You're travelling solo in a new country, and you're probably already vigilant or are you super relaxed because you're on holiday? If you're travelling and staying somewhere new, you're going to want to make sure that your space is safe.
You should request a room on a higher floor level.
Try always to request a room above the 3rd floor as it is much easier for an intruder to make their way into your room through the hotel rooms that are located on the ground floor or even on the 2nd floor. Also, most fire ladders don't reach much above the 6th floor from a safety perspective.
A full room inspection
As an ex flight attendant, this is super important. Once you enter your room, you should leave your bag against the door, holding the door open. Quickly but carefully take a good look in the bathroom and closets to ensure no one is there. Also, check behind the curtains to ensure no one is hiding there and check the windows to make sure they're locked. That's why you leave your door open if an intruder is hiding in your room, you stand a higher chance of getting help as the door is open, you can escape, or if there is a struggle, people can hear it and even see it from the opened door. Also, remember to place the "Do Not Disturb" sign on your door.
Staying safe in your room
There are a few simple solutions for staying safe while you're inside your hotel room. There are lots of companies nowadays that will sell you fancy gadgets for making your hotel door more safer, though a basic doorstop bought at the grocery store will work just as well.
You should place the doorstop inside of the hotel door. Of course, you should always use the deadbolt as well.
If you want to be extra precautious… you should pack a few Band-Aids in your travel bag. No, not for the blisters you may perhaps get from running through the airport, but for your hotel room. Take the Band-Aid and put it over the peephole. If you have an adjoining room, be sure to put one over that peephole too.
You may want to leave your room
When you leave your room, the goal is to make people think you're still in your room. A thief who may have a key card to get in, for example, perhaps someone posing as a hotel cleaning personnel etc. They are most likely are not going to try to get in your room if they believe you to still be in there. So when leaving your room, leave a light on and also leave the tv on low volume. I know this definitely isn't energy efficient, but it will keep you safer. This is a must; always make sure the Do Not Disturb sign is still on your door when you leave.
What is the threat?
There are various reasons why someone might record your stay on their property. We can't list them all here, but we can tell you what to look out for and how to combat it if you find it.
Many people think of a camera when recording devices, but it is easier and more common to find microphones as they don't need a direct line of sight. Microphones can be hidden in anything as small as a pen, a USB port or even a stuffed toy.
You basically are sweeping properly for bugs; it is helpful to put your thinking cap on: "Where would I hide something minimal if I didn't want it to be found?
Conduct a visual sweep
When looking for cameras, it's slightly more straightforward as you can single out places with a good line of sight. Think bedroom, bathroom and living room. There will be places where a lens would need to be angled to get footage and sweep those places.
Make sure that you inspect before you unpack your bags. Although cameras can be used for many different reasons, one of the main reasons is to inspect whether the resident has anything worth stealing and how you protect your belongings, E.g., where you hide them, safe code etc.
Take a look through the shelves, vents and cracks that are in the wood panelling, take the time to feel like a bond hero and pay attention to all of the nooks and crannies!
Scan the network
Most devices nowadays will be connected to the WIFI network, so you log in to the WIFI given to you by your rental owner and see how many other devices are connected using something like a Net Analyzer.
This is slightly trickier when you're in a hotel as there are likely going to be a lot of devices connected, but you can filter out apparent devices like smart TVs, phones and computers. You want to look out for things that you can't account for.
Do a bug sweep
Many people don't even do the first steps, so it's incredibly optimistic that we include this one. BUT we recommend using a consumer-grade bug sweeper to sweep anywhere you're staying, mainly if you've never visited there before.
There are plenty of tutorials out there, but we recommend this one.
It's not long now before we can travel freely, and although we may be getting better at protecting ourselves from covid, we need to be just as wary as all the other travelling threats!
You may receive unwanted knocks on your door.
You may get a knock at the door indicating the person is a hotel employee, even though you haven't requested anything from the front desk, yet do NOT open the door. Let them know you'll need a minute and call the front desk and ask them if they have sent someone to your room; if they haven't, they can send up security to find out who is at your door. Unfortunately, predators count on our human nature need to be polite. If the person is from the hotel, they won't mind you checking. Your safety is more important than hurt feelings.
Safe travels from the Kixy team :)
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