Flight Attendant Hotel Safety Tips
Whether you are a solo traveler, a flight attendant, or an aspiring flight attendant, this list of hotel safety tips can keep you safe while traveling.
In this post, I will be covering 10 tips to keep you safe from all of the things that can happen while staying in hotels and traveling alone. Most hotel horror stories are not talked about online or anywhere else.
When you are attending a flight attendant interview and need to stay at a hotel, hotel safety may be the furthest thing from your mind. These tips are not just for future flight attendants, but for anyone who travels alone.
Why Is Hotel Safety So Important When Traveling Solo?
When traveling solo, please take every precaution possible to keep yourself safe.
Hotel safety is so important because one bad incident in a hotel can change your life forever or even end it. Armed with the right information you can protect yourself because the first step in hotel safety is being aware of what could happen.
I’ve been a flight attendant for over 16 years and I’ve seen and heard a lot of scary stuff that’s happened to my colleagues. Flight attendants traveling alone and staying in hotels have been beaten, robbed, brutally attacked, raped, and I’ve had to evacuate my room because of a hotel fire.
Many of the women I know who have experienced these things also experienced PTSD, and a few have told me, they never spoke of the incident with anyone, until they told me.
I won’t be elaborating on any of their stories because they are not mine to tell, but I can tell you a few of my own. I only want you to know what can happen and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
Hotel Safety Tip #1 – Don’t Say Your Room Number Out Loud
This tip is well known by all flight attendants. Never ever say your room number out loud. Someone could be listening and then try and break into your room while you are out or even when you are sleeping.
But let’s take this tip deeper and farther than not saying your room number out loud.
Don’t Post The Name Of The Hotel Where You Will Be Staying Anywhere Online
Don’t post your hotel name on Facebook, and if you post pictures of yourself there, post them after you’ve left. You could have stalkers you don’t even know about.
Our world is so small. I often see people post hotel pics on Facebook and I know where they are. I’ve stayed in more hotels than I can count, so I can piece together exactly where most people are in their pictures if I wanted to. If I can do that, someone else can too.
Even if you are in a closed flight attendant group, don’t ever ask the question or answer the question “Where do you stay for your interview when interviewing for…” Then it’s public knowledge that you are going to be at that hotel, alone.
An Extra Safety Tip – Your Hotel Key Card
I even go so far as to say not to carry around your key with your room number on it, instead, take a picture of your key and then carry your key card without the sleeve.
There will be no way for anyone to know which room is yours if you happen to drop your key while you are out if it isn’t in the sleeve.
Hotel Safety Tip #2 – Have Someone Go With You To Check Your Room
The first thing I do when I get to my room is check everywhere. I check the bathroom, behind the shower curtain, under the bed, and behind the curtains.
I ask one of my crew members to wait in the hall while I do my room check, and they do the same.
I use my luggage to prop open the door while I check the room, and make sure it’s all clear before we disappear into our rooms. No one has ever minded me doing that, quite the opposite, they like to do that too.
What if you are alone? You can ask the front desk to send hotel security or another employee with you while you check your room. Have them wait in the hall while you prop open the door and do your security sweep of the room.
What is important to mention here, is that if you are a female, you can request a female to accompany you.
I am the least trusting person, and I don’t care if someone is a hotel employee, they can also be a threat to your safety. Always watch your back.
Sometimes, I FaceTime my husband when walking into my room, and we do the check together. If anyone is hiding, at the very least I have an eyewitness.
Hotel Safety Tip #3 – Latch All The Door Latches
When you get into your hotel room, latch every single latch on your door.
But even that really isn’t safe enough. Some thieves have been fashioning tools to get into your room no matter how careful you were to latch and lock all of the door latches.
Use A Door Alarm Wedge
I’m going to, as always, go a few steps farther. One of my favorite hotel safety tips for travelers is a door alarm wedge. A door alarm wedge gets wedged under your door, and not only does it stop an intruder from getting into your room, but it makes a piercing sound with its alarm. The whole floor can hear it.
