Here’s Why You Might Want to Think Twice Before Storing Valuables in a Hotel Safe

white hotel safeTravel and Leisure

Who doesn’t love a vacation? You get to sleep in as late as you want, sample the local fare, get in that much-needed tanning session, and even maybe meet some new friends! That said, being away from home for an extended period of time can pose some serious threats.

Take your personal property, for instance. Everyone knows that tourists are very easy targets, especially considering most folks travel with some pretty pricey accessories these days, like laptop computers, tablets, and souped-up digital cameras, just to name a few.

Of course, you can’t go sightseeing with all of your valuables so, more often than not, they end up hidden in that hotel room of yours while you’re off exploring—and wondering if you’re valuables are safe from nosy maids and rogue vandals!

Now, if your hotel room comes equipped with a handy, little safe in its closet, then you likely are able to tour your destination with a lighter head. After all, your stuff has to be secure in a safe, right?

Not so fast. Just because you have placed your valuables in one of these contraptions doesn’t mean that you are any more likely to arrive home with your cherished belongings. Sad, but true!

Why hotel safes aren’t exactly safe

Believe it or not, most hotel room safes come with what is called an “administrator code,” a series of numbers (which is usually ‘999999’ for all of you aspiring burglars!) that is meant to be used if, for instance, you, as a guest, forget your chosen code. The administrator code can, in the right hands, be a lifesaver, but it is also quite the double-edged sword.

You see, many hotels don’t bother to change these administrator codes before renting out its rooms. It may seem negligent on the business’ part, but, if you think about it, it would be quite a lot of extra work to give each and every safe a new, unique code whenever a room opens up.

Extra work aside, this means that anyone who gains access to the hotel room could, theoretically, quickly run to the location of the safe, input the administrator code, and sneak out with loot that actually belongs to you. Scary, right?

In addition to the faulty administrator code, one locksmith shared that he can actually bust into one of these hotel safes using two seemingly innocuous tools—a pocket knife and a paper clip. All a thief needs to do is remove the safe’s nameplate, loosen its interior backup hole, and voila, your stuff is long gone!

So, how do you keep your valuables safeguarded when these hotel room safes are so faulty? The best thing you can do is contact the desk agent and ask them to change the administrator code before you lock your stuff up. It may not save you from those pocket knife-paper clip bandits, but it’s a start.

Guess you can’t trust anything these days, huh? To witness just how simple, it can be to break into one of these hotel safes, be sure to watch the video below. Good to know!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on all things travel safety! Has your personal property ever been stolen from a hotel room before? If so, was it locked up in a safe? How do you keep your valuables protected when you’re on vacation?