How to stay safe if your hotel or B&B has poor security

Whether you’re setting off for a city stay, coastal retreat or a far-flung business trip, they all share one thing in common: finding the right accommodation for your budget. Being as close as possible to the action is often a top priority for many would-be travellers, but the more buzzing your travel destination, the better prepared you need to be to ensure security for both you and your possessions — especially if you’re going solo! We explore some simple ways you can keep yourself safe when visiting a hotel or B&B.

Safety is always going to be a concern when you’re staying in an unfamiliar place. Unfortunately, it’s not something all hotels, B&B or Airbnb hosts take seriously. Just a quick search on Tripadvisor can be enough to strike fear in the most seasoned of travellers, with review comments such as:

If you’re a solo traveller or on a business trip, finding yourself shacked up in a room that seems unsafe can leave you feeling vulnerable for the duration of your stay. Whether it’s for yourself, or to protect any valuable belongings you may have with you overnight, such as a camera, laptop, money or important travel documents, it’s wise to take matters into your own hands and always be prepared for poor security. Hopefully, you won’t need it – but if you do, you will be so pleased that you took proactive steps to make up for your accommodation’s shortcomings.

Let others know where you’re staying

Our first hotel and B&B safety tip is always to let your friends, family or professional colleagues know where you’re staying — and for how long! For solo travellers hopping from one venue to the next in quick succession this is especially important, as it keeps others informed of where you are (and next intending to go) in the case of any emergency.

It’s also possible to send regular location pins with the Facebook messenger app on your mobile phone and share your location with trusted contacts on other platforms, such as through Snap Map on Snapchat, and with other iPhone users via the Find My app. Some of these applications show your real-time location all the time to people with whom you have shared it, and some only share it for a fixed period; if your loved ones are tracking you from a different time zone, you may way to make sure the app you choose will still show your location when they wake up several hours ahead or after you.

Alert the staff if you feel unsafe

Feel like there’s something off about your hotel or B&B room? Or maybe you’ve been located too close to an unguarded, public entrance that is making you uneasy? Whatever the issue, don’t hold back — tell the management team you’d prefer to be moved! In most cases, many hotels and B&Bs will have unreserved rooms available that they may be able to move you to – hopefully to somewhere that feels more secure and helps you to sleep easy.

Bring a portable door locking device

You may have noticed a common theme in our initial Tripadvisor reviews: sadly, in a lot of guest accommodation, you can never be truly certain that nobody else can access a hotel or B&B door, even when you have locked it with the key you have been given. Even more so in the case of Airbnb, where many of the locations are privately managed and regulated (which, as Bloomberg reports, can lead to horrible consequence). So, what solutions are available to provide an added level of protection for your next visit to an unknown hotel or B&B?

The Portable Door Lock by Addalock can help to give inward opening doors some additional security by fitting around the strike plate of a hinged door. This creates a strong locking force for any door that doesn’t have one, as well as added strength to a door where the lock may not be ideal or secure enough to prevent against a room invasion.

Image: Addalock

Alternatively, the DoorJammer has an award-winning, police-accredited design that can also put a stop to high levels of impact on any in-swinging door. No bigger than an iPhone, this makes it an ideal companion for taking in a bag to a hotel or B&B, so you can have instant peace of mind your security is in hand! This means that, whether somebody has access to your room or not, you will have some precious, additional time to call the police or escape from harm.

Leave a review

Our final tip is always to leave a review of where you have stayed — positive, or negative! Reviews are a strong indicator of how safe a hotel or B&B is and can help alert other travellers to whether the location is a great place to stay, or to be avoided at all costs. They are also a critical way in which a hotel, hostel or B&B can identify issues within its building or management, hopefully improving safety for future guests.

Travel to a lot of hotels and B&B’s solo, or for business? Let us know about your experiences on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

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