How to Protect Yourself and Your Valuables While Staying in a Motel Or Hotel

One place people occasionally become crime victims, is while staying in hotels-motels. When planning your trip, consider the location of the hotel/motel where you will be staying. Obviously you want to avoid staying in locations in the "bad" part of town, which you would be more likely to find in the larger cities. Check with your travel agent if you aren't sure. Or you can try calling the police department in the city you will be visiting and asking for someone in crime prevention or community services. Frequently the police will be hesitant to recommend a specific hotel, but they should be able to tell you which location they would feel safe staying in if they were on vacation in that city.

When you make your reservation, request a room near the elevator. Often hotels will book rooms starting in the far corners of each floor, and working in. You probably don't want to be stuck in the farthest corner. Your room may be more likely to be burglarized the farther it is away from the central area. By taking a room near the elevator, there will be more activity past your room day and night. The theory is that a burglar may be reluctant to break into your room, or enter with a key, if there is a chance that the elevator door will pop open any second and he'll be caught in the act.

Here is where police and fire personnel disagree. Firemen will tell you to take a room on the ground floor, so in case of fire it will be easy for you to escape out a window. That also means it will be relatively easy for a criminal to break into your room and rape, rob or kill you. For that reason, police advise against taking a room on the main floor. So maybe you can compromise. When you reserve your room, take one on the second floor. That way it will be harder for a burglar to get in, and it won't be so far for you to jump, and easier for fire personnel to reach you, in case of a fire. Obviously you don't want to be carrying valuables with you when you are traveling. But if you are, (more…)