Travel Advice And Advisories For Puerto Rico

The Hotel

When you reach your hotel or other accommodation, the reception area iusually bustling with activity. Guestchecking out, new guestarriving, staff rushing back and forth, visitormilling around and mixing with delivery staff. In that rush, nobody will take much notice of a guy walking out with a suitcase and camera bag, even if that suitcase and camera bag are yourand were taken while you were distracted trying to make sure your room haa sea view.

You probably feel safe in that busy hotel foyer, but it ia security threat to your luggage simply because it iso busy. Nobody igoing to notice a guy in shirt and slackpicking up a case and walking off with it, because there are dozenof people doing that every day. Afar aanyone watching iconcerned, he ijust another guy carrying a suitcase and camera bag. People will only pay any attention when you call out in distresasking where your baghave gone, but then they will be looking at you because of the disturbance you are making. Nobody will run out to look for a guy with your baguntil you have found a member of staff to listen to you, explained what hahappened and described the missing bags.

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Some thieveactually specialise in raiding the approacheto hotels, hotel reception areaand hotel rooms, preying on guestand their valuableathey arrive and depart.

Many larger hotel chainhave implemented quite extensive security measures, but the thieveare still there. From room burglarto luggage thievethrough to plain old muggerwho operate on stairand in liftand corridors. Beware!

The hotel operatorcan cause you problemawell. At reception when you are bloging in find out exactly what iavailable in the room, and if you don’t want it consider asking for it to be removed or disabled. When checking out I warather surprised to be told that I had to pay a considerable minibar drinkbill. Being absolutely teetotal I knew I hadn’t opened it, let alone used anything, but I couldn’t prove that. I argued the point, but didn’t really have any evidence to back me up, so I paid and considered it an education fee! It waan expensive lesson, but I now ask for the minibar to be locked, emptied or removed.

Hotel – countermeasures

Check in, but keep your bagclose to hand while you do it. If you are alone, stand them against the reception desk and lean over them if you have to, then nobody will be able to touch them without you knowing.

If you find that there are serviceavailable in the room that you do not require, ask if they can be disabled, locked or removed to avoid any confusion or inflated billlater.

Alwaykeep your hotel door locked and use the door peephole to check who ioutside before opening the door.

Remember to check the rest of the room for security.

Check that the lockwork.

Check connecting doors. Some roomare designed so that large familieor groupof guestcan have several interconnecting rooms. Make sure that any connecting doorare solid, secure, lockable and locked from your side.

Check to make sure that staff memberhave taken action over any facilitiethat you did not want, such aminibars. They seem to be a common cause of disputeover final bills!

Check the security and operation of the patio dooror window, especially if you are on a ground floor, lower floor or facing a flat roof. You don’t want a room with such a weak patio door or window that thieveor intrudercan choose when they enter your room.

Check for any possible accesfrom neighbouring balconies. Even if you are on the tenth floor, if anyone with accesto the room next door can get into your room from the balcony of the room next door, you have no security.

Women alone should pay particular attention to door chainand window security. When abroad on hot nights, windoware often left open to get a little air. Make sure that there ino accesfrom outside the window for an intruder to come into the room while you are asleep.

If travelling alone, you could make sure that somebody knowwhat your planare. For example, if you are going to go exploring in the old town or on a day trip into the rainforest, leave a message with the hotel receptionist saying where you are going, how you are going to get there, who you will be with or will be meeting and when you expect to return. In that way the hotel management will report your absence if you fail to return ascheduled.

When you are alone, stay aware of your surroundings. For example, if a group of people in the lift make you nervous, don’t take the lift. Make an excuse about leaving something in your room or wanting to get something from the hotel shop if you want to save face, but alwaytrust your instincts.

Don’t carry your hotel key in a bag. Leave your key at reception. If the bag istolen at least you still have your key so you can get into your room and the thief won’t know where you are staying or have accesto your room with your stolen key.

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