How to Make Your Hotel Room Theft Proof


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Many travellers see their hotel room as a safe haven where they can keep all of their possessions protected from theft. However, the unfortunate truth is that hotel rooms are not always as secure as you might think. There have been many incidences all over the world of hotel theft, whether at the hands of other greedy guests or dodgy hotel staff.

Hotel theft can happen anywhere in the world, in a luxury hotel or a cheap backpacker hotel, in a developing country or the wealthiest nation in the world. It usually happens when dishonest people find a way to compromise the security of your hotel room and decide to help themselves to the content inside.


So how can you prevent against hotel room theft while you are travelling? Here are some valuable tips to keep in mind:

Read Hotel Reviews Online

One of the great advantages to travelling in the internet age is the fact that we can quickly and easily read dozens of reviews from other travellers visiting the same hotel, giving us an idea of what to expect. If the reviews mention theft, dishonest staff, unsecured locks, lack of proper procedures for keys and other issues, you might want to stay at another hotel.


Choose the Right Room

You might not have a lot of choice when it comes to the room you are staying in, but if possible you should avoid staying in a room that is located on the ground floor. Ground floor rooms are a more likely target for theft, especially those that have doors and windows that open to the exterior of the hotel.

Electronic Locks are Safer than Traditional Locks

When it comes to hotels, the electronic keycard locks are usually safer than traditional style locks. This is because most electronic key systems will automatically change the combination with every new guest, so there is very little chance of someone else having a duplicate key to your room.


However, if you are staying in an older type of hotel that still uses metal keys, pay attention to how the hotel room keys are controlled. If you see the metal room keys haphazardly left in a pile by the staff within reach of any other guests, this is a red flag that the hotel isn’t very concerned with security. Anyone could reach out and take a key laying on the desk, which often has the room number on it.

Using Anti-Theft Devices While Travelling

If you really want to be extra safe, there are a few anti-theft devices designed for travellers that you can take with you. For example, there is a door stop designed to stop the door from opening and sound an alarm if someone is forcing their way in. There are also portable door alarms and locks that will guard against unwanted entry. These could be helpful if you are worried about someone sneaking into your room while you are sleeping or showering and taking your valuables.

It is also possible to keep your valuables in a slash proof bag and use a luggage lock to keep it closed. Just place all of your valuable items, such as your notebook, laptop, camera and phone, in the bag and lock it up when you leave the room.

Examine Your Hotel Room Safe Before Using It

Many hotels will have a safe that you can use to store your valuable items. However, before using it you should take a close look at it. If it is not bolted down, someone could walk off with it. If it has a key rather than a combination, someone in the hotel could have another copy of the key. If it has a thin layer of grease or wax over the keypad, a thief is trying to spot which numbers you used for the combination.


Also, some hotel safes will have a default combination such as 00000 so that the employees can open the safe if guests forget their password. Of course, this isn’t very secure. Give this passcode a try and if it works you shouldn’t leave your valuables there.

More Hotel Room Theft Safety Tips

Here are a few other tips to remember when travelling:

  • Keep your most valuable jewellery at home. There is no need to wear gold and diamonds while travelling.
  • Make the hotel room look occupied even when you are out. Leave the TV or the radio on and hang the Do Not Disturb sign on the door.
  • Before leaving the room, take a glance around and see if there is anything valuable you forgot to lock away.
  • As you walk out of the room, make sure that the door locks properly. This might sound silly, but many hotel thieves will just walk down the hallway pushing on the doors to find the ones where the latch has not engaged.
  • Ask the receptionist to write down your hotel room number and hand it to you, rather than announce it so that others can hear.

With these tips, you will be able to keep your possessions a lot safer and protect yourself from hotel room theft.

About the Author: Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word. She and her English boyfriend Lee run, packed full with guides, stories and inspiration for those who dream of travel. They have been location independent and travelling the world digital-nomad style since 2011, with no address, no car and no fixed schedule.


  • There is also an item called Window Stick that is user/traveller friendly that can be placed in french doors to prevent them being opened. If the stick is removed by an intruder, a loud alarm will sound.

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