Personal Safety Tactics for Business Travelers: Part One

Jamie Alexander

Houston, Texas, February 2004 - Two salespersons were attacked and robbed outside the Hilton Hotel by five males driving a late model Crown Victoria.

Buford, Georgia, February 2004 - A traveling salesperson was in the parking lot of the Spring Hills Suites when a silver Ford Taurus drove toward him. The victim was knocked down, robbed and dragged by the vehicle.

Belmont, California, January 2004 - A salesperson checked out of the Holiday Inn Express and was robbed in the parking lot. The suspects drove up behind him as he neared his car and robbed him.

Gainesville, Florida, November 2003 - A business executive was checking in at a Hampton Inn, while his car was being broken into. When he returned to his car he was confronted with a man, who pulled a gun, pointed it at him, and fled with the traveler’s briefcase.

The examples could go on and on. Traveling on business is risky business itself when it comes to the personal safety of the traveler. Robberies and assaults regularly take place, and a frequent staging ground for this criminal activity is in or around the hotel or motel where the traveler is staying. But in all honesty, business travelers have a habit of setting up themselves for a hit, unknowingly.

Learning some basic personal protection techniques when you are staying at a hotel or motel can keep you business travelers from becoming a criminal statistic. When traveling on business, effective security precautions require a continuous and conscious awareness of your environment. It also requires the use of good judgment and common sense. This is the first in a series on personal safety for business travelers presented by Front Sight Resorts.

10 Lodging Safety Tips for Business Travelers

The American Hotel and Motel Association provides these hotel and motel safety tips for travelers:

  1. Don’t answer the door in a hotel or motel room without first verifying the identity of the person at the door. If the person claims to be an employee, call the front desk and ask if someone from their staff is supposed to have access to your room, and for what purpose.
  2. When returning to your hotel or motel late in the evening, use the main entrance.
  3. Be observant and look around before entering parking lots.
  4. Close the door securely whenever you are in your room and use all of the locking devices provided.
  5. Do not needlessly display guest room keys in public or carelessly leave them on restaurant tables, at the swimming pool, the exercise room, or other places where they can be easily stolen.
  6. Do not draw attention to yourself by displaying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry.
  7. Do not invite strangers to your room.
  8. Place all valuables in the hotel or motel’s safe deposit box.
  9. Do not leave valuables in your vehicle when unattended in the hotel or motel parking area.
  10. Check to see that the sliding glass doors, or windows, and any connecting room doors are locked.

More Tips on Hotel and Motel Security…

The Federal Consumer Information Center adds these 11 lodging tips for travelers:

  1. Keep your hotel key with you at all times, if possible.
  2. Vary the time and route by which you leave and return to the hotel or motel. Be alert for persons watching your movements.
  3. Do no divulge the name of your hotel or room number to strangers.
  4. Speak with the bellman, concierge, and front desk regarding safe areas around the city to dine, and taxi companies to use or avoid.
  5. All hotel rooms and telephones are not bugged, but your business purpose will be more secure if you act as if they are.
  6. Areas around public telephones are often used by criminals to stage pickpocket activity or theft. Keep briefcases and purses in view, or in touch while using phones. Caution is urged in safeguarding telephone credit card numbers. Criminals will frequently wait for callers to announce credit card numbers on public phones and then sell the numbers for unauthorized use.
  7. Be cautious when entering public restrooms.
  8. Pools are attractive areas for thieves. Leave valuables in the hotel, but carry a token sum to placate violent thieves. Sign for food and beverages on your room bill rather than carry cash.
  9. Avoid persons you do not know around the hotel or motel.
  10. Purse snatchers and briefcase thieves are known to work hotel bars and restaurants waiting for unknowing guests to drape their items on chairs or under tables, to the dismay of business travelers who find them missing as they are departing. Keep items in view or in touch.
  11. Be alert to scams involving an unknown person spilling a drink or food on your clothing. An accomplice may be preparing to steal your wallet, purse or briefcase.

The Ultimate Protection?

Some business travelers just refuse to be taken. For those, Front Sight Resorts, located on a 550-acre state-of-the-art training facility just outside Las Vegas, Nevada, is the ultimate answer in personal protection training for business people on the move.

Front Sight provides specialized training on how to spot and diffuse potentially dangerous situations before they happen, and gives you the self-defensive skills training to effectively deal with a confrontation if and when it does occur. Says Front Sight’s Founder and Director, Dr. Ignatius Piazza. There is no question that if you are prepared to defend yourself, your chances of becoming a victim of some criminal’s maligned intent are greatly lessened. Criminals look for easy targets, 98% of victims have been scoped out first by their assailants to assess their vulnerability. Only then do they move in for the take. With Front Sight training, you can make yourself a very unappealing target.

Front Sight provides world-class self-defense and personal-safety training in empty hands defense, edged weapons defense, and the most sought after defensive firearms training to be found anywhere. Thousands of business people, men and women alike, have taken training courses at Front Sight Resorts, and equipped themselves to successfully deal with dangerous criminal attempts while traveling.

Don’t become a criminal statistic while staying at your next hotel or motel on business. With a little street smarts you will have the crim’s looking somewhere else for prey.

For more information on Front Sight Resorts, and their comprehensive training programs for executives, please contact their corporate office.