Hotel Safety Tips for Travelers

Going on vacation somewhere, especially when you’re visiting the place for the first time, is seen as the perfect opportunity to “let loose”, set aside your worries, and simply enjoy yourself. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should take hotel security for granted. A number of trips have been ruined once travelers go back to their hotels only to find it ransacked, looted, and their things stolen. This could happen to anyone – frequent business travelers included.

Just because you’re staying in a 5-star hotel does not mean you’re completely safe. Here are some things to remember regarding your safety and security while staying in a hotel.

Hotel Safety Checklist

  1. Preparedness is key. When booking your hotel accommodations prior to your trip, look up reviews and testimonials of the hotel, inn, or bed-and-breakfast you’ll be staying at. Assess how safe the location is – particularly with respect to fire hazards, break-ins, and other crimes
  2. Rooms in the upper floors are harder to break into, so book a room that’s not located on the ground floor or the second floor
  3. Most hotels provide lockers or safety vaults for their guests. Place your valuables (passport, travel documents, gadgets) in these safes when leaving your hotel for the day
  4. Confidentiality and privacy are your rights as a hotel guest. Front desk clerks are not supposed to announce your room number (and room phone number) for everyone to hear. Ask for a different room if that’s the case
  5. Check the locks of the windows and the doors of your room. If you find them to be faulty, or some windows are stuck, ask to be transferred to another room
  6. Make sure you know where the fire exits on your floors are located. The hotel should also provide you with a list of emergency phone numbers you could call. Program them into your phone or bring a copy of the list with you everywhere you go
  7. Being friendly with locals and other tourists is not a bad thing, but you should still practice caution, especially if you’re all women in a new place. Do not allow other people inside your rooms, not even if you’ve known them for more than a couple of days. While befriending people you should also be knowing the culture and ethnic practices of people in your travel destination so as to avoid any racism related issues
  8. The most important security tip is to maintain a high level of vigilance. Double-check that the doors and windows are locked when you’re leaving the hotel for a day of exploring the town, and when you go to sleep. When someone knocks on the door, do not immediately open it, not even if they announce that they’re Housekeeping or Room Service (especially if you didn’t order anything). Peepholes are there for a reason

You never really know for sure what could go wrong on your trip, so make sure you do all you can to be prepared for any eventuality. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry

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Best Tablet for Older People

Don’t get me wrong here. Normal computers are still the best option – healthwise, pricewise and from upgradability point of view – for older people provided there is a very good workstation available with good chair and lighting support. However, the tablet PC trend is catching up so fast and they make case for the elderly as well because of the following advantages that they offer.

Tablet PC’s benefits and suitability

Tablet PCs are very lightweight and hence it is so easy for the old people to carry them around. Hence from the mobility point of view they are the best.

Laptops or netbooks can be bigger, heavier and unwieldy and not as comfortable as a tablet to use on a couch or breakfast table.

Tablets are totally wireless in the most literal sense and hence very easy for the old people to handle them. Other options are not totally wirefree yet.

Ease of use due to touch screen is another major benefit and hence it can be used even by people with partial disabilities.

Finally, one doesn’t need to be technically strong to use modern tablet PCs and probably they are much easier to use than many smart phones.

However, please note that PC Tablets are mainly content consumption devices rather than content creation stations. This simply means that, if you want to type in a lot of text, it may not be the right device for you.

Best Tablets for the Elderly

Having talked about the benefits of tablet PCs for older people, here are some of the best tablet PC options for the old people (as of 10th August 2012).

1. Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon Kindle Fire is the latest entrant into the tablet market and probably the first of its kind from Amazon (who otherwise manufacture some good ebook readers). With its $199 price tag, it has to be one of the cheapest tablet PCs running on the Google Android platform. It has a 7″ screen, has Wi-fi support for connectivity, has USB ports and is extremely light (413 grams or 14.5 ounces) to handle. The battery life is around 8 hours. It supports numerous free and paid add on apps that you can download from the Amazon appstore, needless to mention that it’s an excellent ebook reader too.

