While most travel safety tips apply equally to men and women, the fact is that women are more vulnerable to certain types of crimes while on the road. Following these safety tips could help to ensure your well-being whilst travelling.
Booking and checking in
- Choose your hotel wisely: where possible use national hotel chains with interior room entrances (as opposed to motel-style residences with individual points of entry); hotels with reception or concierge desks near the entrance deter potential criminals.
- Request a room with a peephole, preferably with no connecting door to another room.
- Never give out your room number. If the desk clerk mentions your room number within hearing distance of other people, you may wish to ask for another room and ask the clerk not to mention the number aloud.
- Grab a hotel postcard or business card from the counter with the hotel’s name, address, and phone number. Keep it with you.
- Avoid rooms near emergency exits, as well as those near any renovation work.
- Sign in using your initial not your full first name.
- Use the valet service whenever available at night. If no valet service is available, park only in well-lit areas, as close to the hotel entrance as possible.
- If you are concerned about the area, you could ask a hotel employee to escort you to your car.
- When you arrive in your room, secure the windows and any adjoining/balcony doors; check the room thoroughly before locking yourself in.
- Don’t let hotel employees enter your room unless you have requested them. Always verify with the front desk if someone claiming to be a hotel employee knocks on the door.
- Report strangers and suspicious behaviour immediately.
- Pack a couple of rubber doorstops and slip them underneath the outside door and any adjoining doors after you secure the room. Doing so will prevent anyone from opening these doors from the other side. But this tip comes with a warning of its own: it could hamper a rescue attempt during a fire or natural disaster. In addition, if you panic, you might have trouble opening the door yourself.
- Place the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door to discourage anyone from entering your room while you are away. Doing so won’t stop a determined burglar, but some will move on to the next room rather than take the chance.
- If you’re particularly worried about burglary you may want to leave the television or radio on when you’re out to give the illusion that the room is occupied.
Keep in touch
- Make sure someone at home has your itinerary, flight information, hotel information and phone numbers.
- Fill out the emergency contact information on your hotel rewards profile as well as on your passport.
- Keep your mobile phone on you at all times. Make sure you have emergency contact numbers programmed into your speed dial.
Utilise hotel services
- If you’re expecting food or a package to be delivered from outside the hotel, have it delivered to the front desk or concierge.
- Don’t hesitate to ask security to accompany you to your room at any time.
- Speak to the reception staff or concierge about areas to avoid. They can also help you choose the safest and quickest routes for your outings.