(SurvivalDaily.com) – Hotels are an important part of travel, whether it be for business or pleasure. They’re convenient, often not too expensive, and typically considered safe. Even five-star hotels have a list of potential threats though. When traveling there are a few things you can look for to ensure you have an enjoyable trip, and more importantly a safe one.
This may seem like an obvious part of choosing where to stay, but truth is, there’s a lot that goes into it. You can use www.crimemapping.com and www.crimereports.com to search the area you’re looking to visit. The problem is law enforcement doesn’t always report information to those sources. You can google the area, look for local news and see if the area has a history or pattern of crime.
Another great way to find out where to visit in a certain area is to simply look up “best place to visit in…” and “most dangerous area in…” Quickly providing you both the places you should avoid as well as the places you should visit. Typically an area that is considered a “good” area to visit is going to be safe.
It should be noted that just because a hotel is more expensive, it doesn’t mean it’s safer. Luxury hotels are more concerned about amenities, rather than security. On the other hand, nicer hotels typically are in nicer areas. Like any hotel, expensive or cheap, objective security isn’t the goal, relative security is.
International travel is exciting, but also dangerous. You’re potentially going to an area where the locals don’t speak English, thousands of miles from your home. If it’s a frequent area for American tourists, the reviews likely are not trustworthy. Look into the law enforcement and other emergency services there. This way you have an idea of what you may be getting yourself into.
Proximity to places is also important. A hotel in the middle of nowhere will cost you in transportation. Hotels close to hospitals, police stations, public transportation, and nearby social areas are often more expensive but provide better security and access.
Also, 24-hour reception desks are a big thing to look for, especially in an area with a foreign language. The person at the desk likely speaks English, making them your contact to speak with law enforcement should something happen. Hotels with a 24-hour desk will also act as a deterrent to intruders, as well as recommending good places to visit in the area.
Something to consider when looking for a hotel online is the reviews. If a hotel has only five-star reviews, they’re likely fake. Everybody complains about stuff online, there are no exceptions. On the other end of the spectrum is someplace with only bad reviews; obviously you don’t want to visit these hotels anyway.
The number of reviews is important too. It’s easy for a place to have five-stars if there are only six reviews. It may seem time-consuming but reading about 20 reviews on a place can show the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Some would say safety and security go hand-in-hand, which is true to an extent. Ultimately your safety depends on you, and the choices you make. When renting a room something a lot of people overlook is location, not the hotel itself, but the room within the hotel.
What floor is the room on? Is it close to a stairwell? These are the two biggest things to think about regarding location. In the event of an emergency such as a fire, being on the lower levels is a good idea, especially for seniors. Proximity to the stairwell is also important in case of a fire, elevators can break down and essentially turn into a personal oven.
When preparing to sleep for the night there are four main things to cover:
- Illumination, enough for observing the room and possibly acquiring a target in the case of an intruder
- Alarm, commercial or improvised, an alarm on the doorways leading to your room is essential for warning you of an intruder
- Gear, this includes: communication devices, flashlights, and potential weapons
- An escape route
If you find yourself having to use a firearm, be sure to know what’s behind whatever you’re shooting. Another tip is if you hear an alarm go off, knowing there’s an intruder, shoot below the door handle; unless the person is lying down, you’re going to hit something.
When traveling most people shouldn’t bring valuables with them. In some cases though, a cell phone and watch are considered valuable items. If you find yourself absolutely needing to bring them with you, at least consider hiding them.
You can utilize a pullout couch if there’s one available. Place the couch in an area that would make it easy to know it’s moved, open it up, place your valuable inside, and close it back up. If you roll your clothes, this can also provide an ideal place to hide small valuables. Speaking of small items, the telephone wire box is often empty behind the faceplate, take the cover off and store your items there.
Hiding items in the ductwork is also a good idea, just make sure to change the thermostat and check for noticeable vibration. You can change it back after you’ve determined if you can hear your items or not.
The toilet tank is also a great place to hide valuable items. Place the items in a water-proof bag and set the bag in the tank. Once you’ve done that just close the lid.
These aren’t the only things to consider when looking to visit a hotel, just some examples. The best thing you can do is research, and prepare. The amount of research you do will likely determine how well prepared you are. More research is more knowledge, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
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