The Best Places to Hide Valuables in Hotel Rooms

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When traveling, you should leave as many of your valuables as possible at home. However, there are some things you can't leave behind like money, your passport (if you are traveling overseas), your camera and your laptop (if you're on a business trip). Although none of these suggestions guarantees the safety of your belongings, here are a few tips on hiding valuables in your hotel room.

Safes

If available, always put your valuables in a safe. Most hotels offer you the option of checking in your valuables at the front desk; your items are stored in a lock box either behind the desk or in a back room. Of course, you will have to trust the front desk clerk and look into hotel’s policy regarding its level of responsibility for your personal items. Alternatively, many hotels offer in-room safes. The best type of in-room safe is a digital one, as you set the combination yourself and don't have to share it with the hotel staff. Otherwise, you will have to trust the person who is either giving you the key or the combination to the lock. But even in the latter case, for larger items like cameras and computers that are difficult to hide, in-room safes may be your best option.

If you won't have access to a reliable in-room safe, consider purchasing a few of the “false” safes on the market. These look like shampoo bottles, curling irons, toothpaste tubes and a variety of other everyday items. They contain hidden compartments into which you can place your valuables. The best strategy is to fill these pretend safes, then lock them in your suitcase for an added layer of protection.

Hiding Spots

Hide money and important documents by putting them on the floor under the bottom dresser drawer or by pulling out one of the drawers and taping an envelope containing your valuables to the bottom of the drawer.

Basically, you want to choose areas of the room that either are not cleaned regularly or are so obscure people won’t think to search them. For example, you could hide things behind a refrigerator that is up against a wall. You might also put things behind the toilet or under the toilet lid (just make sure to wrap your items in plastic first). You can tape things under the chairs in the room or behind big, heavy dressers or televisions that are up against the wall. All that said, you may only deter inexperienced thieves that are looking for a quick grab—professional thieves will know to search the room more thoroughly.

Avoid putting all of your valuables in the same place. If you spread them around the room, you are much less likely to lose everything if someone happens to find one of your hiding places.

Other Suggestions

If you care more about your valuables than about your room being cleaned, simply leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door. This may discourage people from entering your room when you are not there.

It's not prudent to carry large amounts of cash with you when you are traveling, as you end up leaving much of it behind when you go out for the day. Carry mostly traveler’s checks and debit and credit cards since you will be able to replace these if they are stolen.

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