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Hotel Room Security Devices: Don't Use the Hotel Safe - Do This Instead!

Women on the Road
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Keeping valuables safe in hotels is a concern for most of us travelers. Because you DO leave things in your room, right? We all do.

We’ve all heard about the hotel security issues, those where valuables go missing from inside a locked room or even from a hotel safe.  

You might have even been one of the unlucky ones to have your stuff stolen and so now you’re on the hunt for some hotel room security devices to keep your stuff safe and secure while you’re traveling, whether you go carryon only or tote along a steamer trunk.

There are some great hotel room security gadgets on the market.  

Some of the best hotel room safety devices include a hotel safe lock, a portable safe box, a portable travel door lock or portable hotel door alarm.  Whilst no single device is a 100% guarantee against theft, using at least one of these travel safety gadgets will go a long way to protecting your valuables.

are hotel safes safe?

How secure are hotel room safes? They're there for our safety and convenience - most of us won't want to drag our paraphernalia around all day, so we stash our laptops and passports and tickets in a safe place.

We put things in a...

...hotel room safe

How many times have we been told this? Even I've recommended you use the safe in your hotel room.

But are they really safe?

Actually - no!

  • Safes can be carried away if they're not bolted to the ground.
  • Someone in management or staff either has a key or the hotel safe master code.
  • An in-room safe can be broken into much more easily than you think.

At best, hotel room safes are dissuasive. Since most thefts are opportunistic, thieves often won't take the time, however brief, to break into a locked safe, so there's that.

Still... this video will show you just how easy it is for a determined robber to lift your (supposedly well-guarded) belongings: Who Can Get Into Your Hotel Safe?

But there’s no need to be concerned: there are some great travel safety items available to keep your items secure in your hotel room while you’re out and about and seeing the sights.

Different Types of Hotel Room Security Devices

So how DO you keep your things safe in your hotel room?

I've compiled a range of clever hotel room safety devices which allow you to worry less about what you left in your room and enjoy your surroundings a little more. Let’s take a look at some of the options.

1. Portable Safe Box

Ever wonder where to hide valuables in a hotel room? A portable travel safe is a safe container that you can take with you and use to store all your valuable documents. Generally travel safes are built like a bag: just put your valuables inside, lock it up and secure it to something solid in your room.

Having a personal travel safe makes it unnecessary to use hotel safes, which aren't reliable enough. 

Keep reading below to check out some of the best travel safes for hotel rooms currently available.

2. hotel safe lock

What if you don't want to take a portable hotel safe with you? Well, you can still use the in room safe - just bring along a travel safe lock.  There are several different types of room safe locks and they all provide an added layer of security by creating a barrier that needs to be unlocked before anyone can get to the safe itself.  This prevents someone with a master key from accessing your valuables.

Of course a hotel safe lock doesn’t prevent someone from running off with the entire safe, but it will deter the occasional dishonest staff member (and thankfully there are few!) from being tempted to use a master key and help themselves to your things.

Keep reading below to check out some of the best travel safe locks available on the market.

3. Portable Travel Door Lock

The best portable door lock for traveling will prevent any unwanted intruders from getting into your room while you are in it.  Certain hotel door locks for travelers basically jam the door shut from the inside, while others work in conjunction with the existing locks on your door.  You can even get portable door alarms for hotel doors which will set off a loud wailing sound should anyone have the temerity to try to open the door.

Even at the most basic level, a simple travel door wedge which just gets pushed under the door will help deter someone from entering your hotel room.

Keep reading below to check out some of the best travel door lock options now available.

4. portable travel locks

Every traveller should at the very least carry a portable travellers security lock. This is basically a long piece of heavy-duty wire which you use to secure something to a permanent fixture in your room - for example a radiator or water pipe.  Portable travel locks for hotel rooms are also useful elsewhere, for example while waiting endlessly at a bus station or securing your bag to a cafe table while you work away. 

Keep reading below to check out some of the best travel locks currently available.

comparison chart: recommended travel and Hotel Room safety Devices

Name

Item

How this item helps keep your things safe

When it comes to travel safety devices, this travel safe by Pacsafe is one of the most popular item travelers use to keep their valuables secure in their rooms. One of the best hotel security tips is to not rely on room safes and this is a great alternative.  Just slip your important papers into the bag, fasten it to something solid, and lock it (get a sturdier lock than the one that comes with the safe, however). A highly motivated thief armed with a wire cutter won't be deterred but most thieves are grab-and-run. If your papers are locked away and hard to access, they'll quickly move on.

