If you've traveled on a budget then you've likely encountered a hotel or motel in which the security has left much to be desired. When it comes to safety, we put a lot of trust in the places that we rest.
When you find yourself in a hotel with shoddy security, you aren't really able to relax because your basic safety is in doubt. What are weary travelers to do when it is too late to find safer accommodations? We adapt.
Setting up some sort of warning device on the door nob is usually an option, but this just gives you a warning of intrusion and doesn't make your environment more secure. Barricading your door with spare furniture is a bit better, but hotels with shoddy door locks are not likely to have a lot of furniture in their rooms that isn't bolted to the floor.
A far better option is to carry your own security device. I used to carry rubber doorstops with me, but I found that these were not useful for security in hotels because they were designed to keep doors open, not keep them closed.
I did some research on this topic and found the Veritas Traveller's Doorstop by Lee Valley Tools, but for various reasons I didn't order it. I recently received it as a gift, and after using it a few times I've realized that it is a tool without which I wouldn't think about traveling.
Lee Valley Tools has redesigned the doorstop with security in mind. With an aluminum wedge and a hardened steel spike to hold the wedge into place, this is one piece of travel gear that is built for serious duty, and it's built to last. Made of high quality components, this doorstop feels substantial in the hand and weighs 7 5/8 ounces (215 grams) with the included case.
The design is pure function so there are no extraneous parts to break or lose while on the road.
To use this doorstop, slip the wedge between the floor and the door, tighten the threaded spike until it holds tight, open the door slightly to test the fit, adjust if needed and you are done. In the event that the door is forced open, the spike drives into the subfloor and holds tight.
It should be noted that the door must have some amount of clearance between the floor and the door for this device to function correctly. Aside from that, I haven't found a flaw in this product.
Carrying a metal wedge and a threaded spike through security did raise a few eyebrows, but after inspection it was allowed to pass through both German and Canadian security. I have yet to take this device through security in the States.
If you travel or care about someone that does, you should consider purchasing one of these door stops. After all, safety is no accident.
If you spend a lot of time frequenting motels that have rooms with a door going into a hallway and another door leading outside, you may consider carrying two of these with you.
If you've used this door stop before, I encourage you to comment with your thoughts.
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