Many women will travel for the holidays either alone or with family. If you are driving, cruising or staying at a hotel here are some important safety tips to consider.
1. Start with the basics: always beware of your surroundings when approaching your room.
2. Don’t let the front desk attendant publicize your room number. If he or she announces it out loud when giving you your key, ask for a different room.
3. Avoid staying on the first floor. Many safety experts recommend staying somewhere between the third and sixth floors — where rooms are high enough to be difficult to break into, but not so high that they’re out of the reach of most fire engine ladders.
4. Keep the door to your room locked at all times. If you are inside the room, turn the deadbolt and fasten the security chain. I would also recommend investing in a portable doorstop alarm.
5. Check the locks on the windows (and balcony door, if applicable) as soon as you arrive, and notify the front desk if any are not functioning. It’s a good idea to check these locks again each time you return to the room, as housekeeping may open them and forget to close them again.
6. When you leave your hotel room, pull the door completely closed behind you. Make sure the latch has engaged. Take a moment before you leave to try the door and make sure it is closed and locked.
7. Use the security viewport to see who is outside your door. Do not trust someone claiming to be a hotel employee if you are not expecting one. If you are unsure, call the front desk to check. Leave the security chain engaged while opening the door for further protection.
8. Leaving your room, turn the TV or radio on, and/or put your “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door; both of these tricks will give potential thieves the impression that you’re still there. (You can contact the front desk to arrange a housekeeping visit even if the “Do Not Disturb” sign is up.)
9. The hotel parking lot and hallways should be well lit. Report any outages to the front desk and ask for a security escort if you feel unsafe. 10. When entering or leaving the hotel after dark, use the main entrance. Have a safe & happy holiday!!
Tracy Vega, Co-Founder- Simple Self Defense for Women