Planning a holiday is an exciting time for travellers. Exploring a new destination, relaxation and cuisine are just some of the attractions of going away. Travellers should also be mindful of their personal safety, home and vehicles.
Adele Artman, the senior manager: Alternative Distribution, shares four safety tips travellers should consider ahead of their holiday.
Keep a personal safety checklist
Travellers need to be cautious about what they pack as some items may lure criminals.
"Take what you need to avoid being a target for thieves," Artman said. She advised that travellers should also monitor what they post on social media.
"We know you’re excited about going on holiday, but advertising your plans on social media will highlight that you are away and your home is potentially empty. Sticking with phones, beware of connecting to public wi-fi, as these systems can be a security risk," she said.
In terms of cash, Artman recommended using a credit or debit card instead of cash.
"Limit the amount of money you keep on you and be vigilant if you need to withdraw money at an ATM," she advised.
Create a home checklist
While you are marvelling at the views of your destination, having peace of mind about your home is equally important. Travellers should hire a house-sitter or ask a friend or family member to visit regularly for the duration of their holiday. “This helps your home look lived in. A neat garden will also be less attractive to potential thieves, so do a little home maintenance, like mowing the lawn, just before you leave.
“Test your security alarm and remember to inform your security company about your holiday plans. Keep valuables out of sight and lock irreplaceable items in a fireproof safe or leave them with someone you trust,” she said.
Travellers should turn off appliances and geysers before leaving for holiday, Artman said.
“With unexpected power outages a reality, install surge protectors and have an inverter, generator or battery back-up to power your alarm and essential lights,” she added.
Ensure vehicle reliability
Ensure that you service your car before a long road trip. The last thing you want is to get stuck during your journey. She advised that travellers check the tyre tread (including the spare), fluids (coolant, oil and water), as well as the batteries, brakes, wipers, seat belts and lights.
“Ensure that you have the following basic items in your car boot: jack, jumper cables, warning triangle and a first-aid kit. Guarantee that you always know where you’re going by packing – and using – a GPS,” she said.
Artman also advised that travellers check that their licences are up to date.
Take out insurance
Securing your home and assets is as important as travel insurance.
“Before leaving for your trip, speak to your insurer to find out exactly what you are and aren’t covered for, so you have peace of mind while you’re on holiday. With a bit of common sense and a proactive approach to security, you can avoid headaches and minimise any potential problems,” she said.