Click here to find out more about the Pacsafe Travelsafe GII.

If you're looking to how to secure a hotel safe rather than bringing your own portable one, then use a safe lock. This BloXsafe lock is a heavyweight - not in weight but in security (and price). The best locks for travel are the ones that prevent someone from opening the safe even if they have a key or code. This one does that for most safes (as long as the safe isn't located against the wall since it has to go around the safe). If a safe lock is what you're looking for, you won't get anything more secure.  

Click here to find out more about the BloXsafe lock for hotel safe.

Another way to keep your belongings safe in a hotel room is to securely fasten your bag or suitcase to a fixed item with a security cable - basically a heavy-duty length of wire with a lock at the end. These cables are also useful to lock your purse or pack to a table. As mentioned above, it won't stop a thief with wire-cutters but then, most thieves are opportunistic and don't carry snippers around with them.

Click here to find out more about the Master Lock Security Cable.

What if your stuff is in your room - and you are too, asleep? How to secure your hotel room while you’re in it?  This door travel alarm by Emdmak will do the trick. Simply wedge the alarm under the door just inside your room. If someone opens the door from the outside, it lets off a shrill siren - it's really the best travel door alarm! Any would-be thief is sure to run off once this 120 loud decibel travel security alarm goes off!

Click here to find out more about the Emdmak travel security alarm.

Another great option for a travel burglar alarm is this Doberman lock. Unlike the Emdmak alarm, this one is simply  hung on the inside door knob but works on a similar principle. It is armed with motion sensors: if someone tries to get into your room, the alarm will ring, usually loudly. Personal hotel security devices like this one are fantastic for keeping both you and your valuables safe inside.  Plus, you’ll have peace of mind and won’t be sleeping with one eye open!

Click here to find out more about the Doberman Door Guard Knob Alarm.

A great way to secure your room is by using this portable hotel safety lock.  Hotel room door locks are often cheap, and doors can easily be kicked in by intruders, even broken if the door is aggressively rattled. This hotel door lock for travelers works with the door’s existing lock and door frame to ensure the door remains firmly shut. The portable hotel room lock is super compact, fitting in the palm of your hand so it won’t take up much space in your luggage.  It even comes in its own carry case.

Click here to find out more about the TSL hotel door security latch.

Ever wonder how to lock a hotel door from the inside? If you haven’t armed yourself with any hotel safety products but still want a simple and easy way to improve security measures in hotels - I have a super basic solution for you! Just grab yourself a plain rubber doorstop (or four). Yes, it works! This low-tech solution won't make a sound, but it will make it hard for a potential intruder to get in, and THAT makes noise.

Click here to find out more about this 4-piece door stopper set.

Item

How this item helps keep your things safe

When it comes to travel safety devices, this travel safe by Pacsafe is one of the most popular item travelers use to keep their valuables secure in their rooms. One of the best hotel security tips is to not rely on room safes and this is a great alternative.  Just slip your important papers into the bag, fasten it to something solid, and lock it (get a sturdier lock than the one that comes with the safe, however). A highly motivated thief armed with a wire cutter won't be deterred but most thieves are grab-and-run. If your papers are locked away and hard to access, they'll quickly move on.

Click here to find out more about the Pacsafe Travelsafe GII.

Item

How this item helps keep your things safe

If you're looking to how to secure a hotel safe rather than bringing your own portable one, then use a safe lock. This BloXsafe lock is a heavyweight - not in weight but in security (and price). The best locks for travel are the ones that prevent someone from opening the safe even if they have a key or code. This one does that for most safes (as long as the safe isn't located against the wall since it has to go around the safe). If a safe lock is what you're looking for, you won't get anything more secure.  

Click here to find out more about the BloXsafe lock for hotel safe.

Item

How this item helps keep your things safe

Another way to keep your belongings safe in a hotel room is to securely fasten your bag or suitcase to a fixed item with a security cable - basically a heavy-duty length of wire with a lock at the end. These cables are also useful to lock your purse or pack to a table. As mentioned above, it won't stop a thief with wire-cutters but then, most thieves are opportunistic and don't carry snippers around with them.

Click here to find out more about the Master Lock Security Cable.

