Whether it’s for a week in the sun or a romantic city break, a holiday is a great opportunity to let your hair down and really relax. However, that doesn’t mean we can completely forget about our safety as criminals and scam artists are known to specifically target tourists.
And while most of us know to take some common sense precautions at the airport, on public transport or while out sightseeing, we often let our guard down once we get back to the relative safety of our hotel. We take steps at home to keep our families and possessions safe and staying at a hotel should be no different.
Below, we have put together our essential hotel safety tips to help make sure you check out with a smile, wherever your holiday takes you this year.
1. As most hotels now have electronic key card systems, requests to leave your room key at reception are a lot less common than they once were. However, it is still a good idea as there is always the possibility of misplacing your key or leaving it exposed to an opportunistic pickpocket while out sightseeing.
2. When checking in or booking your hotel room, try to request a room between the third and sixth floor. If your room is located on these floors it should be high enough to discourage burglars and low enough to be reached by escape ladders in the event of a fire or other emergency.
3. Request a room in a busy area of the hotel which is visible from the elevator. Burglars are more likely to target rooms in less travelled areas of the hotel such as the end of hallways where they will not raise the suspicion of passers-by.
4. Avoid taking a room on the ground-floor, especially if it is accessible from outside. A sliding glass door opening onto a patio near a pool or other communal area is a perfect opportunity for criminals to gain access to your room unnoticed.
5. Try to avoid rooms near vending or ice machines. This can give a criminal an excuse to loiter outside your room and observe as they wait for an opportunity to strike.
6. Always engage the safety latch on your hotel room door the moment you return to your room. This will ensure that somebody with access to your key cannot simply let themselves in and will make it more difficult for a criminal trying to force their way into your room.
7. If someone knocks at your door and you are not expecting any visitors, do not open the door, even if they claim to be a member of hotel staff. Instead, call reception first and verify that they are who they say they are.
8. Do not hang the “Make up my room” sign on the handle of your door if you intend to leave the hotel building for some time. This is a clear sign to potential burglars that the room will be unattended for some time.
9. If you are leaving your hotel room for some time, you may want to consider leaving the television or a light switched on. In many cases, the light and sound will be enough to deter burglars from trying to enter your room as they look for the easiest target.
10. Keep any valuables and important documents you may have such as your passport locked up safely in the hotel safe if one is provided. You should also take a photocopy of your passport and keep this separate to the original as this can help significantly if your passport is lost or stolen.
11. Keep your travel insurance policy in a safe place such as the hotel safe. In some instances, medical providers will want to see this documentation before they will agree to provide you with treatment.
12. If you agree to pay for your hotel room upfront, make sure to request a receipt of payment and keep this in a safe place. This will avoid any potential misunderstandings when it comes time to check out.
13. Do not discuss your travel plans, room number or any other personal information while at hotel reception or in the lobby area. This will give lurking burglars all the information they need to enter your room while you are out enjoying the sights.
Of course, another way to help put your mind at rest is to ensure that you have sufficient Travel Insurance cover in place. AIG provide a range of single trip, multi trip and extended stay options to help you take the stress out of your holiday.