Should You Use the Safe in Your Hotel Room?

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A few days ago a video was put up on YouTube that has gone viral, of a hotel housekeeper supposedly rifling through a guest’s personal belongings. While the housekeeper in the video doesn’t take anything from the room, the video has surely made many a traveler uneasy about leaving their personal affects about.

I don’t know anything about the individual who posted it, but the title of the video is “Privacy in a brand-named hotel”. The notes say that the incident occurred November 5, 2014 at a US hotel.

Click here to see the video.

I believe that most housekeepers have integrity. They’re just there to do their job, not to go through guests’ things, and take pride in their work. Plus, if something were to go missing it would be embarrassing for the hotel and the worker. However, it is wise to be careful with personal items. Even though a hotel room can feel like home, it really isn’t.

Instead of leaving expensive personal items strewn around the room, consider tucking them away in a locked suitcase or in a cabinet or drawer.

Of course, one of the best recommendations is to just leave expensive items at home but that isn’t always possible. I usually travel with at least one laptop, camera, tablet and phone, not to mention any jewelry.

Most hotel rooms have a safe for guests to use for their valuables. Some are even large enough for laptops and other electronics. The best kind of safes have electronic keypads, where you can create your own code.

Not everyone knows that hotel room safes aren’t 100% safe though. Hotel employees can still access them, even those with codes. There is usually a place for a key to be inserted, or perhaps an override code. Many guests accidentally leave items in the safe once they leave, and this way the hotel can retrieve the items at the guest’s request and make arrangements for their delivery.

Hotels always have a disclaimer that they are not responsible for lost/stolen items left unattended in hotel rooms, and recommend personal items over a certain dollar amount being left in the hotel’s safe deposit box. Other hotels have a front desk safety box that all guests share, but it is noted which items are deposited by each guest. A hotel’s liability varies by country and state, but it generally isn’t more than a few thousand dollars for any of the boxes or safes.

So even if you don’t use your hotel’s safe, this video is a good reminder to be more careful with personal items in hotel rooms. I know I’ll pay more attention. What do you do with your valuables in a hotel?

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