5 Travel Safety Tips

When women travel alone, whether it’s business or personal, it’s important to keep safety top of mind. Don’t feel foolish or paranoid—it’s do not disturb 2simple to be aware of your surroundings and take a few basic precautions, and far better than the alternative. These are five things I do on every trip.

  1. Choose a hotel with indoor room entrances. This will keep random people from wandering up to your hotel room.
  2. Use valet parking, if it’s available. It may be more expensive but it’s safer than wandering around a parking garage or parking lot late at night.
  3. Ask for two keys. This way it’s not as obvious that you’re traveling alone.
  4. Lock your deadbolt anytime you’re in the room.
  5. Don’t hang anything on your door other than the Do Not Disturb sign. If you need to have your room cleaned call housekeeping. Don’t use the room service door hanger, as anyone who looks at it can see that you are traveling alone.

Bonus: Try not to stay on the ground floor, but if you do check the windows to make sure they are locked.

When thinking about your safety during travel it’s easy to let all of the potential frightening scenarios overwhelm you. But taking a few common-sense precautions will give you peace of mind as well as make your environment safer.

Readers, what safety tips do you try to follow on every trip?

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Comments

  1. I always keep a rubber doorstop in my suitcase. If I end up in a hotel I’m not very comfortable with, it’s easy to put it under the door for another layer of protection.

    Personally, I try to eat in the dining room at restaurants (even though servers always try to seat me at the bar). I feel safer at my own table.

    If I’m getting gas after dark and not very comfortable, I’ll try to have someone on my phone–often leave it on speaker in my car with my car window open (let them know what is going on).

    I also follow the tips you gave and the normal ones I follow at home (park in well lit areas as close to the building as possible, have key in hand, etc.).

  2. I never use the room service hanger – it’s like putting up a sign inviting people to come in because you are gone. But I’m curious as to why you think it lets people know you are alone?

    And Mary Ann above, you are not supposed to use your mobile phone while filling your car. And even if it’s a myth that the phone’s signal can ignite petrol vapours, I am generally not in favour of anything that will distract you from your surroundings when you are uncomfortable and making a phone call certainly counts as doing that (it will also mean that you are less likely to hear things around you if someone’s talking at you on speaker).

    One thing I always do is text my husband when I get into a cab, I give him the taxi plate number and the driver’s ID number if it’s visible. That way if anything happens to me, they’ll have that to go by. And if I’m alone, I never hail a cab, always phone, so there’s an electronic record by the company that I called for one, and who responded.

  3. I should have been more clear–I don’t carry on a conversation with the person on the phone. They are aware of what I’d going on & just listening in case anything happens. The phone stays in the car. There have been a few times I have felt this completely necessary. My company requires that we return rental car full. Often we are not able to get back to the town where the airport is until very late & have fly out very early, leaving no choice but to fill up in an airport area gas station (often bad areas) late at night.

  4. I always push the elevator button for my floor last. I feel like this makes it less likely for someone to say “oh same floor” when really they’re a creeper and are going to follow me. Yeah it could still happen if they push a different floor first (see story below), but it makes me feel safer.

    There was one time I felt like this guy was following me, so I pretended that I needed to go back to the lobby. (In this case he pushed a lower floor, didn’t get off when it opened, said he made a mistake, got out after me, and was heading the same direction. As I was walking back down the hall toward the elevator he did go into a room, presumably his because he used a key, but the sequence of events was still creepy.)

  5. A client gave me the tip of always checking for the emergency exits/ stairs when staying in a hotel. If there’s a fire, you need to know how to get out, fast. Another – if the desk clerk says your room out loud, make them give you a different room without stating the number. Most are aware of this, but years ago at the Hilton Milwaukee Airport, a guy who checked in just after me came to my room and asked me to come down for a drink. Maybe lonely, maybe sad, but defininetly scary.

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