billions of dollars, with global brands like Marriott and Hilton, as well as smaller, independent hotels all getting a piece of the pie.
After a long flight or tiring journey, there’s no better feeling than arriving at your hotel, checking in, and finally enjoying the relaxing comforts of your room. It’s your home away from home – the one place where you can truly feel at ease. However, it’s important to remember that while hotels can be comfortable and charming, they’re not always 100% safe. These tips will help you protect yourself while traveling around the world.
Read Reviews Before You Go
Before you even choose a hotel to stay at, take some time to do a little research about it. The internet is a veritable goldmine for this, filled with reviews, testimonials, and information on the hundreds of thousands of hotels around the globe.
Reading reviews will help you get a feel for the place, learning more about its pros and cons, as well as learning about any potential security issues that past guests might mention when talking about it, such as faulty door locks or an in-room safe that doesn’t function as intended.
Book Online If Possible
The internet makes it so easy to arrange trips and travel experiences in the modern world. In just a few clicks, you can make arrangements for everything from flights and car rentals to accommodation and activities.
It’s not just convenient to book online, it’s often safer too. Leading security experts always recommend booking online as this means that you won’t have to provide as much personal information when you arrive at check-in, which could be overheard by people around you.
Watch Your Step
While modern-day hotels tend to have excellent standards of safety and very respectable policies in regard to providing the best environments for their guests, standards can sometimes slip, and so can you!
Pools of water can form on floors and stairs can sometimes get slippery, especially if you’re checking in during a rainy day, so make sure to watch your step as you walk around to avoid a nasty slip and fall accident.
Know the Exits
Too many people arrive at a hotel and walk straight to their room, eager to get into bed and failing to take the time to really learn anything about the building they’ve just stepped into. It’s always wise to imagine the worst case scenario.
If there was a fire, for example, would you know where the nearest exit was? Would you be able to escape safely from the building? If not, it’s probably because you haven’t taken the time to look at a map or taken a walk around your floor.
Try to Avoid Using the Safe
Many hotels offer a safe in the room for guests to store their belongings, but the simple truth of the matter is that these kinds of safe aren’t often very strong. They’re also usually the first item thieves target upon breaking into a room.
If you have to leave important or valuable items behind in the room, the safe might be your only option, and it’s certainly better than nothing. However, in general, it’s best to keep your most precious items on your person at all times.
Don’t Use the Common Hiding Places
Another top tip concerning valuables in hotel rooms is to avoid the trap of picking the most common hiding spots. Lots of people, for example, put their passports and important documents under the mattress or bed.
Thieves know all about this and will look in those kinds of locations right away. If you have to hide things in the room, you have to be much more creative with your hiding places and try to think outside of the box.
Request a Room on the 2nd to 4th Floors
When booking a hotel room, many people just let the hotel decide which room key and floor number they get, but you have the right to request a specific floor if you like, and it’s often wise to do so.
Many security experts recommend getting a room on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th floors. The ground floor is seen as dangerous, as it’s the easiest target for thieves and other criminals, but staying too high in the building could put you in danger if there’s a fire.
Keep an Eye on Your Luggage at All Times
When checking in and making your way to your room, don’t make the mistake of simply leaving your bags unattended or taking your eyes off them, especially in places like the hotel lobby or the elevator on the way to your floor.
Thieves and pickpockets can often target hotel lobbies, looking out for guests who seem tired or distracted and easily stealing items right out of their bags. To avoid this, keep a close eye on your luggage at all times and never let it out of your sight.
We tend to think of hotels as safe places, and the truth is that many of them are perfectly safe. However, things can still go wrong. Accidents and disasters can happen, and thieves can be found almost anywhere in the world, all waiting to take advantage of distracted travelers. Keep these tips in mind the next time you check in to a new hotel and make sure to keep yourself, your belongings, and your fellow travelers as safe as possible wherever you go.