It’s almost second nature for most travelers. After a long day on the road or in the air, you finally arrive at your hotel. Time to stash your stuff and head out on the town.

Luckily the hotel room has a safe and you can program in your own code when you lock away your valuables. But how safe is the safe?  Some security experts say, not very safe.

Many safes that require a four-digit code can actually be overwritten by a master code that can be as basic as “9999.” Hotel employees know that often people use very simple passcodes—like 1234 or 0000—so they won’t forget them.  A dishonest hotel employee may be likely to try out these codes first. The best idea is to make your code a random series of numbers like a birthday or a house number.

Be aware that hotel management can open all hotel safes. They have a master key to use in case a guest forgets the code they’ve programmed in or have lost the key to a keyed safe.

In some hotels, the safes are merely set in place and not bolted down. There’s little to stop thieves who might have access to your room from literally picking up the safe and walking out with it and all of your stuff inside.

You can see when a safe has a way for someone other than you to get into it, your valuables are never 100% safe.

There are steps you can take to secure your valuables. They include:

  • Personal security bars – available on Amazon – you can carry with you and attach to hotel safes
  • Secondary locks that can be attached to the safe’s door
  • The hotel’s safety deposit box typically available behind the registration desk
  • Carrying your valuables with you in a slash proof security bag

Think about what you are packing for your trip and minimize valuables and expensive jewelry. Unless you’re going to a royal wedding or some other very formal event, leave your fine jewelry at home. Wherever you go be vigilant and aware of your surroundings.