Month 12: Hotel Security-Parking

Upscale hotels with valet parking are generally the safest lodging options, but they are also the most expensive. The trade-off is that there is usually someone at that location with whom you will have come into documentable contact if something goes awry. (A parking stub or someone at the check-in counter can prove your known whereabouts at a specific time.)

Accommodations offering the most individualized service grant you a greater degree of confidence. Nevertheless, even if cost is no object, there will be times when you will be off the beaten path, which usually means less security. When deciding on your overnight arrangement you should exercise caution at all times.


Always park in well-lit lots and as close as possible to whatever entrance you will be using.

Familiarize yourself with the route to the hotel; note freeway ramps and alternate routes in case you miss your intended exit/entry/turn (this prevents having to leave your car to ask for directions while in unfamiliar territory.) Total reliance on GPS can sometimes prove problematic, so double check directions.

If you do not have reservations and are driving as you look for a hotel/motel, be observant of the neighborhood. (Trust your instincts; if it doesn’t feel right, drive on.)

Hotel parking garages should not have elevators that open directly to guest floors. The parking garage bank of elevators should only go to the lobby, with a separate bank of keycard-activated elevators giving access to floors and rooms themselves.

When parking, make a mental note of the location of your car. When retrieving your car, have your keys out before you approach the vehicle.

If you are not driving a rental car, do you have an extra set of keys in case you lose a set?

Next>> Month 12: Be Alert and Confident