Wyndham Wisdom

Travel Safety Reader Tips

Submitted by fellow travelers/readers

Hotel Safety

  • Added Security: A small rubber doorstop is a 'must' in your luggage when traveling. Place it under your hotel room door and it will deter the strongest of unwanted visitors.
  • Do not use room service breakfast door hangers - they require you to note the number of guests staying in your room. You don't want anyone to know you are alone.
  • Call the desk to confirm hotel employees claiming work orders for repairs in your room.
  • Because problems may occur even in the best hotels, conduct a safety and room check prior to unpacking. Make sure all electronics and amenities in the room, including the TV, phone, shower and toilet work properly. Check locks on door, windows and any balcony or patio doors for proper operation. Locate nearest fire exit.
  • Order room service for two, take two keys upon check-in and do not allow room number to be announced.
  • To ward off unwanted male attention, especially in some foreign countries, single women should wear engagement or wedding rings and make hotel reservations as if married.
  • Request a room that is close to main elevators, so that you do not have to walk a long way down isolated corridors to get to your room.
  • When arriving to a hotel, identify the fire exits, security alarms and information on how to notify the hotel of an emergency.
  • To avoid delays in hallways, locate your key or card and have it ready to use prior to returning to your room level.
  • Do not use your common name when checking into your hotel. For example, use 'B.C. Jones' or 'Barry C. Jones' instead of 'Barbara C. Jones'. Let your friends, family and co-workers know how you are registered, so if necessary, you may be contacted.
  • When away from your room, leave the radio turned on and the door hanger with the message 'Do Not Disturb'. This may discourage people from entering.

Buddy System

  • It's a good idea to email your upcoming travel itinerary to a friend or relative so someone always knows where you'll be. Sending an e-mail from the road to key people in your work and personal life to keep them informed of your travel is a good idea.
  • When alone (particularly at night) walk in a crowd and act like you are part of the pack.
  • When taking a taxi late at night, use a cellular phone to pretend you are calling someone. Mention the cab number and expected arrival time, the driver thinks that someone is expecting the cab to show up at the hotel at a specific time.
  • When arriving at night, have someone from your rental car agencies and hotels accompany you to and from parking lots.

Savvy Traveler

  • Know your destination and get directions ahead of time. Be aware of your surroundings (people, cars, doorways, stairwells, etc.) and have a plan in case you get into a dangerous situation.
  • Never use your home address and phone number on luggage tags. Instead, place your business card in the luggage tag slot.
  • Put your luggage key on a ring with a small, high-powered flashlight. While traveling, store it in the same location in your purse or briefcase. While in your room keep your flashlight on the bedside table in case of an emergency.
  • Consider purchasing a new cell phone with an intercom function that allows you to call and speak to a 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatcher and your spouse, simultaneously.
  • If staying alone, always be armed with items such as a tennis racket, golf club or mace. Always check out surrounding area and location of room. Ask for an inside entrance with a room located near the front desk.
  • Instead of using your daily wallet on trips, use a smaller one solely for necessary identification, cash and a credit card.
  • Prior to leaving home, make a copy of documents such as credit cards and passports. Write the phone number to call in case of theft or loss and keep a copy in your luggage. Also, keep a list of the items packed in your suitcase in the event that it gets lost.
  • When traveling abroad, avoid cashing in your currency until you are certain you will be making the flight.

Airport Safety

  • When traveling on a plane, do not indicate final destination (i.e. hotel you are staying at) with person sitting next to you. This might be heard by another person and pose a risk.
  • Count the seats or rows to the nearest emergency exit.
  • Carry your passport, plane ticket, traveler's checks and cash in a concealed money belt worn around the waist. If the temperature is very hot, use a small plastic bag to act as a moisture barrier between you and your valuables.
  • Dress down and do not wear a lot of expensive jewelry when traveling alone.
  • Requesting a woman to conduct your search usually speeds up the process when going through security checks at airports.
  • Avoid wearing nylon stockings or pantyhose during flights which can be inhibiting in the event of a fire. Instead, wear comfortable socks and shoes.
  • Reserve a car service prior to arriving when traveling late evening and early morning. This will eliminate the need to find a cab and to carry luggage.
  • Avoid packing items such as cuticle scissors, pocket knives or other cutting instruments. These items are sure to trigger an alert and will result in your carry-on luggage being searched. This can cause significant delays.