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Hotel security for valubles including iPad

We are staying in a number of hotels on our Europe trip. Some are 4 star and I'm sure will have an in room safe. Most, however, are small locally run Rick Steves type hotels. I am debating on taking my iPad Pro on the trip. I don't want to take it around towns when sightseeing for fear of pickpockets so the other option is leave it in the hotel. How safe is that? We have bag security locks and could cable it to a piece of furniture I guess, but that wouldn't deter a serious thief.

I'd like to have the iPad to view and edit our many photos as well as review tourist attractions. But, not sure it's worth the worry about its security while traveling.

Posted by
6162 posts

If there is no safe in room, I lock both of our iPads and jewelry in our luggage. Mulitiple trips around world, only theft was when car was broken into at a Chilean winery, 5* property

Posted by
5618 posts

If you can't afford to lose it (have it stolen), don't bring it. I travel with a cheap Chromebook. I don't store financial data or data that I can't afford to lose. Hopefully my passwords protect "cloud" data and access to my e-mail accounts. I'd don't "save passwords" to my accounts.

And that said, to my knowledge I have not been a victim of hotel theft and that includes travel in North America, Hawaii, Europe and China. That said, I have not been to Russia.

Posted by
6604 posts

I agree leave it in the hotel or at home so you can focus on enjoying yourself out on the town.

Posted by
18087 posts

Like the other responders, i lock my tablet, extra credit cards, extra ATM card and occasionally extra cash inside my suitcase. Never a problem. I started out using the in-room safes (which you may find in all your rooms--they're very common) but quickly realized that the odds of my forgetting to retrieve my valuables before checking out were much greater than the odds of a theft from the room. I stay in 2- and 3-star properties.

Posted by
5635 posts

Not sure I've seen many hotel room safes big enough for an iPad, in the US or abroad. I would do whatever you do when you travel in the US.

Posted by
18087 posts

Oops. I think Stan's right. My tablet fits, but I think it's just 8.4" diagonally.

Posted by
20954 posts

Don't worry about. Hotel theft is very, very low. Probably as low in Europe as in the US. I don't think anyone on this site has ever posted about a room theft other than some problems with youth hostels. There are more important things to worry about.

Posted by
11613 posts

On the other hand, I carry my iPad mini everywhere when I travel, goes in my crossbody messenger bag.

Posted by
5618 posts

RE: I never leave anything of value in a hotel room.

Rick Steves disagrees: https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/theft-scams/outsmarting-pickpockets

Leave your valuables in your hotel room. Expensive gear, such as your laptop, is much safer in your room than with you in a day bag on
the streets. While hotels often have safes in the room (or at the
front desk), I’ve never bothered to use one, though many find them a
source of great comfort. Theft happens, of course, but it’s relatively
rare — hoteliers are quick to squelch a pattern of theft. That said,
don’t tempt sticky-fingered staff by leaving a camera or tablet in
plain view; tuck your enticing things well out of sight.

PIckpockets in big cities like Paris are evolving and are apparently adding phones and electronics to the grab bag.
http://sightseekersdelight.com/how-to-avoid-phone-theft-paris/

A friend of mine recently had his brand-spanking new iPhone stolen on
the Paris metro. His loss (as well as my own pretty unsavory
experience with phone theft) prompted me to write a guide for anyone
using smartphones in Paris, though especially for iPhone users since
those are the phones most likely to be targeted for theft.

Posted by
31215 posts

Mike,

I always leave my Netbook and spare camera gear locked inside my luggage when I'm out touring for the day, and have never had a problem with theft. Hotel room Safes are not as "safe" as they might seem, so I rarely use them.

Posted by
440 posts

use the safe or in your suitcase locked away, a good trick for hiding money if you have folding wardrobe doors is to put it in a bag stuck to the folding part that is never seen from the outside you have to do this from the inside of the wardrobe mind.

Posted by
7 posts

I must concur that in-room hotel safes are not very secure. On my last trip, the in-room safe malfunctioned and gave a "battery" message. When the bellman arrived (w/o a battery) and entered one digit 4x to override the code I had programmed. Seeing that convinced me to never use the "safe" again.

Henceforth while out touring, I'll be placing my valuables in my suitcase and locking it.

I'd leave the iPad Pro home; and instead enjoy your holiday and savor the company of your travel companions. The editing of photos and reviewing of attractions doesn't need to be done "real time". But later, post holiday, you can re-visit those vacation memories with your travel partners by including them in the editing and reviewing process.

Posted by
4522 posts

Your room is just fine. I would not leave something valuable out in the open on a table or desk. The risk is not really from staff, but from a passerby seeing an open door (cleaning staff will often prop open doors as they clean a floor).

Posted by
314 posts

You can always lock your valuables in your suitcase and put it away out of sight when you leave the room. Any hotel staff with sticky fingers are not going to steal a whole bag out of a room.

Posted by
503 posts

Kaeleku, you mention that you leave your credit cards and passport in your room and imply that Rick Steves advises the same. I think those items are the ones he says to carry with you "tucked away safely in your moneybelt". I interpret the paragraph you quoted to mean expensive electronics, camera equipment, etc. I would never leave my passport and credit cards in the room.

Posted by
31215 posts

To add to my earlier post....

"We have bag security locks and could cable it to a piece of furniture I guess, but that wouldn't deter a serious thief."

Using multiple padlocks, chains, cables and gear of that type is just going to be a red flag that there's something of value inside the bag. Chaining the bag to a piece of furniture could also make it difficult for the room staff to move things while they clean, so would probably not be appreciated.

As I mentioned earlier, I just lock my Netbook and spare camera gear inside my luggage and have never had a problem with that approach.

Posted by
1217 posts

Your room is just fine. I would not leave something valuable out in the open on a table or desk. The risk is not really from staff, but from a passerby seeing an open door (cleaning staff will often prop open doors as they clean a floor).

I feel the same way. I've also talked with a manager of a nice hotel who said it was not uncommon in her sphere to require doors open while cleaning because it was safer for the staff that way- they knew of cases where a hotel guest tried to assault a female housekeeper, and felt like open doors reduced the odds of that kind of bad behavior in their property.

Posted by
1660 posts

I have never had a hotel safe that I couldn't get an Ipad in. Some of them are too small for a large laptop, but....

If my room doesn't have a safe, I just hide the ipad in the clothing and go on my way. So far so good, but it's not the end of the world if it's gone

Posted by
415 posts

Leaving my iPad at home isn't really an option. For me it's an invaluable tool when traveling. I imagine this is true for most folks who take their iPads.

Posted by
1260 posts

If you are worried about forgetting to empty the hotel safe before checking out: put one of a pair of shoes you intend to wear the morning you leave, inside the safe the night before.
Then you'll have to open the safe to get your shoe.

Posted by
2353 posts

We just leave them where ever - on the desk or beside the bed. I also just carry my cards/money in my purse. We just left Paris after 4 days and were not accosted once!

Posted by
2076 posts

The last time an iPad was worth stealing was about 2007. I just went to Europe, England, France, Germany, Croatia. I had a 2-in-1 tablet for the trip. I either carried it or left it in the room. Hotels are very safe, in my experience.

Posted by
2739 posts

When we are out of our hotel room sightseeing, I usually put my iPad in the dirty clothes bag under the rack that our luggage sits on. I sometimes have a dirty sock sticking out of the top of the laundry bag so it's pretty unappealing...