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general travel tips for ensuring your belongings remain safe during your trip

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Hotels, especially of the four and five star category are normally extremely safe; providing you with a safe in the room and at the reception area, security guards hiding around the place, and cameras that can be as much your friend as your enemy . However still things do occasionally disappear, sometimes without the owner ever knowing that they have gone. So here are a few tips to avoid your valued possessions from taking a walk. Some are sure to surprise you.

  • If the hotel has an in room safe use it and keep all your valuables in there.

However if the safe is electronic, wipe the touch keys down before operating it with a damp cloth, and then dry it before entering your secret code. Try to do this every time you use the safe.

Also after you have keyed in your code and closed the door firmly locked on the safe. Press all the other keys /numbers that do not make up your code, and press them firmly. Doing this may set off a small alarm from the safe but it stops quickly and no one will pay any attention (!!).

The reason to do this is because certain hotels have caught their own hotel staff placing, a light oil residue or powder on to the touch keys that shows them when using a certain light what numbers were pressed. They were managing to open the safe, and one very clever thief was taking only 1 or 2 US$ from each room. Would you have noticed ? It is not a lot but in a 400 or 500 room hotel the guy was doing quite well for himself. 

  • Never leave valuables in soft/material bags with pockets even if they are padlocked like Alcatrass

This avoids any potential of somebody simply splitting a seam to a pocket with a knife and removing select contents. This has happened to one of our members and he never even noticed until he went into the and bag and pocket a while later. "Now where did I put that ......." 

This should also apply to luggage that you check into the airplane.    

  • Never get drunk and invite a stranger to your room

Ok Ok No funny remarks please !

Thankfully this did not happen to me, although it is true that I would not tell you if it had !! 

Anyway a certain gentleman went out one evening and got very, very drunk. The next afternoon after awaking with a very groggy head and not remembering a thing, he had to check out to return home. He found when packing that his gold Rolex and some cash had been stolen from his room. He was furious and insisted on seeing the General Manager of the hotel, shouting expletives and demanding compensation. The GM was adamant that type of thing would never happen in his hotel, but that he would investigate it fully.

The guest had no choice but to leave, and the General Manager then started the investigation. A few months later after correspondence, between the hotel and guest, the guest finally returned to the country and was invited by the GM to meet with him. The GM sat him down in the office, and suggested that they watch a video that was in his possession before any threats of court were fulfilled. After watching the video, that came from security cameras in the hotel, which showed the guest staggering back to his room, with two very obviously rough prostitutes (yes, I did say two !!) on his arm, and then leaving (the girls) on a different video, he immediately turned bright red. Understanding what had happened he apologised to the GM and left!

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