Make sure you have the contact number of the police, the hotel you are staying at and someone in the area to help should an incident arise. Picture: Pexels.

While "holiday-mode" is a great space to be in, it’s advisable to remain vigilant of the potential dangers that lurk. 
Many people often have a distorted perception of their safety while on holiday. Because they’re escaping the metropolitan madness where they’re constantly on guard, they think they are safer. With this distorted perception, they are less vigilant about personal safety while away. 
Maanda Tshifularo, Head of Dialdirect Insurance, said: “We tend to forget that criminals don’t take holidays. In fact, it’s your holiday they’ll be taking advantage of. While it would be wonderful to leave all those ‘big city’ concerns behind, crime in South Africa is a reality, wherever you are, and constant vigilance is required.” 

Here are some tips: 
Keep your children close

With the increased awareness around kidnapping and human trafficking, vigilance is more important than ever.
Know the route

Before you venture out, plan your route and avoid getting lost in potentially dangerous areas.

Car jamming is a reality 

Most shopping centres in big cities post signs of this, but car jamming can happen anywhere. Always double check that your car is actually locked before walking away.
Clear your car 

Don’t leave beach bags, sunglasses or any other valuables in plain sight.

Shop and explore with caution

While discovering new and interesting places can be fun, avoid using ATMs in secluded and quiet areas and steer clear of shops, passageways and other places in remote, dark or deserted locations.

Save important contacts 

Keep the numbers of the local security provider, police station or your hotel with you, so if anything does happen, you have a number that could assist you. 
Chat to the locals

Just like you know which areas to stay away from your hometown, they know the places to avoid in your new destination. Speaking to the locals also helps you learn about the hidden spots where locals frequent. 
Get back to basics

When going to the beach, for example, only take what you need. Don’t take a wallet with credit cards and large sums of cash, or your whole handbag with other valuable possessions and documents, if only the odd R200 and beach essentials will do.
Location, location, location

At the beach? Pick a spot close to the lifeguards, as this is a deterrent for would-be criminals. If you drive to the beach, park your car in a well-guarded area.

Swim in shifts 

Take turns going to the water so that someone is always there to keep an eye on valuables.