CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The summer travel season is almost upon us, as families prepare to hit the road for their dream destinations.
Often, a long road trip means an overnight stay in a hotel.
We're putting you on alert by checking out crime around Charlotte hotels, to get an idea of what kinds of crime you could face.
"We don't stop after dark anymore,” says Larry Burke.
An accident a few years ago changed the way Audrey and Larry Burke Travel.
"Looked like we could've got robbed,” he says.
Two men in a car followed them into a hotel parking lot and began screaming at them to give them money. Burke drove closer to the front door and the men took off.
We analyzed crime statistics around charlotte hotels and found that parking lots are where you are most likely to be a victim.
Crime Prevention Officer Johnathan Frisk says to start by parking in a well-lit spot.
“Just like parking going to the mall or to the grocery store you don't want to leave any valuables in your car you want to even take your car chargers out," Frisk says.
When you are checking in, safety experts recommend rooms between the third and sixth floor, high enough to deter a quick getaway for a criminal but easy enough for fire trucks to access.
If you are a woman traveling alone, experts suggest checking in as a Mr. or a Mrs.
I asked Officer Frisk the proper way you should check your room.
"When you walk in here, obviously, you want to look immediately to your right," Frisk says. "Then take a quick glance to your left just to make sure no one's hanging out in the area."
Once you know the room is clear, lock the door behind you. Hotel insiders tell us to ask if the hotel is staffed with security 24 hours a day. Check to see if it has secure elevator access.
It is beneficial to book the room directly with the hotel instead of a third party so you have more control over your reservation. You typically get better deals when booking mid-week.
Also, never open your door to anyone you do not know. Whether it’s an outside door or the door to your room.