Portable Door Locks – A Genius Invention
Sometimes you’ll get a door that opens out (that’s super rare), and you won’t be able to use the door alarm wedge. However, there is another device you can use that doesn’t allow anyone to get into your room, and that’s the portable door lock.
You place the portable door lock in the latch of the door, and the hotel safety lock locks your door so that no one can open it from the outside without breaking it down.
I have had some hotel rooms where the door sizes were odd and I couldn’t use the portable door lock, but I had my wedge and was able to put that into the door. You can’t go wrong by having both. They are lightweight and inexpensive and both are excellent safety precautions.
Want to know why I’m so paranoid about staying safe in my room?
One day I went to a hotel, and I was going to meet my crew for dinner downstairs. I was in a hurry to get to dinner, but the second I get my hotel routine finished, I’m in the shower washing the airplane off of me.
This particular day, I parked my bags and jumped into the shower. I forgot to latch my door. Something I really never do.
I came out of the shower and my room was rearranged, a table was moved. It appeared my bag had been gone through and I about lost my mind. My shower was quick and they must have taken off when they heard the water shut off because no one was there when I walked out of the bathroom.
I called the front desk and they sent security upstairs while I got dressed. I got a new room and had them help me do my room check before I calmed down. I eventually made it down to dinner, but I was all kinds of shook up.
Hotel Safety Tip #4 – Use 91% Isopropyl Alcohol To Sanitize & Kill Potential Bed Bugs
After I lock down my hotel door, I use one of my favorite hotel safety hacks. Making sure to keep myself safe from bed bugs., I pull down the blankets off of my bed and start spraying with alcohol. 91% Isopropyl Alcohol is a miracle worker. It will kill bed bugs on contact.
Not only do I do that for bed bugs, but I spray the phone, the TV remote, the doorknobs for the door and the bathroom, the toilet, the sink, all bathroom knobs, spigots, and levers. Anyplace I may touch, gets sprayed with 91% alcohol.
I did this pre-Covid-19 and I’m glad I’m in the habit of carrying this with me because I can pull it out of my bag anywhere I need to sanitize surfaces. I use it on my flight attendant jumpseat, and I even spray my seat and tray table on the airplane when I travel. It evaporates fast and the odor disappears quickly.
Hotel Safety Tip #5 – Sage Your Room To Get Rid Of Negative Energy
Those of you who don’t believe in ghosts might think this tip is silly. Not me. I have had many a haunted hotel room, and not once did I find it silly or cute.
I cannot tell you how often I didn’t sleep a wink because a ghost or ghosts were tormenting me in my hotel room. There are loads of flight attendant ghost stories about haunted hotels.
One night, all night one was in my bathroom. It kept turning on the water and splashing around. The glasses were clanking and it sounded like they were being washed.
I knew it wasn’t a person in the bathroom because my room gets locked up like Fort Knox. I just laid there all night petrified thinking it was going to come out and start folding my clothes.
But seriously, I’ve had so many ghosts I’ve encountered that I had to start bringing sage as part of my hotel routine.
If you burn sage and set off the hotel alarm, you could get a fine (thankfully so far I haven’t had a problem), so you may not want to burn sage, but you can spray it.
Since I started saging my room I haven’t had any nightly visitors, but then again, I steer clear of notoriously haunted hotels now.
A quick google search with the hotel name and “haunted” will usually be enough to find out if a hotel is haunted or not.
I have to warn you though if you are one of those people who want to see a ghost, you probably won’t. But if you’re like me, and you want nothing to do with them, it will probably haunt you.
I’ve come to the conclusion that ghosts feed off fear and it’s simply no fun to haunt someone who isn’t scared.
Even if it is not lower vibrational ghost energy, sage is good to get rid of any negative energy. You don’t know what was happening in that room before you got there. Why not spray some sage and lift your own spirits?
Being a flight attendant is one of the greatest jobs in the world, but it’s not without its downside.
Hotel Safety Tip #6 – Keep Your Valuables With You If Possible
Never trust a hotel safe, things have been stolen out of them more times than you can count. Hotel safety and security starts and ends with you.
If you can bring your valuables with you when you leave your room, great. If not, store them in a secret compartment in your bag. I often use a lock on my bag, and one of my bags has a secret compartment where I store my laptop. I can’t tell you where that is or I’ll expose my own secret.
