Hotel safety when traveling for work

By Diane Sofranec, Managing Editor

Hotel_Desk_600x533I just returned from a business conference held in a lovely hotel located in a neighborhood that wasn’t safe. How did I know the moment I arrived I would have to be careful? To access the front doors and the ground floor elevators, I needed to insert my room key; whenever I ventured outside, the hotel staff advised me to “stay safe” and the cops on bikes took their nightly breaks in the hotel lobby.

When your job takes you out of town, there are ways to stay safe when you reach your destination in an unfamiliar city.

When you’re at your hotel:

  • Arrange your travel plans so you arrive at your hotel during daylight hours, if possible. If you’re driving, use the hotel’s valet parking service for your vehicle to avoid parking in an unfamiliar area.
  • Leave your travel information — the name of the hotel and your estimated arrival and departure times — with someone back home.
  • Avoid revealing your room number; you don’t know who could be listening. If the front desk staff says your room number out loud, request a different room and ask them to write down the number instead.
  • Seek advice from the hotel staff before you venture out. Ask hotel staff about the safety of the neighborhood you’re in or plan to visit and which areas you should avoid. If you plan to take a cab, ask how long the ride should take and what it should cost. Enter and exit though the main doors of the hotel.
  • Before leaving your room, turn on a light. If, when you return, you see something amiss, leave your room immediately and head to the front desk to ask for a security check.
  • As you leave your room, make sure your door closes and locks behind you.
  • When you’re in your hotel room, lock your door using the deadbolt or chain. If your room is on the ground level, check the locks on sliding doors and windows to ensure they are secure.
  • Be aware of your surroundings on your hotel room floor. Take note of where the emergency exits are located.
  • If you’re in the elevator with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t get off on your floor. Exit on the next floor possible and take another elevator to your room.
  • Even if you’re expecting room service, a delivery from the front desk or housekeeping, never open your hotel room door before checking to see who’s there. Look through the peephole or keep the chain locked before opening the door.
  • Treat your room key like your house key. Sure, it may be made of plastic and the hotel will give you another if you lose it, but keep it in a secure place, and don’t leave it where others will see it (like on your table while dining in a restaurant). If you lose it, ask hotel staff to issue you another with a different access code.
  • Meet business associates in the lobby, never in your room. Same goes for delivery people when ordering in food.
  • Avoid wearing valuable jewelry. If you must, be sure to have it on when you leave the room. Otherwise, store it in the safe at the front desk.

Whichever town your business takes you to, always be aware of your surroundings and what’s going on around you. Have a safe trip!


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Photo credit: Mt. Hood Territory via / CC BY