Boomer Traveler: Stay Safe in Your Accommodations

Second in a series of safety tips for traveling in Costa Rica by Doris Gallan

When booking accommodations, travelers look for comfort and security. Both qualities are hard to judge from a distance and so people rely more and more on web sites or guide books providing critiques of hotels and hostels. To make sure you enjoy your vacations and you feel safe in your accommodations, there are some travel tips you might find useful.

The usual variables are covered such as location, recreation facilities, restaurants, cleanliness, staff, etc. Some include security as a review topic while others prefer to avoid this touchy subject. In fact, all of the variables mentioned above may impact your safety while staying at a hotel.

Location is often the most important variable to look at and not just for the hotel’s proximity to attractions. No matter how great an establishment, if it is in a rough neighborhood you will be limited in your comings and goings and more at risk when inside the building.

In-house restaurants and recreation facilities may also be important if you arrive late at night or keep odd hours. You may not want to step outside the building and would appreciate these services being offered within the hotel.

Cleanliness is an indication of the hotel’s attention to details: dirty walls, smelly plumbing and overfilled trashcans may not sound like threats but they do reflect carelessness. Other details affecting security are likely being ignored as well including leaving back doors open, windows unlocked, parking lots unsupervised and non-guests wandering around.

Staff make or break a hotel and friendly employees helping you deal with minor issues will be a lot more valuable in sharing their advice as to where to go and what to avoid especially in large cities. They can also make reservations for you and give your taxi driver instructions in the local language to ensure you get to your destination without any problems.

Other details to look for prior to booking your hotel rooms are: a secured parking lot or garage if you are driving; a staffed front door or at least secured by locks and gates; and the availability of a safe or lock box for your valuables.


Doris is a Baby Boomer living in Costa Rica. She and her husband traveled around the world for 26 months visiting 40 countries on six continents (including Antarctica). You can read more about their travels and get travel tips at Follow Doris on twitter @dorisgallan.

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About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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