Safe traveling tips for you and your family this summer

Published 7:18 pm Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Even though the price of gas has many of us staying close to home this summer, there are still many who will take a vacation. We live in a safe area of the world with very little crime, so we are often too complacent about safety when we travel. There are some things each of us should do when we stay in a hotel or motel to make us safer.

When you first go to your room, locate the nearest exits to be used in case of an emergency. Look for the stairs when you check into your room. If there is a fire, the elevator you rode up on will not be in use or will not be safe to use. If a fire breaks out during the night, the hallway might be completely dark and smoky. If you have to leave your room and escape down the stairs, you need to know where they are located. You don’t want to have to guess which way to go. This simple step may mean the difference between life and death.

Don’t answer the door in a hotel or motel room without verifying who it is. If a person claims to be an employee, call the front desk and ask if someone from their staff is supposed to have access to your room and for what purpose. Don’t be embarrassed to call. It is for your safety.

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Keep your room key with you at all times. Should you misplace it, call the front desk of the hotel immediately. If you are given two keys, take both with you when you leave the room. When you are in the room, be sure the door is closed securely and use all locking devices provided. Check to see that any sliding glass door or windows are securely locked. You should also check the door to an adjoining room to be sure that it is locked. These are simple steps, but they are necessary.

Put all valuables in the hotel safe. Don’t leave cash or expensive jewelry in your room. This invites theft.

When your return to your room at night, be very aware of your surroundings-especially in the parking lot. Hotels are often located right off interstates and their parking lots are not secure. Try to park in a well-lit area and use the main entrance. If you see anyone lurking in the parking lot, report it. Lock your car and don’t leave anything in the front of the car. A camera case or a purse with a blanket thrown over it can invite someone to break in.

Hotels want you to have a safe experience when staying with them. Take a few simple precautions to be sure that you do.