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Vigilant traveling: stay safe this summer

For some summer travelers, school has just let out and it is time to put away the books, throw on a swim suit and lounge in the sun. Other travelers may have family in tow and an itinerary full of sightseeing destinations. And of course, there are those of us who have to travel for business rather than pleasure, even during the summer months.

Whatever the reason for your summer travels, it is important to remember that while many travel destinations are fairly secure, there is always some risk of travel-related mishaps, and hotels are one location in which you will want to be especially vigilant to protect yourself and your possessions. For solo travelers and those traveling abroad, it is especially important to take safety precautions seriously. 

Common sense hotel tips

  • Keep an eye on that luggage. During check in and check out, it's important to keep a close eye on your personal items. It's also important to store wallets, credit cards and valuables out of view.
  • Emergency escape routes. In the unlikely event of a hotel fire or other incident that demands a rapid evacuation, it is important to know the most efficient way to safety.
  • Securely lock all entrances/exits. Most hotels will have both a basic entrance lock, as well as a manual lock of some kind, such as a deadbolt or security chain. Be sure to secure all doors and windows; this is as important when you enter the room as when you leave it.
  • Check your room. Each time you enter your room, it's a good idea to check restrooms, closets and other areas in which someone could hide. This will ensure that you don't find yourself with unwanted company.
  • Use caution when responding to knocks at the door. Though it's possible that maintenance or housekeeping may be at the door, impersonation of hotel employees is a common strategy used by hotel thieves. Always confirm with the hotel if an unexpected person knocks at the door - your security depends on it.
  • Protect your valuables. Many hotels hold guests liable for belongings stored in guest rooms. Have the front desk store your valuables instead and be sure to get a written receipt for anything you leave with the desk clerk.

Hotel liability

Though travel can provide a much needed respite, things can always take a wrong turn. In the unfortunate event that you are injured or the victim of a crime, keep in mind that legal help is available and the hotel may be liable for the damages you have incurred. Speak with a lawyer to learn more. 

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