Hotel Safety Tips For Women

Women who travel alone for business or pleasure should take extra precautions while staying at a hotel in another city.

If you are a woman who travels alone to stay in hotels in other cities, you need to be vigilant in taking precautions to avoid potential problems or danger. Even if you feel secure in your hotel room, there are many police reports on record stemming from women who were staying in hotels and became victims of predators or thieves.

The next time you plan to stay in a hotel during a business trip or while on vacation, here are a few safety tips that may come in handy:

1. Choose a safe hotel in advance of your trip. Ask for recommendations from colleagues, the American Automobile Association, any organizations that are sponsoring business-related events in the city you plan to visit, or from an online lodging search. Look for three-star or above ratings and ask others who have stayed there about their sense of security for themselves and their belongings.

2. Ask for a room located away from exits that lead to the parking lot. This can help protect you from muggers who seize lone women entering a hotel by a side or rear door. Enter the front door or a brightly lit and well-traveled entrance to avoid being followed or abducted while fumbling for a key. If you return late or after dark, wait for other guests to return and enter the building together.

3. Report any suspicious behavior. Anyone loitering in a stairwell or near an entrance should be reported to the desk clerk. You should also mention someone who attempts to approach or talk to you (except for a quick question about the time, for example), or makes an inappropriate comment. Do not answer your door for a person you are not expecting. If he knows you're in the room, tell the person through the door (without opening it) to leave a message with the desk clerk.

4. Protect your valuables. Keep them hidden out of sight while you are out of the room, or give them to the desk clerk for locking in the hotel's safe. You also may want to keep them with you in a handbag or carrying case, since hotel room theft is not uncommon. Lock up in your suitcase any documents, jewelry, or cash that you don't want to carry with you. If anything turns up missing, tell the desk clerk right away.

5. Double-check safety measures. Before going to sleep, make sure the windows are locked (unless you're several stories up). Bolt the door and set all locks. Check the smoke alarm to be sure it's working (a light may be on to indicate the batteries are still good), or call the desk clerk to verify the last time the batteries were changed. When you arrive at your room, check the bathroom, closet, and draperies to be sure no one is lurking. Don't let anyone see the room number on your key if it appears there.

Details like these can make the difference between a good trip and one with a bad outcome. Spend a few extra minutes to ensure your safety and well-being.

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