Safety Tips For Staying Alone In Hotels
Staying in a hotel by yourself is one of the most luxurious experiences. You have someone else cleaning your room, you get all the free little bottles of shampoo you want, you get room service, you get to throw your clothes everywhere, and you don’t need to take any grief from anybody about it. Even if you’re not traveling, you should try checking into a local hotel for a staycation sometime. It’s the best. But, there is a lot of activity at hotels and not enough security to monitor it all. Most hotels are used to hundreds of people who are clearly not guests wandering their halls since they may be a friend for a guest just dropping by. Unlike in a gated apartment building, nobody is checking IDs for everybody who enters a hotel. There is little stopping a complete stranger from walking right up to your room door. So here are safety tips to keep in mind if you’re a woman staying at a hotel alone.
Splurge for the safe hotel
Before going into safety tips that are necessary at any hotel, let’s talk about picking a hotel. You may want to book a cheap one, so you have more money to eat at nice restaurants, but what’s more important? Your safety, or trying the Oysters bar? You won’t be able to enjoy yourself if you feel unsafe, so spend the extra money on a hotel that is in a good neighborhood, has security guards on call 24/7, has key-activated elevators, etc.
Book a double
Often, rooms with two twin beds are cheaper than those with king beds. When you check into your hotel, anybody listening in will hear you book in for the double room, and assume you’re not staying alone.
Ask to be on a busy floor
Don’t ask for the quiet floor that only has one other guest. If there are no guests, that means there is no one to hear you yell for help in an emergency. Ask to be on a floor that has other guests.
Don’t stay on the ground floor
Criminals always go for the ground floor first because they can sneak in through windows, and don’t need to deal with surveillance cameras inside the hallways.
But don’t stay too high up
If someone breaks into your room and the only way for you to get out is through the bathroom window, you don’t want to be on the tenth floor.
Book under a man’s name
The hotel doesn’t care whose name the reservation is under so long as the credit card works. Criminals preying on single women might get a peek at the guest list, and search for female names and their corresponding room number. So put your room under Robert or Philip.
Don’t let the concierge speak your room number
When you check in, and it’s time for the concierge to give you the key, ask that she not say your room number out loud. She can write it on a piece of paper. You never know who is listening.
Don’t get picked up or dropped off at your hotel
Hopefully, you can trust your taxi drivers, but you can never take too many precautions when you’re a woman traveling alone. Have taxis pick you up at a café or restaurant near your hotel rather than at it, so they don’t know where you’re staying.
Don’t speak the hotel’s name outside
A friendly server at a restaurant or bartender at a bar might ask you, out of curiosity, what hotel you’re staying at. Politely decline to answer, since you never know who is listening.
Be careful on social media
Be careful taking photos in your hotel and posting them online. Complete strangers can see your photos, and might spot the name of the hotel on a sign in the background.
Wait for an empty elevator
If you’re ever waiting for the elevator, and somebody suspicious comes up next to you, let him take the next elevator. Hang back, and catch the following lift.
Don’t let someone see you enter your room
If you’re walking to your room and you get the sense that the person behind you is following you, just keep on walking and go back down to the lobby. If you ever get a bad feeling about somebody, do not let them see you go into your room.
Keep normal hours
If you’re a woman traveling alone, you probably shouldn’t be wandering a foreign place at four o clock in the morning anyways. But also know that most criminals are out at odd hours, and if you go in or out of your room during those hours, you might catch their attention.
Put away your belongings for housekeeping
When housekeeping cleans your room, they leave the door wide open. Anybody can walk by, take a peek in the room and get a sense for who is staying in there. If you have a box of tampons, a curling iron, and “Sex and the City” DVDs in plain site plus a noticeable lack of male items, someone could deduce that you’re a female staying alone.
Push the dresser against the door
It might seem a little silly, but it never hurts to push a heavy item against the door. Even if somebody gets a copy of your room key and snips the chain lock, they’ll struggle to push in a 40-pound dresser. This gives you time to call the police or front desk.