The Ila Wedge can make your hotel room safer

Ila Wedge Door AlarmStaying alone in a hotel room can make even an experienced traveler nervous. Whether you’re male or female, sometimes you just “get a bad feeling,” which can make it darn near impossible to sleep.

If you get a creepy vibe from someone at the front desk, it can be hard to relax in your room knowing that they have access to a key. The security chain is a good precaution, but we’ve all seen far too many movies (and Law & Order episodes) where predators bust open a hotel room door, ripping the security chain right out of the wall.

If you are looking for one more layer of security, here’s an idea: the ila Wedge Door Alarm. This bad boy may look cutesy, but it packs a 130 decibel siren — an achingly loud sound level considered the sonic “threshold of pain.” If someone tries to open your door, they will almost definitely be scared off by that alone. The fact that it’s a doorstop means that getting inside would require time and effort they’re not likely to expend while the alarm is going off.

It’s a pretty simple idea, and for an anxious traveler, a bargain at $19.99. You can get one at

Carry a door stop – Hotel tip

Ever worry that you might have an unwelcome visitor during the night in your hotel room? While most hotels have a deadbolt or a chain lock which can be engaged only from the interior of a hotel room, many cheap accommodations — especially some found overseas — offer less protection for their guests.

To deal with this, I carry a small rubber wedge that is normally used to hold doors open with me. Before I go to bed, I wedge it between the door and the floor. It’s inexpensive, easy to pack, and gives me a little peace of mind when patronizing less-than-glamorous lodgings.

[Photo: Flickr | General Wesc]

The Doorstop Alarm: 125db of Pulsating Terror

Doorstop alarmOnce when I was in college, some prankster pulled the alarm in the middle of the night, and everybody filed outside and stood in the cold, waiting for the building to be declared safe. Well, everybody except me, that is. I slept straight through the alarm — and the unit was right outside my dorm room. I guess you could say I was a heavy sleeper. I don’t really sleep that deeply any more, but the Doorstop Alarm may be the perfect gift for the heavy-sleeping traveler on your list.

Designed in the shape of a regular door stop, the fabulously-named Doorstop Alarm is placed behind a door. If the door is opened, the alarm gives off a pulsating 125db shriek. Just as an FYI, 125db is somewhere between Propeller Aircraft (“Threshold of Pain”) and Riveting Hammer (“Threshold of Feeling”). In other words, it’ll probably wake you up — and nearly give you a heart attack. As an added bonus, you can always slip the alarm into your pocket and “accidentally” set it off during dinner when the snotty waiter doesn’t come around to bring the check. (“Misseur, you want ze bill now?”)

For use with a single 9-volt battery, a Doorstop Alarm runs in the neighborhood of $14. Conveniently, it features an on/off switch so the alarm doesn’t accidentally go off in your luggage — and nearly give the baggage handler a heart attack.