About to set off on your summer holiday? Then ensure you do these three things before you leave home:
Before you set off on holiday, ensure your home is safe and secure. There are a number of steps you can take to improve your home’s security. Firstly, consider installing more robust locks on your property’s doors and windows before you leave. If you are going to do the latter, then check with your insurance company whether there are any locks which they require or recommend. Also, before you leave, walk around your property to ensure all of your windows and doors are locked before you set off. It’s surprising how many burglaries happen as a result of a window being left open – so don’t let that happen to you. In addition to new locks, consider installing an alarm and CCTV system. When it comes to the latter, there are lots of options available on the high street, which you can install yourself, so shop around to find the best deal.
Use timer switches to give the impression that someone is home, from a radio playing in the background to strategically placed lamps; you can give the impression that your home is occupied while you’re away. Just be sure that your lamps themselves can’t be seen, or it will be a giveaway that the house is unoccupied. Alternatively, look out for photosensitive bulbs that activate when light levels lower. Also, be mindful of how you leave your curtains – curtains pulled shut are a giveaway that your property is unoccupied, so consider the alternatives. Net, lace, muslin curtains or blinds are a good compromise because they let light in, but you can’t see through them, and it won’t be clear whether there is anyone in the house or not. One last tip, leave your wifi on – if you do, and a burglar enters your property with their phone on – they’ll leave a trace that they were there. So add an extra line of security by leaving your wifi activated while you’re away.
Also, be sure to cancel all of your regular deliveries whether it’s milk, newspapers or groceries, a build up of post and unwanted deliveries is a sure sign that your property is vacant. The Royal Mail offer a keepsafe service, which means they’ll hold on to your post for when you return and prevent it from building up. In addition, mow your lawn so that the house looks well cared for, and you don’t find an overgrown mess on your return, plus ensure you haven’t left any washing out on the line.
If you do have a trusted friend or neighbour, who can pop in and check on things whilst you are away – so much the better. They can water your house plants and double check that all is well. The more steps you have in place to protect your property the better. The more hoops a burglar has to jump through to gain entry into your property, the less likely they’ll achieve this without being noticed and the safer your property will be.
When heading off on holiday, you need to ensure you have adequate insurance in place. Check your home insurance is up-to-date and in place before you leave. If you’re going away for an extended period of thirty days or more, then ensure you have appropriate cover. Your regular home insurance is unlikely to cover you if this is the case, so look into the options for short term home insurance. The insurance business is based on risk and a house that is left empty for longer periods of time is at greater risk of something untoward happening. Short term home insurance should cover both your home and contents, so you’ll have peace of mind. When calculating the level of contents insurance you need, it’s better to overestimate than underestimate. Remember you’ll want to replace any lost items with new ones, so ensure your policy covers this. Also, the cost of replacing absolutely everything in your house is likely to be far more than you think – so bear this in mind when arranging your insurance cover. Use an independent insurance advisor to find the right cover for your specific needs; they’ll have in-depth knowledge of the policies available and be able to find the right insurance for you.
In addition, ensure you have appropriate insurance to cover your holiday and travel arrangements. You need to be prepared for unexpected eventualities when travelling. If your holiday doesn’t go as planned, then travel insurance can protect you in a number of ways, firstly, if your holiday is cancelled or cut short for reasons outside of your control. Secondly, insurance can help if your departure has been delayed or you’ve missed transport for reasons outside of your control. Insurance is also essential if you suffer a medical emergency or a personal injury. Moreover, insurance can also help if your belongings are lost, stolen or damaged during your holiday. Finally, travel insurance usually provides cover in the event that you accidently cause damage or injury to anyone else. So all in all, comprehensive holiday insurance is a must to give you peace of mind and cover you for unexpected events while you’re travelling. If you’ve booked your holiday yourself, rather than going through a travel agent, then holiday insurance is particularly important as you won’t have ABTA or ATOL protection.
- Paperwork in place
In addition to the insurance for your holiday and home, ensure that all of the rest of your paperwork is up-to-date and in place, from details of your travel arrangements and accommodation to your European Health Insurance Card. The NHS website has information regarding which countries you can expect free or reduced rate health care when you are on holiday. Also, remember to notify your bank that you are travelling abroad and let them know in which countries you’ll be using your cards – if you don’t do this, you risk having your card cancelled when your bank notices unusual transactions taking place.
So there you have an overview of the three things you need to ensure you’ve done before you leave home for your summer holiday. We hope you’ve found it helpful and that your holiday gets off to a cracking start.