Item

How this item helps keep your things safe

What if your stuff is in your room - and you are too, asleep? How to secure your hotel room while you’re in it?  This door travel alarm by Emdmak will do the trick. Simply wedge the alarm under the door just inside your room. If someone opens the door from the outside, it lets off a shrill siren - it's really the best travel door alarm! Any would-be thief is sure to run off once this 120 loud decibel travel security alarm goes off!

Click here to find out more about the Emdmak travel security alarm.

Item

How this item helps keep your things safe

Another great option for a travel burglar alarm is this Doberman lock.  Unlike the Emdmak alarm, this one is simply  hung on the inside door knob but works on a similar principle. It is armed with motion sensors: if someone tries to get into your room, the alarm will ring, usually loudly. Personal hotel security devices like this one are fantastic for keeping both you and your valuables safe inside.  Plus, you’ll have peace of mind and won’t be sleeping with one eye open!

Click here to find out more about the Doberman Door Guard Knob Alarm.

Item

How this item helps keep your things safe

One great way to secure your room is by using this portable hotel safety lock.  Hotel room door locks are often cheap, and doors can easily be kicked in by intruders, even broken if the door is aggressively rattled. This hotel door lock for travelers works with the door’s existing lock and door frame to ensure the door remains firmly shut. The portable hotel room lock is super compact, fitting in the palm of your hand so it won’t take up much space in your luggage.  It even comes in its own carry case.

Click here to find out more about the TSL hotel door security latch.

Item

How this item helps keep your things safe

Ever wonder how to lock a hotel door from the inside? If you haven’t armed yourself with any hotel safety products but still want a simple and easy way to improve security measures in hotels - I have a super basic solution for you! Just grab yourself a plain rubber doorstop (or four). Yes, it works! This low-tech solution won't make a sound, but it will make it hard for a potential intruder to get in, and THAT makes noise.

Click here to find out more about this 4-piece door stopper set.

Other Travel Safety Items

In addition to these safety and security items, there are several other possibilities.

You can carry your important things with you in a theft-proof bag (I have two of these), and your money and papers in a money belt or travel pouch or scarf.

And you can ask the front desk to keep things in their main hotel safety deposit box, which is usually much more secure than the one in your room: it is undoubtedly larger, and thieves won't make it past the front desk as easily as into your empty room.

An important point is that while most hotels aren't liable for things stolen from hotel room safes, they usually are liable for anything that disappears from the front desk safe. Ask the desk if you're in doubt.

A few more hotel room security precautions

Hotel room safety is particularly important to women who travel solo: being on your own means you have to be extra careful - no one else will do it for you.

When you check into a hotel, you may get the feeling that all is safe behind your locked door. And mostly, it is safe but there are exceptions, and you don't want to be one of them.

Here are some things you should know about keeping your possessions safe.

  • Avoid ground floor rooms: they're so much easier to break into. 

  • Lock your luggage. It's no guarantee but anything that slows down a thief helps. Thieves want to get in and out quickly, not fumble around with locks and cables. The Pacsafe cable will help keep nimble fingers out of your luggage.

  • Use a portable safe. It's not foolproof but a thief has to be equipped to break into it so it'll discourage casual theft. Travelers who have used this recommend it highly (I'm considering buying one because I'm tired of lugging everything around with me all day.)

  • Don't leave anything in full view - temptation is temptation. Anyone can walk off with your laptop while your room door is open during cleaning. And your everyday belongings may be worth someone else's life savings.

  • If you're in a hostel or group accommodation, you may have a locker. Use it. If there isn't one, stash your papers in a money belt or scarf or pouch. And if you go for a shower, take your papers with you.

  • Make sure your windows are locked before you leave. It's easy to slip in and steal.

  • Leave a light or radio on when you leave the room. Anyone who listens at the door will think you're either in the room or coming back soon.

  • If you do have expensive gadgets, don't flash them around where other guests or hotel staff can see them.

  • And don't leave expensive clothes out to dry or air. A fellow traveler left her high-tech Nike Air-Max trainers on the doorstep in South Africa - irresistible in a poor country. She spent the next few days trekking in her flip-flops.

  • Don't bring valuables with you when you travel. Period. If you have a laptop, cellphone and the like, bite the bullet, get a daypack and carry them around with you.

The first rule of the road is if you can't afford to lose it, don't take it with you.

But if you must take it with you, try to keep it safe.