Hotel Security Tips
Hotel security measures are critical when you consider the loss possibility of your valuable information and documents while staying in a hotel in your home country or abroad. As you may already know, there is a black market for valuable European and US passports in certain countries, which require fewer restrictions when traveling to other countries. Although, the travel restrictions and requirements are now changing constantly depending on the origin of the passports and assuming all passports are suspicious until proven legitimate, valuable passports are sold for a very good price to people who would buy them to leave their respective countries and illegally enter a country of their choice for many reasons. Although, thieves have their preferences when it comes to passports, they will take any passport that helps them achieve their objectives, which may include making hard cash, leaving their country to look for better opportunity in another country, or just simply allow a country to send their spies into another one. We can now add the terrorists to the list of people searching for valuable passports to enter another country and achieve their terrorism goals. As you travel across the world and stay in various hotels, beware of your valuable documents and consider certain hotel security precautions:
-Stay in hotels with good security controls. Believe it or not, I trust the hotel security measures in Las Vegas and to some extent Cancun much more than any other place. This is partly due to their inherent business models. You see, most hotels in Cancun are all inclusive, meaning; you pay a fixed price to cover your air, hotel room, and food and drink expenses, even the tips. Therefore, the hotel has strict security measures to protect its own interest because the hotel wouldn’t want a non-paid person to enter its premises and eat and drink for free. Therefore, the hotels have setup this wristband identification method to ensure every time you enter the hotel you are identified as a paid customer. Now, I’m not suggesting I’m completely trusting when I visit Cancun, but the theft risk is limited to employees and their collusion with people from the outside. Las Vegas has hotel security controls unmatched by any other public place. Again, this is due to their inherent business model, which is built around cash and their interest to stop anyone who would even attempt or think (we will soon have devices to monitor human thoughts) to steal from the casinos. The only thing that bothers me about Las Vegas is their vulnerability to terrorism as a critical economic target, and the casinos have done nothing, at least visible or known to me, to prevent such attacks. In my opinion, it’s a matter of time before a terrorism act occurs and the casinos improve their hotel security controls by searching our bags every time we enter the casinos. Once inside, they have a good handle on us.
-Don’t leave your passport and other valuable documents in the open at the hotel room. Keep them in the hotel safe box, either in the room or the hotel lobby.
-If a safe box is not available, you have a few other choices; you can either take them with you when you leave your hotel, place them in a safe box outside of the hotel, or just hiding it somewhere in the hotel room. This is tricky because some may argue carrying a passport in public is more dangerous and risky than just leaving it in a hotel room unlocked where the employees have been screened, which is what we would hope but not always the case, especially in a third world country. I personally carry my stuff with me. I want to be in control and present at the time of the incident when my documents are stolen. Although, I have to say my actions are very much affected by and depend on which country I’m in.
-Lock your hotel room door at night. You never know when those intruders may invite themselves in without your permission. Proper hotel security measures must consider the possibility of hotel employees colluding with identity and passport thieves from the outside.
-Place the “privacy” sign on your hotel at all times. Only allow maids to come in for cleaning when you are present and never in your absence. Again, my actions would depend on which country and location I’m in and how many valuable information I have in my possession. For example, when I travel to Las Vegas, I don’t carry my passport with me as a form of identification but I use my driver’s license for that purpose. Also, I feel more secure because of their extensive security systems everywhere in the casinos as I mentioned. I also trust their rigorous employee screening process due to the nature of the business they’re in. Therefore, I’m a bit less concerned due to reduced risks and adequate controls. If you have not read step 2 of the identity protection KAOS™ system, please do so and learn to assess the importance of your personal information (for example, losing a US driver’s license is less critical than losing your passport in a foreign country), and the risks to your information due to your actions (like unnecessarily carrying your passport every where).
Learn about other travel security measures besides hotel security.
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