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Video:Hotel Room Safety

with Jonathon E. Stewart

Make your vacation or business trip uneventful when it comes to staying safe in your hotel. Check out these tips for keeping you, and your stuff, safe when you're sleeping away from home.See Transcript

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Transcript:Hotel Room Safety

Hey guys - Jonathon Stewart here for About.com. There's nothing that ruins a vacation or business trip faster than having your stuff stolen, well, maybe other than eating or drinking something sketchy your body doesn't agree with. But take a look at these hotel safety tips and dramatically increase your chances of a crime-free stay. Check it out.

Record Items Before Check In

Before you even leave your own house, start by making copies of your credit cards, plane tickets, passports, and any other important documents. If you're taking along other valuables like jewelry, you might consider taking pictures of them before you go.

If any of these things are stolen, it will make them a whole lot easier to recover or report. Some safety experts even recommend taking pictures of your luggage, but doesn't pretty much everyone travel with the same black rolly these days anyway?

Choosing Safe Hotels

When choosing your hotel, look for the following factors: pick a hotel that's in a safe area of town, which you should research before you go; try to stay in hotels that have interior hallways as opposed to exterior ones; if you can, stay on a floor above the ground floor; and if possible, make sure that your hotel has a 24-hour front desk and security staff on duty.

Hotel Room Door Safety

It's ideally best to stay in hotels that provide key-card entry to your room, as opposed to the old-school metal keys, which can be copied more easily. In either case, be sure to keep your keys with you at all times, and when you first get to your room, designate a spot - preferably near your bed - where your keys should go when you're in the room. Some other room essentials are solid wood or metal doors, complete with one-way peep holes, dead-bolts, and chains or door retainers. You can also bring your own portable lock or wedge guard door stop if you are staying in a particularly high risk area.

Secure Your Items

Remember to keep your luggage within sight at all times unless you're in a hotel you trust with a professional porter service - even then, don't take your eyes off your stuff until the porter has accepted responsibility for it. Definitely use the mini-safe in your room for things like your wallet and small jewelry, and if you've got something really valuable, keep it in the hotel safe or safe deposit box.

When you check in, be sure your room number is visible only to you, and don't leave your credit card hanging around on the check in counter. Once you're in your room, make sure all door and widow locks are in working order, and that your room phone is functional and able to make outside calls.

When you leave, you might want to consider hanging the "do not disturb" sign and keep the TV on low. You can always call housekeeping when you're ready for your room to be cleaned, or, even better, you can stick with the same sheets and towels, especially if you're only staying for a couple days. Hotels use a lot of water... Most importantly, keep your wits about you, and be sure to report anything suspicious to hotel staff. And whatever you do, if your proprietor's name happens to be Norman Bates, get out. Quick.

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