The holiday season is an exciting time. After a gruelling year filled with hard work, it is finally time to relax and unwind. No matter what you’ve got planned this holiday, it is important to remember that you still need to be safe. Criminals don’t go on holiday and statistics continue to prove this with criminal activity showing a substantial increase during the festive season. Which is why it’s important to consider holiday safety.
No matter where you’re going, whether abroad or local, your safety will always be a pivotal part of your trip.
We’ve taken the time to highlight important steps you should take before, during and after your trip. This will ensure that not only you are safe and secure at all times but your belongings are too.
Before you leave
Make sure you contact your alarm or security company before you leave. They should be notified of the days that you will be away and when you’ll return. This will make them aware of the fact that your house is vulnerable during that period. You should also test your alarm system to make sure it is fully operational prior to leaving.
Once you’re confident that your alarm system is in tip-top condition, you need to prepare your house. Make sure you:
- Get a reliable light timer that will turn certain lights on at a certain time to give the perception that someone is in the house.
- Don’t close all the curtains and blinds in your home, this makes it blatantly obvious that the house is unoccupied.
- If possible, hire a reliable and trustworthy housesitter who stays at your house for the duration of your trip.
- Make sure that doors and windows are locked and secure – this includes every window, bolt and security gate.
- If your neighbours are close, trusted friends or family, alert them that you will be away for a certain time so that they too can keep an eye on your home.
- If you’re leaving after Christmas and you have the boxes that expensive gifts came in, make sure to discard of these boxes and don’t just leave them in the outside bins.
- Be sure to lock valuable possessions away or hide them from plain sight.
During your vacation
Holiday safety isn’t only about securing your home but ensuring that you keep yourself and your family safe while you’re away.
- Keep your documentation (passport, ID or driver’s license) close to you or in a secure place. And keep a certified photocopy of these documents in a separate safe place just in case.
- Don’t keep large amounts of cash on you.
- Make sure to plan your routes or expeditions to ensure you are completely comfortable with where you are going to avoid any risky situations.
- Before you go on your trip, make sure you’ve done your research to ensure that your accommodation and where you’re going is safe and has a good reputation.
- Avoid looking like a tourist, try blending in as much as possible.
- Keep your travel and accommodation arrangements to yourself and don’t divulge too much information to people you meet or “friends” you make.
- Don’t post too much about your trip on social media. We know it’s exciting to be away and have new experiences that you want to share but you never know who is keeping an eye on your social media pages. Posting on social media that you are away lets criminals know that your house is vacant.
- Do a security sweep of your hotel room. Always keep your hotel door locked and never answer it for someone you don’t know. If you can, try to get a room near the front desk or the elevator.
When you’re on your way home
If you are driving home, make sure to plan your route carefully and have the correct amount of money for tolls on the way. Ensure you are well-rested for the trip because car accident rates are heightened during the festive period.
If your trip was a bit further and you’re flying home, make sure your documentation is safe and easily accessible. Be wary of your personal belongings on the trip home.
While en-route home, check in with your security company to ensure there has been no suspicious activity at your house or in the neighbourhood while you were away. And be careful that no one has followed you into the driveway of your home.
To ensure your holiday safety is at optimal levels, get in contact with us. We will do a thorough risk assessment of your home and help you with your travel safety. We want you to have a happy and safe festive season – no matter what.