Common sense has always been a precious commodity in travel. You don’t need stories about tourists plunging off cliffs in their cars or YouTube videos of national park visitors nearly being mauled by wild animals they were trying to pet to be reminded of that uncomfortable fact.
But is common sense as we know it dead? Talk to other travelers and to survival experts, and the troubling answer is: maybe.
The severity of the problem became clear to me when a regular reader of this column, Robert Welch, e-mailed me a photo he took of a hotel door left ajar. Welch, who works in the security department of a large chain hotel in New Orleans, says every night, guests leave 25 to 30 doors ajar, presumably so they can run down the hall or out to dinner without having to remember their key cards. That’s about 6% of all rooms.
“It’s the No. 1 reason why a theft occurred whenever I’ve investigated it,” he says.