This would be my recommended tablet PC for the older people for its crisp multi-touch color display with a good resolution and light weight body. However, this doesn’t come with a camera or 3G connectivity option. So if price is a major concern, this is the tablet for you.

amazon kindle fire

Learn more about Amazon Kindle Fire on the Amazon website

2. Apple iPad 2

An iPad is the best option for those who do not like to know the technical intricacies involved in doing day to day computer usage. If your online activities are restricted to browsing, emailing, capturing pictures, sharing, video chatting, facebook use etc then iPad is the best option for you. iPad cannot render Flash based websites but good enough to watch Youtube online.

Apple iPad

iPad 2 boasts great battery life (up to 10 hours), 9.7” screen, very thin body and weighs just 600 grams. Like most of the tablets in the market these days, iPad2 has two cameras as well.

This is my recommendation if you are looking for simplicity and ease of use and can afford to pay $500 upwards with wifi options and based on the memory.

Checkout Apple iPad MC705LL/A (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black) NEWEST MODEL

3. Asus Eee Pad Transformer

asus-eee-pad-transformer

What if you want to use the hardware keyboard once in a while just like a netbook or latop while being good at the touch screen as well? If that’s a major feature you are looking for then the Asus Eee Pad Transformer is the best option for you. Moreover, this comes at a reasonable price of around $350.

Asues EeePad is an Android operating system based tablet and hence you may have to get used to it a bit initially. The learning curve is not significantly steep though.

Asus Eee Pad weighs just 680 grams and has a dual cameras (5MP on back and 1.2MP on the front for video calls). The screen is slightly bigger than an iPad’s.

It is the tablet for people who don’t want to spend as much as an iPad but are willing to learn a trick or two about Android. Primary reasons to go for an Asus Eee Pad would be the keyboard support though.

Find deals on ASUS TF700T 10.1-Inch Tablet

4. Samsung Galaxy Tab 4G

samsung-galaxy-tab

Samsung Galaxy Tab is another strong contender which has seen its prices falling after the steep launch price. Like Asus Eee Pad, it is running on Android operating system as well and hence the usability and performance are similar.

The specifications are pretty much the same as the Asus tablet but without a similar hardware keyboard. There are 7” and 10” screen variations available off which the bigger one is priced similar to an iPad.

Check out the BEST ONLINE PRICE of Samsung Galaxy Tab (7-inch, 16GB, Wi-Fi)

5. Google Nexus 7

Google nexus 7

With a beautiful screen, superb performance and a comfortable to handle design, the Nexus 7 (preferably 16GB) is our latest pick amongst the 7-inch tablets available in the market today.

The Nexus 7’s boast a faster processor and an excellent responsive screen. It’s very comfortable to hold for the elderly as it weighs hardly 0.7 lbs (315 grams). At only $200 to $250, the Nexus 7 is a great deal.

The only flip side probably is the lack of expandable storage and HDMI port (and of course no 3G at this price)

Check out the best prices on Google Nexus 7 Tablet (16 GB)

Note: All Android based tablet can run flash based websites though with some performance loss.

Picking a tablet for older people at the end is a function of price, mobility (battery life, weight, 3G network) requirements and keyboard preference. If you give similar weightage to all the above requirements, I would recommend the ASUS Eee Pad for your old men. Well, there are many other Android based tablets out there but I am particularly attracted to the Eee Pad for the ease of use with the dock. However, if style, brand image and build quality is added to your requirement, then go for the iPad 2 for the pride factor (if budget is not a concern that is). If you are constrained by budget and can live without a camera and 3G connectivity, then Amazon Kindle Fire is the budget option for you. However, if you are looking for a 7-inch screen tablet, need a basic camera for video calling and you need a fast processor to work from home on Wifi then Google Nexus 7 is my top pick. Within the $250 budget, it is the best tablet that you can buy and a highly responsive screen with a light weight body makes it our best pick for the elderly user (As of August 2012).