Holidays and travelling is a way for us to get away from our jobs, the stress of life and have lots of great adventures, as well as time to relax. You don’t want this to be a stressful time, so to ensure it is not, there are a few precautions you should take to ensure you have a safe and happy holiday.
Before you leave
We would suggest you ensure you are leaving your home in safe hands as well so that you don’t have to worry about your precious belongings at home. Lock up everything that is of value to you in a safe or safety deposit box. Alternatively you can give it to people you trust to look after. If you are unable to afford housesitters, ensure that your Neighbourhood Watch and Security Company know that you are going away. Informing your local Police department is also a good idea. Make sure everything that needs maintenance and could cause problems when you are away have been fixed. You don’t want to hear about a burst geyser when you are sunning yourself in Hawaii!
It is also highly advisable that you let a family member or friend know your itinerary. This way they will always know where you are if there is an emergency at home, or if you don’t arrive at a destination they can check and see if you are safe.
Make photocopies of all of your documents: passports, vaccination documents, credit cards, flight details, hotel bookings etc. Anything you think that may be of value and might go missing. Mark your luggage clearly. Placing a bright sticker or ribbon on your bags will make them easier to identify.
Apply for travel insurance in case of medical emergencies when you are in a foreign country. Medical costs can be exorbitant, so you need to be covered for this.
While on holiday
So you have safely arrived at your destination and you step out of the airplane and head for the terminal and to collect your luggage. You should easily be able to identify your luggage and hopefully all the contents are safe.
Now is the time to start being vigilant. Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Don’t speak to anyone or get distracted by people who are not officials by asking you questions. Make sure all of your valuables are close to your body.
Ask an airport official for a recommend taxi service, unless you are hiring a car. When you arrive at your accommodation make sure you don’t leave anything in the taxi.
Once you have checked in and relaxed a bit, make sure to find out where the safe is and lock up all of your valuables. You will obviously need to carry cash around, so keep it in your front pocket, or on a bag that straps around your body, with access from the front. This will deter pick- pocketers.
Don’t walk around displaying your jewellery or hold your cellphone or camera in your hand. Showing thieves you have valuables will make you a target of crime. Be wise and conceal as much as you can when you are not using it.
If you are going to be doing any adventure sports like scuba diving or bungee jumping, check that they have genuine qualifications and a good track record. We really don’t want to spoil your fun by feeling that you constantly need to check these things, but prevention is always better than disaster!!
It stands to reason that you are going to be visiting many restaurants and bars. Socialising is going to play a major role on your holiday, and meeting the locals is a highlight of any trip. We do suggest, however, that you use your instincts and don’t reveal everything to a complete stranger. If you are going to drink, watch how much you consume because drinking lowers your ability to think clearly and affects your motor skills. You don’t want to make yourself vulnerable and a target for criminals. Rather enjoy a few more drinks in the safety of your hotel room.
Be cautious of where you use your credit card, especially in internet cafés. Fraudsters can record your keystrokes and find out your personal information. Rather use cash and don’t mention any personal information in an internet café.
Hopefully this does not sound like doom and gloom for a time when you should be able to just chill and let your hair down, but unfortunately there are consequences to not being responsible. Like the old adage goes: “It is better to be safe than sorry”. If you adhere to the above tips there is no reason why you can’t have one of the best holidays of your life!