Do not use the disgusting bathrooms of gas stations on highways! They have probably been used by truckers and their cargos as an ashtray, for oiling car parts, or as a rest stop for some other business that you do not want to know about.
Make sure the bedding has been changed from those who stayed before you. Open all cupboards and check inside any furniture that can be moved easily. If moving anything triggers a cloud of dust, leave it alone – previous occupants may have deliberately left behind items to afford them better privacy for doing… things…
Check if there is a key hidden somewhere outside near the main entrance. It may have been left there to allow easy access for an accomplice.
Check if the place has a false roof – it’s a straightforward way to enter the building without breaking the lock or using force. Look for any signs that indicate that one of the ceiling blocks can be moved easily because someone could be hiding above and waiting to pounce on you as soon as you open the door.
If you choose to stay indoors and your room is locked from outside, check first if there is an air vent or some other passage through which someone can crawl inside and hide until nightfall.
If something seems too good to be true, it usually is not valid! Do not believe in offers of free nights, drinks, or meals. There is a good reason why they are so generously given away – there is another hidden cost to you, which will become apparent at checkout time.
If you have been given a room key from the receptionist, always ask if it’s “really okay for me to use it” and tell them that somebody else would appreciate their kindness too – because somebody could be listening in on your conversation and may already be en route to get into your room without being noticed.