As summer vacations continue, many women will travel abroad, book family trips and plan girls’ weekends for much needed R and R. Others will simply be traveling for work which they do year-round.
No matter if your plans are for business or pleasure, it’s always important to stay safe when traveling in a new place. According to many hotel managers I have interviewed since 2010, the safest hotel floors are between 2 and 6. The first floor is not a good choice because perpetrators can easily access this floor. In addition, if you get too high in the 20s and up, you have to spend an inordinate amount of time in an elevator which can make you vulnerable as a single traveler. Therefore, the lower levels are a good choice, especially in case of a fire…most fire departments’ ladders reach to the 6th floor! Jenny Lynn Anderson offers 10 tips when checking into a hotel.
- First and foremost use “common sense” street smarts and listen to your female intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore that feeling.
- When checking into a hotel, ask for a room close to the elevator so you do not have to travel down a potentially dimly-lit corridor to reach your room. (My room was at the end of the hallway and I believe I was more vulnerable there as a target.)
- When the hotel desk clerk checks you in, make certain he or she does not say your room number aloud for other guests to hear. The correct protocol is for the hotel clerk to write down the room number on your key envelope and hand it to you without “announcing” this information in front of other guests.
- Select an upper floor room between floors 2-6 because they are safer from crime. Ground floor rooms are more vulnerable to problems because of access and ease of escape. Upper level rooms allow a great deal of time in an elevator where you could be vulnerable to assault.
- Whether checking in during the day or at night, ask the bellman or desk clerk to escort you to your room. After unlocking the room, quickly inspect places where someone can hide (the closets, under the bed and bathroom including behind the shower curtain) before the bellman leaves.
- Some hotel security consultants recommend that unescorted women do not enter their guestrooms while anyone else is in the hallway. They say to hesitate around the elevator lobby or in the corridor until you can safely enter a room without anyone observing the room number.
- If you lose your electronic room key and have to ask the desk for another key, request that they make you a new key rather than a copy of your old key (they have the ability to do both). Making a new key might inconvenience any traveling companions but as soon as you use it in the door, it will render the lost key invalid as well.
- Steer clear of isolated situations that can put you at risk. Avoid exterior corridor hotel/motels and even poolside entrances. These make it easy for predators to see which room you entered. Never use emergency staircases.
- Utilize the swinging metal security lock in your hotel room.
- Make sure your door is shut and locked – even on quick trips to the ice machine. Don’t prop the door open, even for a brief moment. It doesn’t take long for an observant thief to grab personal items and flee.
Visit Jenny Lynn Anderson’s website at www.jennylynnanderson.com. “Room 939: 15 Minutes of Horror, 20 Years of Healing” can be purchased through her website, on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.