Hotel Safety Considerations
One of the greatest pleasures of any trip is the chance to stay in a hotel. It's the chance to get away from the routine of cooking, cleaning, and making your bed, and let yourself be pampered for a while. But please remember: just because you're enjoying some luxury, you're not immune to life's little pitfalls. Problems occur in hotels, just as they do everywhere else. Take a little time and you can make sure they don't ruin your trip.
Before You Check InIf you're not travelling as part of a package tour, consider finding a hotel via the Internet. There are plenty of reliable services to connect you, and by paying in advance you often getting a very good deal.
Before you leave home, make a photocopy of your passport, and keep it with you at all times on your travels. Also, make sure you have a return ticket, and keep it in a safe place where you can easily find it.
At The HotelCheck-in ought to be a simple, quick procedure, especially if you've already paid for your room. All the hotel should need is a few details and an imprint of your credit card to cover any additional charges you accrue. If the desk clerk asks for more, be very wary, and ask to see the manager. In any reputable hotel - and most are - he'll sort out the problem immediately.
Put your valuables in the hotel safe (and obtain a receipt). Or, if your room has its own safe, use that, and make sure it's locked. Never leave anything important in plain view, and always make sure your room is locked - not only doors, but windows too! - even if you only go out for a few seconds.
Be very careful about making calls from the hotel phone. Check the rates first, as they're often outrageously expensive; it might be cheaper to use your mobile. If you're abroad and really need to use the hotel phone to ring home, invest in a calling card, which you can usually buy at the post office. You'll find it more than pays for itself over the course of a few days.
That mini-bar might look tempting, but before you dive in, look at the prices on the menu. It's a certainty that they won't be cheap, and though you might not feel it now, you'll experience severe credit card regret when you check out. Take a walk and buy a few items, snacks and drinks, to keep in your room.
One thing you should definitely do within a few minutes of arrival is learn your fire exit routes. All being well you'll never need it, but it's better to know, just in case. Taking three minutes on your first day could quite literally prove to be a life saver.
If your hotel has a restaurant and bar, you can probably charge food and drinks to your room. Keep careful track of just how much you do charge - and don't get carried away. The same applies to room service. It might make you feel like a millionaire to sign the tab, but when you receive the final tally, you might need to be one to pay for it.
Checking OutMake sure you have everything before you leave the room for the last time. Check the drawers, wardrobe, bathroom - and don't forget the safe, if you used it. Please don't take the towels home!
Check all the charges on your bill before you pay. If there are some you don't recognise, don't be afraid to query them, and if you're certain you're not responsible, talk to the manager. That can usually resolve most differences. In the event it doesn't, pay with your credit card and contest the bill later.
Hopefully, though, there'll be no need for any of that. Instead, you'll have enjoyed your stay, ready to go home refreshed, relaxed, and ready for the fray.