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Worst Hotel Key Travel Tip

Worst Hotel Key Travel Tip
In my 11 years of living in Hotel rooms on the other side of the planet, I have developed a few self-imposed guidelines.

1. I do not allow cleaning people to enter my Hotel room alone.
2. I do not give the key to the reception when I leave the room.
3. I do not tell the management, staff or people in the Hotel where I am going and when I will return.

Kilgoris, Kenya
East Africa
Friday, April 17, 2009


Because of those three small strategies to avoid being robbed, this key above is one of the worst Hotel keys I encounter.


It is huge, I cannot carry in my pocket and walk out of the Hotel, there is a temptation to give to the desk to avoid carrying. This is exactly what the Hotel wants me to do, this allows them to know I have left the room and track my movements. Often this says to the Hotel it is time to clean the room, the resident is out of the room.

I cannot untie the knot in the rope and remove the huge piece of board with the number on it. 90 percent of the time I can separate the Hotel room identification tag from the key, then put the key on my personal key chain. I then have one set of keys in my pocket to watch and not two. If the Hotel is clever, they will use a nylon rope; tie a knot, then heat the knot with a cigarette lighter and burn the knot to fuse it into one solid semi-plastic knot.

I need a bag to store this large key tag, I am lucky, I normally carry my camera bag about 90 percent of the time, therefore it my custom to have a bag.

When walking out of the Hotel with this key, I am tempted to carry it in my hand and not put it in my pocket. The staff of the Hotel can see the key in my hand and try to induce me to give them the key.

I often see huge keys like this sitting on blankets at the beach, a person left their room and because the key is so large, they sit it down next to them. Maybe they are at the restaurant; they will sit the key down on the top of the table. Thieves can see the key, nonchalantly walk by, grab the key and then go the room and steal all your valuables.

Normally because of the size of the key, the Hotel staff will place the key in small box areas behind the reception desk. Anyone who wishes can see if the person has left the room or walk behind the desk, steal the key and go rob the room.

Many Hotels have a rule that residents must turn in their key when they leave the Hotel. This rule is only enforced in about five percent of Hotels that have the rule. I normally will move out of a Hotel that enforces this rule because it forces me to place every valuable item in my room in my backpack, lock it up and use a dog chain to lock the bag to the bed or some permanent object in the room.

Worst Hotel Key Travel Tip