The summer is the time when many people are on the move and staying in hotels. The American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that more than one-third of Americans are traveling on trips of fifty or more miles this year. While 70 percent of the family travelers plan on one or two such vacations, 28 percent plan on three or more – an increase of over 13 percentage points for those who planned three or more trips in 2016. This clearly demonstrates that travel in the USA is alive and kicking. Many of these travelers will be staying at hotels, of course. Some prefer a hotel even when staying at a friend’s or family member’s house is an option. There is definitely something to the idea that people don’t want to impose on others – nor do they savor the idea of not really being able to relax when in somebody else’s place. Obviously, a lot of this plays to personal preferences and the relationship with the people with whom you might stay. The option for many, clearly, is a hotel stay. Here are some great hotel safety tips.
Like everything else to do with travel – or any major investment of time and money – it all begins with doing your research. People tend to get hooked too quickly by rates, promised service, and facility features but don’t find out about the location of the hotel, the surrounding area, its walkability, and its general vibrancy – is there anything happening nearby, or is it a dreary and unsafe atmosphere in the immediate vicinity of the lodgings? Customer comments in on-line review sections can help give you a good idea, but be sure to read enough to get a decent sample size, not just the outliers that are extremely positive or negative.
Make sure you have a cell phone with good connectivity – and adjust your plan so that won’t suddenly be hit with exorbitant fees. There are services which specialize in phones for overseas travel that may be worth looking into. Once you have decided on your phone, put important numbers in it – the front desk at your hotel, your home country’s embassy if in another nation, and the emergency code for that country (it’s not 911 everywhere.)
Leave an itinerary with a friend or relative at home, as well as an extra copy of credit/ATM cards if possible. An overnight Fed Ex or UPS charge may be well worth it compared to the hassle and wait time involved with replacing lost cards.
Find out hotel security protocols before booking to make sure they meet your expectations. If they’re available, get a floor between the third and sixth. The ground floor and lowest floors are the easiest to break into; in case of an emergency, fire ladders reach up to the sixth floor in most hotels. If in a motel, try to get a room that looks out over an interior courtyard rather than parking lot. Once you check-in, scope out a fire escape route, check windows and doors to make sure the locks are properly working, and make sure all doors are pulled properly shut and secured on your way in and out. Do not leave this task to a child in a hurry – they are often too excited about vacation time to take proper precautions.
At night, leave important items – wallet, smartphone, keys – where they can be grabbed easily in case of emergency. Small flashlights were suggested in the past, and they are still a good idea although smartphones usually have good lights on them. Keep shoes in a place where you can quickly slide into them in case a hurried exit is necessary. When you are out, leaving a Do Not Disturb sign on the door and a television running will give potential thieves pause.
If, despite your best efforts, something does occur during your hotel stay, it’s advised that you file a police report rather than just reporting things to the hotel management. When it comes to insurance coverage, official reports may be necessary to receive maximum reimbursements.
Thinking about hotel security certainly isn’t the most fun thing to do when getting ready for vacation, but not thinking about it isn’t the smart thing to do. Let one of the AAA offices in Rochester help you plan your next vacation! In the meantime, don’t take a vacation from selling your home. The market is hot! Contact me today!