Usually when I travel for work, I do it solo. But this past time I was able to travel with one of my favorite co-workers.
“Did you see the news this morning?!” She asked me when we met up at our gate. I hadn’t (news watching is a thing of the past for me. Kids and sleep have started to take more precedence.)
She began telling me a story from the broadcast – a female executive was traveling solo on business. She arrived at her hotel in the evening and had some dinner. A man approached her, but she politely declined and went back to her room. She locked and secured her safety bolt (as we all do!). This man, however, convinced the front desk that he was her husband and had lost his key. AND THEY GAVE HIM A KEY. When this man realized the security chain was engaged, he convinced a maintenance worker to disable it, saying he had a fight with his girlfriend and she locked him out. He gained access to the room where he assaulted this woman for hours.
Absolutely completely terrifying.
I started to think of the times I’ve traveled for work – nine times out of ten I’m doing it solo and I usually just go on my merry way. It never occurred to me that when the Front Desk attendant says “Thank you, Mrs. Proost, have a great stay.” It could put my safety in jeopardy. Another female businesswoman was also attacked in her room because the man heard her name while waiting in line for the front desk. He, too, posed as her husband and was given a key.
In today’s world, we women must be diligent of our safety and aware of our surroundings. How can we do this? Here are some tips I’ve uncovered:
- If the Front Desk clerk announces your floor and/or room number, ask for a new room and that they not say your floor or room number out loud.
- If you are billing food or drink to your room, make sure to hand the bill directly to your server. Do not leave it on the table where someone could take a quick peek and discover your room number.
- Carry a portable door lock. You can find this on Amazon. It’s just another security measure that makes it harder to enter your room.
- Carry a door stopper. A simple door stopper will also add another security measure to your room and make the door hard to open.
- Request no adjoining rooms or carry two portable door locks – one for the main door and one for the adjoining door.
- When in the elevator, don’t push your floor first and when someone gets out on your floor, let them go ahead of you.
- Don’t walk around with your earphones in your ears. This takes away your focus from your surroundings and muffles the ability to hear if someone is approaching you.
- Trust your gut. If something is making you feel uneasy, you most likely are right. Head to the Front Desk or ask Security to escort you to your room.
Share other tips you have learned in the comments!