Before Your Stay
Long before you actually book your hotel, start by doing your homework. Take a careful look at the security situation in the country and/or city you’ll be visiting. Is terrorism a threat? Are tourists often targeted in local crimes? Are there certain neighborhoods, cities or regions that are more secure than others? The U.S. State Department offers country-specific safety information on its website; see Travel Warnings and Advisories for more details.
When the time comes to book your hotel, don’t just look at rates and amenities — pay close attention to location as well. Is the hotel in an upscale residential neighborhood, a bustling business district or a seedy commercial area? Is it safe to walk around after dark? Is there a police station nearby? All of these factors could affect the likelihood of a break-in or assault during your stay. You can find neighborhood information online or in a good guidebook.
You’ll also want to find out about the hotel’s own security measures. Call ahead and ask whether the front desk is staffed 24 hours a day, if there are security guards on the premises and if there are surveillance cameras in the public areas. In areas where terrorism is an issue, are vehicles inspected before coming onto the premises? Is access to guestroom floors restricted to guests only? If hotel staff can’t offer any specific examples of what they do to keep guests safe, book somewhere else.
They’re few and far between, but women-only accommodations may be worth looking into for female travelers, particularly those traveling solo and worried about safety.