But putting your valuables away in your bag and locking it can help keep honest people honest. A bag lock won’t deter a real thief, but it can help you keep your valuables safe. When traveling, it’s best not to bring irreplaceable items.
If you have something expensive that you are flashing around, it could make you a target. I don’t even wear my engagement or wedding rings on any of my trips. I keep them at home.
I can’t remember who said it to me when, but someone told me some gruesome story about getting a finger ripped off when a thief was trying to get a ring. Is it true? I don’t know, but better safe than sorry I always say.
You Might Also Like: How To Become A Flight Attendant The Ultimate Guide
Hotel Safety Tip #7 – Don’t Go Out Alone After Dark
Keep an eye on the time, and don’t go out alone after dark. Things can happen at any time of the day, but be mindful of the light. You can always order Uber eats or eat downstairs at the hotel if you need food.
Once you leave your room, do the security sweep every time you come back.
When you go out, leave a note saying where you went and what time you will be back. This way, there is a trail.
You can also turn on location services on your phone so that your family can see where you are. Let them know when you go anywhere, and tell them when you plan to be back.
Just because you are alone in a city far from home doesn’t mean no one should know where you are. Pay attention to your surroundings at all times. You never know who could intend you harm.
Hotel Safety Tip #8 – Know Where Your Exits Are
As I said earlier in this post I was in a hotel fire.
The kitchen caught on fire when I was in Scotland and I was so jet-lagged I figured the smoke alarm was just a test. Hotels do that, they test alarms, but when they do they usually alert you of the testing and the time of the test.
I was tired and figured I missed the memo.
So many people were running past my room to the stairs, I looked out the window and I saw FIRE!
I got so scared that I took off out of my room with no ID, no passport, no money, and no shoes. I was stuck outside for a long time like that. I had plenty of time to think how stupid I was for leaving all of those things behind.
I knew where the closest exit was, they taught us that in training. But what I didn’t realize was that I should keep all my important things in one spot so that in case of an emergency I could grab them and would not get stuck in a foreign country until I had a new passport sorted.
Fortunately, Firefighters contained the fire, and after some time, I was able to go back to my room. It smelled a little smoky, but the fire had not reached my hotel room and all my things were safe.
Hotel Safety Tip #9 – Never Leave Your Drink Unattended
Never take a drink from someone other than your server or bartender. Don’t let someone go up to the bar to get you a drink or leave your drink unattended. Someone could slip you a date rape drug and take advantage of you while unaware.
Travelers get slipped this drug all the time, but people rarely talk about it because of the shame and embarrassment they feel.
If you go to the restroom, and your drink is in a bottle, bring it with you. If your drink is not in a sealed bottle, order a new one when you come back.
Even if someone you are with is a co-worker, unless you trust them with your life don’t leave anyone alone with your drink.
When you take a bottled drink from anyone, be sure the seal is not broken. Inspect everything. You can never be too careful.
Thankfully, there are inexpensive test strips you can use to test your drink if you ever happen to need them. The test strips are small and fit discreetly in your bag, and can be used to test for date rape drugs.
Hotel Safety Tip #10 – Bring A Self Defense Weapon
This one may sound a bit out there at first. TSA doesn’t allow you to bring weapons through security. But there is something you can get, a tactical pen. Fortunately, tactical pens are heavy and can break glass.
If you were ever, God forbid, kidnapped and trapped, a tactical pen looks unassuming, but it can break glass.
If you are attacked, a tactical pen acts as a weapon that you can use to impale your attacker in the eye.
A tactical pen doubles as a pen, which is a flight attendant’s required duty item, so win/win. You can also get a tactical pen with a flashlight, another required duty item, and a helpful tool.
So there you have it, my top ten flight attendant tips for solo travelers.
If you have a hotel safety plan that you can follow, you can turn into your hotel routine.
Each time you go to a hotel, doing the same thing ensures you will have the highest possible chance of staying safe while away from home.
Do you have anything to add to the list? Stay safe out there. You never know when one of these tips could help you.