It's not fair. But as a woman, you run the risk of being seen as an easier mark than a man. There are some easy precautions you can take to avoid being taken advantage of, however.
- If possible, stay in a hotel that uses electronic room-key cards and has spyglasses in the doors. Also, be sure to stay in a room on an upper floor.
- If you're traveling alone and arriving late at night, do not hesitate to ask a hotel staff member to escort you to your room and make sure it's safe before you enter.
- After you arrive in your room, be sure that the smoke detector is functioning and acquaint yourself with the location of the nearest fire extinguisher and the nearest fire exit.
- Try to ensure that strangers do not learn your room number. If you stop by the reception or concierge desk to collect mail or messages, state your room number quietly or just show them your room key.
- Never allow anyone to enter your room without verifying his or her identity. Use the door spyglass to identify your visitor. If someone claiming to be a hotel employee should drop by unexpectedly, call the front desk and request proof of identification.
- Before heading out to explore an unfamiliar city, get a business card from the front desk of your hotel. It might come in handy if you get lost or have trouble communicating with your taxi driver.
- When leaving your room, leave the lights and TV on, to give the appearance that the room is occupied.
- Remember that doormen, security staff, and bellmen are there to help you. Don't set off on foot at night in an unfamiliar area. Rather, have a hotel staff member call you a taxi.
- Take advantage of valet parking services to avoid dimly lit parking garages.