Last Updated on April 1, 2024 by Elizabeth

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How safe are you inside your hotel room? As our friends at View from the Wing recently shared, thieves have now found a way to remotely unlock hotel room doors by hacking RFID-based software. It’s a good reminder to beef up some simple security habits when traveling to make your hotel room safer.

Pick a Goldilocks floor.

When requesting a hotel floor, it’s a good idea not to go too high or too low. Avoid the first and second floor of a hotel whenever possible, as they are the easiest for thieves to enter through a window, patio or balcony. The safest floors, according to experts, are floors three through six. That’s because local fire departments tend to have aerial ladders that can reach only as high as six stories.

Do a walkthrough.

Inspecting the room when you arrive gives you a chance to familiarize yourself with your surroundings. There are plenty of horror stories out there of predators hiding under hotel beds until guests fall asleep. It only takes a few minutes to check in closets, behind curtains, under the bed, in the bathroom and anywhere else someone could potentially hide.

Throw out the keycard sleeve.

It’s super handy when the front desk clerk writes your room number on the cardboard sleeve holding your keycard—or is it? It certainly makes it easier for someone to look over your shoulder and see your room number when you’re in the lobby, the bar, the breakfast room, or the gym. And if you misplace the sleeve, a thief would instantly have both your keycard and your room number. Better to keep your card safe and unlabeled with your room number.

Latch and bolt the door.

Deadbolting your door will make sure that nobody can enter your room, even with a key. Using the door latch will make your hotel room safer, but you can even make it even more secure. Wrap a towel around the latch to prevent someone from sliding in a tool to unlatch it from the bottom. Flight attendants often wrap a hair tie around the towel to keep it secure. If there’s a connecting door, make sure it’s bolted shut from your side.

Bring a wedge.

Many frequent travelers (especially women) always pack a $3 rubber door stop to slide under the hotel door for an extra layer of security.

Lock it up.

Place your valuables in the hotel room safe and keep the PIN to yourself.

Fake your presence.

Thieves prefer to hit empty rooms, but there’s no reason to advertise when you’re out. If you’re leaving for several hours, leave the TV volume on low and hang the “do not disturb” sign on the door.