First, as part of your pre-trip preparations, leave a copy of your itinerary with a friend or family member back home, and be sure to check in regularly, by phone or email. Know the equivalent of “911” in whatever country you’re visiting, and make sure you have a functioning cell phone with you at all times. Conceal some cash in your shoe, sock or bra enough to pay for a cab ride if you find yourself in a dangerous spot.
As to hotel security…
Before choosing a hotel, do some research about the neighborhood is it safe? Are there nearby businesses that will be open and busy after dark?
When checking in, ask the desk clerk to write your room number on a piece of paper rather than announce it, and unattended hotel fitness centers or pools are best avoided, especially if there aren’t many other guests there.
If you take a cab back to your hotel at night, ask the driver to wait until you are inside the hotel before he pulls away. Add an extra dollar or two to the tip and he’ll do so with a smile. Use your gut instinct. If you feel uncomfortable, scared or threatened, there’s probably something wrong. Hotel security is there for a reason. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Finally, the best idea may be to not stay in a hotel at all. B&B’s and inns may be a better choice. Loitering strangers are much more conspicuous in smaller lobbies, and you might feel safer and less anonymous at a property where the front desk staff recognizes your face and is aware of who is coming and going.
Be alert, travel safely, and don’t forget to check out the great small group tours being offered at www.driftersister.com.