Your hotel room safe: not as safe as you think

Most travel safety tips suggest that you should always remember to leave your valuables in the hotel safe. But just how “safe” is it? A new video posted by consultant skyrangerpro suggests that your hotel safe may not be as secure as you think.

Posted while skyranger was on travel in Markham, Ontario (hotel name not specified), the electronic safety boxes that allow you to program your own four digit codes opened with the default code of all zeroes, usually 0000. This standard safe looks just like most of the ones we’ve found in our hotels across the country.

It’s a valuable lesson for travelers who think they are being secure with their valuables – check to make sure this password isn’t your default setting before storing goods in your safe. If it is, opt to check your goodies at the front desk (where another safety box is usually available).

Our intrepid gear reporter Scott Carmichael wrote about the hotel safe issue back in 2009, and suggested a worthwhile but expensive alternative – a personalized locking device. Sean McLachlan suggested ways to hide valuables around your hotel room.

Tell us, which tactic would you take?

Just how safe is the hotel safe? Not as safe as you’d hope!

Every “how to” article about keeping your stuff safe in a hotel will recommend keeping valuables in a safe. And initially that may seem like the best place to store stuff.

There is however a disturbing trend involving theft from the hotel safe.

Despite the thing being locked, it appears that many safes may not be as safe as you’d think. All hotels have a backdoor into the safe which is added in case the guest forgets the code, or loses the key.

Some safes may use a master key, others may have a special code to open the door. Either way, when a safe has a way for unauthorized people to get in it, you are going to run the risk of theft.

Of course, it is always going to be hard to prove who exactly stole stuff from the safe during your stay, and hotel management may not always be willing to cooperate, especially in certain countries where management may be the culprits behind the theft. Worst of all, without any evidence, your travel insurance usually won’t cover these losses.

Your best option is to consider keeping valuable stuff elsewhere in the room, but you’ll need a very well planned hiding place to thwart would-be thieves.

When researching this article, I came across the Milockie hotel safe lock. This device consists of a special lock and strap, and allows you to secure the safe with your own lock, preventing anyone else from gaining access.

Unfortunately, the lock costs 50 Euros, and has to be shipped from Europe, but if you regularly travel with expensive items that need to be locked away in the hotel safe, it may be a worthwhile investment.

Check out some of these weeeeeird hotels from around the world.