Saturday, 06 April 2024 04:42

Solo travelers are revealing their best hotel safety tips that more people should know

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We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to give us tips on staying safe in hotels while traveling solo. Here are the eye-opening and helpful results:

1. "Lock every lock that is on the door. I also keep the 'do not disturb sign' throughout my stay because I don't want anyone in there with my things. That said, if I have valuables, I still hide them somewhere if I don't take them with me."

"Also, not necessarily a safety tip, but check for bed bugs. Better be safe than sorry."


2. "As a woman who travels solo for work often and has been in many uncomfortable situations, this is my advice: Avoid first-floor or street-level rooms, especially those with sliding or balcony doors. The anxiety of someone entering through those doors is too much."

"If you’re staying in a street-level room, make sure the shades or curtains are closed."


3. "If the front desk ever says your room number or any personal info, out loud at check-in, ask for a different room. THIS makes it so easy for predators to find you easily."


"All you have to do is politely ask, 'Actually, can I please change rooms?' Just because everyone in earshot now knows where you will be staying, that could be very dangerous."


4. "If you have an issue with your room, and they want to see the issue with you, tell them to check for themselves while you wait at the front desk. I had a room issue and felt cornered when the front desk attendants were in the room with me."


5. "If parking a car in a lot adjacent to the hotel, ask for an escort to the hotel. You never know what/who is lurking while you're on that walk and will likely catch you off guard while you try to juggle your luggage."


6. "Trust your gut. If anything seems off, workers seem shady, get out if you can. Also, let someone know where you are. Share your location with them, and let them know you're nervous. And have a contingency plan set up with them."

"I've texted my best friend that if she doesn't hear from me by X time, call the cops. Here is my room number. Please have them do a wellness check. I've also preemptively called the police to alert them that there seems to be a shady vibe, and I'd like them to visit the hotel — and if anyone calls about me, it's because I told them I didn't trust my surroundings. Stay safe out there, everyone! Travel is fun, but it is also incredibly stressful when you don't feel safe!"


7. "If you're using room service, take the food yourself at the door. Yeah, paranoia, but once a stranger is in your room, that door is locked, and you're alone with a stranger. I'm a guy, and it still scares me."

"And maybe this is health, not safety, but do not put the ice from the hallway ice dispenser in your drinks! When was the last time you saw one being cleaned?"


8. "Always use the deadbolt. It happened to me several times when the front desk assigned me a room that was already occupied, or someone tried to enter my room. Avoid Murphy doors if possible; if you get one, put a nightstand or chair in front of it."

"Know where the emergency exits are in case of an emergency in the middle of the night. It gets chaotic if alarms go off and people run around lost. Don't use the glasses or coffee pot. They never get cleaned, or at best, they are wiped with a dirty rag that just cleaned your toilet."


9. "Don't get distracted by burying your face on your phone when walking. Keep your head on a swivel. And take a lot of pictures!!! Street signs you pass, buildings around, license plates of cars that make you 1% suspicious, or people making you feel uncomfortable.

"You may just delete them after the trip if all is well, but if you need them, you’ll want them."


10. "Make reservations for two people (this includes restaurants as well). Staff and owners will always assume two people are in the room. I've even asked for extra towels for my 'fiancé.'"

—Anonymous, New York

"When asked how many room keys you'll need, always say two (or more), or make sure to ask for two keys before they ask/give you any. This lets others listen in that there will be someone else coming that will need the other room key."

—54, Michigan

11. "Use Google Maps/Google Earth to look at the street view of wherever you are considering staying. 'Walk' up and down the street. Make sure it's well lit, that there aren't run down buildings, that there aren't dead-end streets, etc. There have been plenty of hotels I thought looked lovely from the photos, but once I Google Earthed them, it was clear it was in a shady area."

—Anonymous, New York

"Google Street View is useful for me when vetting out places to stay, especially in cities. Seeing what the surrounding area looks like is usually a good indication of how safe it is as well as the parking situation."

—32, Michigan

12. "Check everything the second you get to the room. Make sure there is nobody in the closet, shower, behind the curtains, etc. People are creeps. Check for cameras as well. Then, check the bed for bedbugs, as those will not make your trip fun."

"As I write this, I am on a bus en route to a hotel for a work trip, so I am about to put these things into action myself."

—Anonymous, Connecticut
13. "Always pack one of those little rubber door stops in your bag. Wedge your door with it when you're in your hotel room to stop people from getting in. They are cheap, small, and light to carry but give you great peace of mind!"

"Oh, unmarried women might want to consider wearing a wedding ring and inventing a fake husband who is 'on his way to meet her' if any random men ask her who she is traveling with."

—46, UK

14. "ALWAYS lock hotel doors. Even if you are gone for only a few minutes, lock your door so you and your belongings stay safe."

—Anonymous, 27

"Invest in a travel door lock for your hotel/hostel door. They fit most doors and provide extra security so no staff (or criminals) with universal keys can access your room."


15. "If it's late, you've been drinking, or if you simply get on an elevator, and there's one other 'sketchy' person who has already pushed your floor number, push the floor above or below and take the stairs. Alternatively, exit on that floor and catch another elevator to yours."

—59, New York

16. "I was a flight attendant for 25 years. I always used the hotel ironing board against the door when I was in the room, along with the 'do not disturb' sign."

—58, Florida
17. "For women, especially: Cover the peephole! I always put a piece of toilet paper in it because, in some hotels, you can see in the room from the outside through it."

—Anonymous, Virginia
18. "Check the windows and all doors first — make sure they lock. I used to travel for work and sometimes in very remote places. If they do not lock, immediately ask for a room change. Safety is a priority. I used to travel with a steel bar to put in the track of a sliding glass door, window, etc."

—49, USA

19. "Choose a place close to restaurants, stores, etc., so if you need something at night, you're nearby. Of course, read reviews and comments, and choose a place in a safe area."

—42, USA
20. "I do a lot of small trips alone frequently due to college. Recently, I went to Florida to visit a friend, and while we stayed together, we're both women in our early 20s, which is daunting in an unfamiliar area. Always tell people in your family where you're going. She told hers, and I told mine — address and everything. We even did a shared Life360 (a location-sharing app) for the both of us just in case we separated."

"We also kept the key we had hidden; it was never visible for others to see. When I travel alone, I always keep the curtains closed, even during the day, especially if I'm not there. It just ensures that anything in your room can't be seen."

—21, USA

And finally...

21. "Don't get a room by the stairwell. It's well known that in case of an attack/assault, the perpetrator can escape quickly or access your room quickly, too. Also, don't get a room beside or across from the elevators! It seems obvious, but front desks always want to put clueless people there if they can get away with it. It will never not be noisy, and you will get little sleep. Too many times, BTW."

"If you have sliding doors or windows, always check that they are locked. I have found them unlocked more times than I can count."



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