Keeping Your Stuff Safe in Hotel RoomsSubmitted by SharpMan Editorial Team on Tuesday 12th October 2010
- Common sense tips for staying safe in your hotel room.
- Keeping your stuff safe, too.
- Sleeping better in your hotel room.
The traveling SharpMan often carries along a small fortune in computer and other equipment. Of course, having carted all this stuff with you, you may not necessarily want to take it with you every time you leave the room. Absent a hotel-room safe large enough to accommodate your laptop (more and more business hotels and conference resorts are adding these, including The Venetian in Las Vegas), hotel guests are rarely fully protected from prying hotel staff and maintenance contractors. What can you do to minimize snooping and maximize safety?
Clean up. One way to keep track of the stuff you have is to make a point of keeping things in order. Rather than celebrating a hotel visit as an opportunity to throw everything you own over every visible surface, consider keeping clothes and all momentarily unused items in your suitcase or bag. This is especially important for computer equipment. While it may be more convenient to leave it out and ready for use, it’s far safer to stow it away and out of sight.
False advertising. If you travel with and use too many devices and documents to put away, consider forgoing the cleaning service in order to ensure that your materials remain untouched. Call the front desk and let them know that you won’t need your room cleaned. Then hang the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door. Some SharpMen may even consider leaving the television and lights on.
Remember, if you feel that your hotel is not secure, putting out the housekeeping sign that says "Clean my room early" is likely to be an invitation to thieves: "Unoccupied! Come on in and wipe me out!"
Lock up. If you choose to use your travel bag as your mobile safe (see above), consider getting a small travel padlock for extra security. This extra bit of deterrent should keep away the opportunistic thief. Magellan’s Travel Supplies makes a small, strong and well-priced travel cable lock with an extra edge. While other locks simply secure zipper loops, this extendable cable lock allows you to lock your bag shut and also gives you the option of securing your bags to one another or to a nearby piece of furniture — preventing a thief from simply walking away with your entire bag.
Not resigned to tucking your laptop safely away? Consider a portable laptop lock. Essentially, this is a travel version of the security device provided by employers to prevent office computer theft. The travel version allows you to securely affix your computer or other equipment to a desk or nightstand while you’re away. Perfect for the lazy — yet nonetheless careful — SharpMan.
Are you traveling with something so valuable that you simply can’t risk a theft? Most business hotels have a larger hotel safe available for your use at the front desk. Consider bringing along a large envelope, sealing it in the presence of the clerk who takes your valuables and signing your name over the sealed flap — any tampering will be immediately apparent.
Beef up. More worried about yourself than your stuff? Consider picking up on of the nifty travel gadgets that guard you and your room. One version, the Talking Travel Companion, provides safety while meeting other practical travel needs. In addition to a four-step progressive alarm clock (which wakes you to the sound of church bells), the Talking Travel Companion will also wake you in the event smoke or motion (as in someone else is in your room) are detected. For the true gadget guy, you can opt to get your Talking Travel Companion with a weather trend indicator as well.
Secure comfort. So you’ve locked out other people, but what about locking out their noise? If your hotel room is by the airport or in a convention hotel, all the locks in the world won’t keep out annoying ambient noise. Can’t sleep or work because of it? Consider making some of your own.
Noise machines, like the Marsona Sound Machine, will mask noisy hallways and your vigorously amorous next-door neighbors. Turn it on and tune it all out as you drift off or buckle down to ocean waves, waterfall or rainfall. It’s the perfect (and cheapest) travel insurance you can have.
SharpMan Tip: If you regularly have trouble sleeping, check out SharpMan’s Beating Insomnia. For tips on mellowing out after a weary day of sitting on planes and in taxies, try stretching for a while before bed; check out Stretching for Flexibility in this week’s SharpHealth.This article last updated on Tuesday 12th October 2010