I recently had to take a business trip to Washington D.C. While everything went as planned until it was time to return home– which I’ll get to in a minute– I’ve always got an eye on security and thought I’d share a few ideas about increasing yours while traveling. After all, security is not just a topic for your home, but is one that should always be on the forefront of your mind wherever you are.
Hotel Room Safety
These days, most hotel rooms are equipped with keyless entry locks. You know, the kind that can only be opened with a card that is programmed to do so. While this is a lot better than old-fashioned key locks, I still recommend that everyone use the latch on the inside of the hotel door to secure your room while you are inside. In fact, I’ll even go a step further in suggesting that you pack a Guard Dog portable door guard alarm in your luggage just in case you encounter a hotel where inside locks aren’t standard.
If you’re going to be visiting for an extended period of time, you may further want to consider investing in a MACE Entrance Alert or two (depending upon how many doors or windows exist at your temporary abode). This particular door alarm doesn’t require any heavy installation and can be easily removed without leaving any holes in the building when you’re ready to move on. Such is especially important to consider if you’ll be staying in a condo or other housing that may not offer other security.
Never Leave Valuables In Your Room
This isn’t news to most of you, but if you’re new to business travel you may not think twice about leaving cash, jewelry or your electronic devices in your room while you’re away. While most hotel staff are hardworking and honest individuals, some may not be. To avoid a loss and conflicts with the hotel, it’s always a good idea to either carry valuables with you when you leave your room or store them in the hotel’s safe.
Practice General Hotel Safety
Room security is not your only concern when visiting a hotel. Keep in mind to practice security while you enjoy the hotel’s facilities, too. For example, always keep your room key on your person at all times. Don’t think it’s okay to leave it poolside while you enjoy a few laps or on your table while you hit the dance floor. Remember that most thieves are very observant and in the time that it takes for you to realize that your key has gone missing, a slick criminal could have been in and out of your room with easy access.
Practice Good Email Security
Protecting your identity, sensitive business information and financial information is always of the utmost importance. With this in mind, when printing boarding passes or using a hotel’s business center computers for other tasks, remember to always log out of your email before exiting that station. In fact, it’s a good idea to log out of and end your entire browser session just to be on the safe side.
Guarding Against Airport Thieves
As previously mentioned, my return trip from D.C. didn’t go as smoothly as I’d planned. The airport where I was to board a connecting flight home was closed due to bad weather. This meant having to go to another state for fuel and a waiting game (and we were not allowed to deboard). When the airport finally reopened, it was like a madhouse with throngs of angry and confused travelers scrambling to figure out alternate flights. Long story short, I ended up flying to another airport a little closer to home (where I knew bad weather wouldn’t leave me stranded again) and I spent what was left of the night there until I could take the first jet out at the break of dawn.
While in this other airport, however, I noted more than one traveler sound asleep while their bags appeared to be unattended and their electronic devices were charging at a nearby station. Now, in fairness, the airport was mostly empty and these people were probably very light sleepers, but still. As sleepy as I was, I wasn’t going to take a similar risk. Yes, I napped the few hours I was forced to be there, but I also made sure that my carry-ons were fastened to each other (and to my traveling companion’s thus making it impossible for anyone to just casually walk away with a single bag); and that our devices were plugged into the courtesy charging outlets, but also placed inside our bags which I then rested my feet on while we took turns catching a few winks.