Hotel Safety Tips
Staying at a Hotel is quite often a pleasant experience for many, the leisure traveller switching off for a few days and relinquishing the thought of rest and relaxation and the business traveller finally arriving at the base which will allow them to re-charge for the impending work commitments ahead.
When searching for a hotel the guests main concerns are generally, how expensive the hotel is, if the hotel is in the correct location and what facilities does the hotel offer? These are indeed important factors in addition to assessing the hotels safety features and how safe the hotel is in an event of an attack, fire or disaster.
In this article we would like to recommend some ‘Hotel Safety Tips’ for the traveller to execute whilst travelling. Many of the tips are location dependant and some destinations will have a higher exposure risk to prevailing threats but they are always worth bearing in mind when staying in hotels.
Before you go
- Research the area to see if there are areas in the vicinity that should be avoided, have a location map available and plot the common public areas to avoid taking a wrong turn – especially after dark.
- Hotel floor choice is important and the general advice is to ask for a hotel room higher than the first floor but lower than the sixth floor. A room above the first floor is a deterrent for burglars and a room lower than the sixth floor will generally be low enough to jump to safety or reach an external staircase if there was a fire. Call the hotel prior to check in to ensure that they can meet your floor choice preference.
- If the hotel is in an area with an increased terror threat it is also recommended that guests choose rooms that are located away from public areas such as the lobby and restaurants – which are common entry points for attackers.
- When visiting a destination with a heightened security concern it is advisable to organise a pre-arranged airport transfer to avoid having to find a local taxi in an unfamiliar destination. Look at a visual of your hotel prior to travelling and ensure that you are at the correct property before getting out of the vehicle to avert being stranded at the wrong location.
- Take precautions and ensure that you have taken a copy of your passport, your money is kept close to you, you have local change and phrases available in case you need to ask for assistance and that you have a fully charged phone, phone charger and travel adapters.
- Did you know that it is worthwhile packing a small door stop in your luggage? Once you are in your hotel room you can wedge the small door stop under the door to prevent people from entering.
- There are also many small practical safety devices available that you may want to consider taking including a door stop alarm, a portable safe and travel bags with concealed fastenings.
Checking into the Hotel
- Don’t say your room number out loud. The hotel should write down your hotel room number and be vigilant that your room number remains confidential at all times. In public areas you do not want other people hearing your hotel room number – especially if you are travelling alone.
- Accept a duplicate key – even if travelling alone as the hotel is more likely to question if someone is requesting a third set of keys.
- Upon entering your hotel room- take a few important moments to check the safety features.
Whilst staying at the Hotel:
- Have a grab bag available with your important documents – phone, money, passport etc. available at all times in case you need to leave in an emergency.
- If someone knocks on your hotel room door, don’t automatically trust someone claiming to be a hotel employee – always check credentials and use the spy hole.
- Be cautious of the Hotel’s internet connection. Many Hotels offer a free internet connection to guests but it may not always be secure. Often hotels provide a reference number to connect to the free wi-fi. When connecting ensure that you are accessing the right network as opposed to ‘look a like’ sites that are designed to trick guests. Ask at reception if there is any degree of doubt. Turn off your Bluetooth and be careful when accessing personal information. You may like to consider installing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your laptop to ensure that you have a secure internet connection.
- Share your experience with friends and colleagues. Travellers learn from other people’s experiences, if you have stayed at a hotel that is not fit for purpose, ensure that colleagues and friends do not use this hotel in the future. Share your feedback with the hotel concerned to prevent other travellers being affected.
- Have a post travel de-brief, in light of your experience would you do anything differently? If you have travelled for business and things didn’t quite go to plan - do amendments need to be made to your organisations hotel travel policy to strengthen your duty of care requirements?
ACE Travel manages the travel polices, traveler safety issues and budgets for clients in both London and Essex and have a range of products and services to assist clients with their flight and hotel programmes and Duty of Care obligations. Experienced Travel Consultants ensure that all hotel bookings comply with company travel policies and any deviations will be picked up and queried before any reservations are confirmed. All Hotel bookings made through us are automatically part of our cost control, budget and management reporting service. If travellers need assistance whilst they are away, a 24-hour emergency helpline staffed by experienced travel professionals is there to help.
For more information on ACE Travel Management, please visit www.acetravel.co.uk