Holidays are for relaxing, unwinding and taking it easy; the problem with this is that you let your guard down and can often open yourself and your family up to dangers that you would otherwise be well guarded against.
Keep it Confidential
Don’t tell the world on Facebook or Twitter when you’re going away and how long you’ll be gone for - it’s not only your friends who may be interested in this information!
Here are some practical tips to ensure you have a safe and happy holiday with no nasty repercussions on your return.
Make a Copy
Leave a spare set of house keys with someone you trust – not under a flowerpot or in the post box. Also give this person a copy of your itinerary, contact numbers, travel insurance documents and ID books.
Except for the fridge and freezer, unplug all electrical appliances to prevent the possibility of a fire. Turning your geyser off will save you money. If your geyser is older than three years, get a plumber to check it for you - if it floods while you’re away, it could incur thousands of Rands in damage.
Install a Timer
If you don’t have someone to come in and switch your lights off in the mornings and on in the evenings, consider installing a timer. This will give people the impression of someone being home making it less of a target.
Review the terms of your household insurance to make sure you are fully covered in the event of a burglary or an accident that may cause damage.
Sense and Sensibility
Don’t carry large sums of cash on you and ensure valuables such as jewellery, cameras and laptops are locked away when you’re not using them. Always be aware when using ATMs in unfamiliar places.
It’s best to use a debit (rather than credit) card for purchases and meals out. Keep a modest balance in your account to curtail losses should your card fall into criminal hands.
Make sure your car is in top running order before setting off. If you’re hiring a car, take a few minutes to acquaint yourself with the spare wheel, the controls and the basic insurance that comes as part of the car hire deal.