By Dale Western on 06 October 2014

So, you've just arrived at the hotel, and the pool is beckoning. It's time to relax and get stuck into that book you've been attempting to read for the past six months.

However, before you charge out to top up your tan, read these hints and tips on keeping your room secure and your belongings safe.

• Where possible, do not stay on the ground or first floor of your hotel or apartment block, as there is an increased risk from burglars and robbers. Ground floor rooms with door or window access are very tempting for thieves.

• Before answering the door of your hotel room, call reception to confirm the identity of the caller and reason for their visit.

• Do not open any packages or envelopes sent to your room unless you know the sender and are expecting the package.

• Leave the television or radio on when leaving your accommodation.

• Always take your room key with you rather than leave it at the front desk/reception.

• When checking into a hotel, observe how the staff are dressed, i.e. the colour and style of their uniforms. Criminals may attempt to dress in a similar uniform in order to commit a crime.

• Use caution when using public rest rooms in hotels. These facilities are sometimes used by criminals to rob unsuspecting guests or for drug dealing.

• Some hotels will retain passports for review by police or other government officials. To reduce the likelihood of your passport falling into the wrong hands, try to obtain its return as soon as possible.

• Ask hotel management how guests are notified when there is an emergency.

• When staying in a hotel, apartment or villa, always use any available door latch, bolt or deadlock to secure all doors and windows.

• Hotel employees can be an invaluable source of information. Ask them for recommendations on safe restaurants, exercise facilities and taxi operators to reduce your risk of becoming a victim in an unknown local trouble spot.

• Avoid displaying hotel room keys in restaurants, at swimming pools and in other public places where they could be viewed or stolen.

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