Many seniors feel insecure when in large hotels, fearing their age and physical condition could make them vulnerable to potentially dangerous situations. Here are some tips that could ease some of that concern:
1. When you arrive at your room for the first time, become familiar with emergency number(s) you can call on the room's phone if necessary. Also, be certain about how to call for immediate help on your cell phone when in your room and anywhere else on the hotel property.
2. Before you unlock your hotel room door, be aware of any other people nearby in the hallway. If you see anyone roaming the halls, don’t get involved in conversation, nor allow that person into your room for any reason. If behavior is suspicious, call hotel security immediately.
3. If you're traveling with small children, ever allow them to go to and from your room alone in the hotel. An adult should accompany all children everywhere, including public restrooms. In hotels where you're unsure of the level of safety, adults should also apply the old summer camp buddy system when using public restrooms and other facilities. Know where your buddy is at all times.
4. When swimming in the hotel's pool or at the beach front, use the buddy system to keep your companion within sight at all times.
5. When inside your hotel room, make sure every locking device on doors is in place at all times. If there's a balcony, be sure the balcony door is locked when you return inside.
6. Never allow a person claiming to be a hotel employee into your room, unless it is a maid you've already seen working in the hallway or nearby rooms. If it is someone claiming to be there for repairs or for any other reason, and you have not specifically called for help, do not open the door. First call the front desk to verify the that the visit has been ordered by the hotel staff.
7. If you're returning to your room at any time, but especially late at night, and do not feel safe to use the elevator or hallways, contact hotel security first to assign a guard to go with you in the elevator and to your room.
8. If at any time you do not feel safe in using the hotel garage, ask hotel security to assign a guard to escort you to and/or from your parked car.
9. Do not carry large sums of money with you. In many hotels you can use your room's safe for storing large sums of cash. If there’s no safe, ask the front desk to keep your money and other valuables. If you're shopping or dining in expensive restaurants, carry only small sums on your person and pay by credit card.
10. In most other money situations while traveling anywhere, if you feel your credit card isn’t secure enough, using traveler's checks is preferable to cash. There are very few places in the world where American Express traveler's checks are not honored.