The Field Guide to Accommodation Security

This field guide is designed to guide you in the selection of safe and secure accommodation while operating in complex and higher-risk environments.

By Grant Rayner

USD $14.99

Grant's Field Guides are essential for all travelers to higher-risk environments, regardless of experience. These guides equip you to handle the uncertainties that arise during travel, and I have personally integrated many of Grant's suggestions into my own approach for safer and more informed travel. Living in the US, I have - on more than one occasion - found many of the Field Guide suggestions helpful when traveling domestically.


The Field Guide to Accommodation Security is the third instalment in the Field Guide Series.

This Field Guide is a comprehensive resource for people who travel to higher-risk locations and need to select safe and secure accommodation for themselves and their teams. The context considers both short-term stays in hotels or guest houses, as well as longer-term stays in apartments and residences.

Chapter 1 provides an overview of your accommodation options and advocates a risk-based approach to selecting accommodation. We reinforce the need to consider your travel profile, and discuss the requirement to balance a property’s profile and its security when it comes to selecting your accommodation.

Chapter 2 focuses on hotels. We compare international and local hotels from the perspective of safety and security. We also discuss the benefits and risks associated with staying in ‘fortress hotels’. We detail how to select a secure hotel before you travel and how to assess the security of a hotel once you’re on the ground. We go into detail regarding what you should expect to see regarding perimeter security and vehicle and personnel searches. From there, we take you through the hotel layer by layer, pointing out the types of security features you should expect to see in a secure hotel.

Our approach to hotel security is based on decades of experience assessing hotels in locations with a risk from terrorism, including properties in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.

If you’re looking for a handy hotel security checklist, consider the The Field Checklist for Hotel Security Assessments.

Chapter 3 considers on the security of guest houses. We discuss the factors that affect guest house security and the types of criteria you should be considering when selecting a secure guest house. Taking the same approach as chapter 2, we then go through the security features you should expect at a guest house, layer by layer. We also touch on fire safety, which is an important factor to consider when selecting a guest house.

Chapter 4 focuses on apartments. We detail how to select a secure apartment and how to assess the security of an apartment. We cover security concerns unique to apartments, including the Wi-Fi network and hidden cameras. We provide options for you to enhance the security of your apartment during your stay. Lastly, we provide recommendations for emergency response, which is a critical consideration for apartments, particularly where fire safety standards may be lax.

Chapter 5 focuses on residences (houses). We detail how to select a secure residence. We then describe how to design and upgrade the security of the residence based on prevailing threats. We go into significant detail regarding perimeter hardening, anti-surveillance measures, and a layered approach to security. We cover video surveillance, lighting, sirens, and dogs. We describe how to harden access points to delay breach attempts and provide detailed instructions for safe rooms and emergency preparedness.

A word of warning: The Field Guide to Accommodation Security gets into details and is not written for the casual reader. At the same time, we’ve been careful to explain aspects of security design and technology in terms that anyone will understand.

If you’re travelling to a higher-risk location and want to feel confident you’ve selected and appropriate accommodation option, this is an ideal reference for you.

Table of contents

  1. Accommodation options
  2. Hotels
  3. Guest houses
  4. Apartments
  5. Residences

First published 26 September 2020

Updated to Version 3 on 28 November 2022

ISBN: 978-981-14-8052-2

174 pages