You’ve picked a great hotel. Not fancy, but it’s clean and in a great part of town. (Or maybe you splurged on a five-star? No worries, this post applies to every type of hotel room.)

You paid for your guest room — it is now your castle for the night. Own it.

Let’s say that someone – whom you didn’t summon – knocks and says in an authoritative (yet incredibly helpful) tone that the plumbing in your bathroom needs to be fixed pronto.

Here’s what you do: Never open a hotel guest room door to a stranger. Like, ever. No, not even if the little chain – or the swing bar lock – is in use making it so that the door won’t open entirely. (Bad guys can charge through these devices.)

Make an agreement with yourself in advance that you will not open your door to a stranger — then if someone knocks, you don’t really have a decision to make. Because you already made it. It’s just that simple.

Keep in mind that the locked door is your first line of defense against a bad guy. Lower your drawbridge and your position of safety is obliterated.

Game Plan

Say you hear a knock, call out in a friendly tone “one moment!,” call the front desk and let them know that a stranger is attempting to access your room. Make it clear that you will not be opening your door and that security needs to be called immediately. (The front desk doesn’t answer? Call 911.)

On the other hand, say you ordered room service or requested that a refrigerator be brought to your room.

If you’re expecting company, of course open the door – as long as room service arrives in a reasonable amount of time. Two hours after room service arrives, you get a knock at your door with a “helpful” person holding a “complimentary dessert for their favored guests?”

Nope, never open that door.


Adventure more. Panic less. Travel writer wants to shout it from the rooftops every not discussed method for safer, saner family travel. Read me before you take off!

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