Women's safety tips: TikTok user reveals how to stay safe when checking into hotel alone

Woman using infrared detector, placing mug on door handle, checking mirror for two-way glass
A TikTok user has revealed the extreme lengths she goes to when checking in to a hotel in order to stay safe. Photo credit: TikTok / stockingsgirl

Women are often well-versed in small ways to stay safe - not walking alone at night, never leaving a drink unattended, always having the key in-hand before reaching the car. Now one woman has shared the extreme measures she takes when checking in at hotels, in the hope of helping others.

In a video shared to TikTok, a woman named Amy - who goes by the username stockingsgirl - revealed her top tips to stay safe when checking in at accommodation alone. 

In the video - which has amassed more than 26 million views at the time of writing - Amy films herself entering a hotel room and immediately locking the door behind her. To add an extra layer of security, she then places a portable door lock at the base of the door. Unlike exterior locks, portable locks can only be used inside a room and come in a variety of forms to protect against unwanted intrusions. 

As an additional precaution, Amy then places a mug over the door handle. This measure ensures the occupant is alerted to any attempts to enter the room, even if they are sleeping or in the shower - if someone tries to open the door or jiggle the handle, the mug will fall. The noise may also deter the possible intruder.

The video then shows Amy drawing the curtains and switching off the lights before using an infrared detector to scan the room, its appliances and furnishings - including the vents, shower head and plugs. The device can be used to detect any cameras that may have been stealthily hidden in the space. Some hidden cameras emit IR (infrared radiation) light, which isn't visible to the naked eye. Most Internet Protocol (IP) cameras - digital video cameras - also use infrared for night vision.

Amy is then seen checking the bathroom mirror to ensure it's not made of two-way glass. A two-way mirror is made with glass that is reflective on one side and clear on the other, giving the appearance of a regular mirror to those who see the reflection. However, anyone on the clear side can use the mirror like a window - able to see everything on the other side of the glass.

A simple trick to check whether a mirror could be two-way is to place your fingertip on the glass. As demonstrated by Amy, a standard mirror will show a small gap between the finger and its reflection - indicating the glass is innocuous. However, if a mirror is two-way, the finger will appear as though it is directly touching the reflection, with no gap between them. 

Other clips in the video show Amy placing a paper cover on the toilet seat, disinfecting the inside of the room's kettle and sanitising her coat and shoes.

The video has been well-received by women, many of whom thanked Amy for her advice. Some also suggested their own tips and tricks to stay safe. 

Several users advised others to check under the bed, behind the curtains and around any furnishings before locking the door to ensure no unwanted visitors are hiding in the room upon entry.

"Before even locking the door you should hold it open with something and check behind and under everything first," one suggested.

"Check the room with an open door in case someone is already inside," a second added.

Another said they always bring their own sheets and pillows to a hotel in case of poor hygiene standards, while one suggested checking for bed bugs before nestling in for a night's rest.

Others expressed disappointment that women are compelled to go to such extreme lengths to feel safe.

"Notice how everyone is giving her MORE advice. Why has the world become so unsafe for women that we can’t even relax at a damn hotel," one said.

"This makes me so sad," said another. "I hate having to do this just to feel safe when going to a hotel."