Tips for preparing for your holiday

June 29, 2018

Whether you are escaping or embracing the chill on holidays this winter, use these tips to secure your home, prepare your car & minimize your risks before you kick your feet up & head off.

Secure your home

Ensuring your home is adequately secure before heading off on holiday is something that many may consider to be just dead-locking the doors, but we recommend you do a little more than that. To minimize the risk of burglary here are some ideas to help your house maintain an occupied look.

  • Organise a family member, friend or neighbor to put your rubbish bins out on bin day & back in the following day, you can also ask a neighbor to place some of their rubbish into your bin.
  • If you have a neighbor with multiple cars, ask them to park one of them in your driveway.
  • Organise somebody to collect your mail. If this isn’t an option, organize for your mail to be redirected to an alternative address for the period of time that you are away.
  • Leave an inside light on. Timers can be purchased which will automatically turn the light on and off at set times of the day.
  • If you have a monitored alarm – let them know you are heading away so they know to respond quickly if the alarm goes off.

Prepare your car

There is no escaping the fact that there are more cars on the road over the holiday period meaning increased traffic & time to get places – a little planning ahead will make for a safer trip.

  • Make sure you are well rested before you head off on your trip. Driving fatigue puts yourself and others at a much higher risk of an accident.
  • If you can, avoid driving in unfamiliar areas in the dark. Daylight helps you navigate unfamiliar roads.
  • Make sure you plan your road trip thoroughly, specifically what stops you are going to make along the way. Make sure you allow for fuel stops wherever necessary & don’t let your car run too low. Nothing takes the fun out of a holiday like running out of petrol.
  • Check that your lights & indicators are working & that your tyre pressure is right for your ca. Also check the spare tyre is road-ready in case of an emergency.
  • If you are towing, make sure you are aware & understand your vehicle’s towing capacity.

Driving Conditions in Winter

Travelling throughout the cold winter months means the possibility of driving in poor weather conditions is significantly higher. Below are facts & tips on how to stay safe on the roads in these conditions.

  • Roads become very slippery in the first few minutes of rain as the water mixes with the oil & dirt on the road creating a slippery surface. Gradually slow down instead of forcefully braking when the road becomes wet.
  • If possible, avoid driving in heavy fog. If you must drive in fog, be sure to turn your high beams off. Your high beams will reflect off the fog and bounce back into your eyes.
  • When driving in the snow, you will require wheel chains to achieve maximum grip & safety. Also make sure you have a shovel & a tow rope incase of an emergency.
  • Black ice refers to a thin coat of glazed ice that forms on the surface of the road. It is practically invisible to a driver which increases its hazardous level.

What else?

Of course it makes sense to ensure you have the right insurance in place before you head off – then you can have a great holiday knowing if something does happen you are covered.

  • Home & Contents Insurance –Already insured? Make sure your policy is paid and current, and that your cover is adequate to reflect your current replacement values. If you are travelling in Australia you can check with your insurer if your contents are covered while you are on holiday. Heading away for a long time? Make sure you have told your insurance company so they know the property is unoccupied (if going away for 60-90 days or more)
  • Travel Insurance – Heading Overseas? Travel insurance is a must for medical expenses alone. Getting home can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in cases of medical emergencies. It makes sense no matter where you are going to have good travel insurance from a reputable insurer.  Try to avoid relying on the “free” insurance credit cards offer. They are the cause of a huge number of complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
  • Car Insurance – If you are heading off on a road trip you want to make sure that your car insurance is current and that all regular drivers are listed & will be covered if they have an accident. Take your car insurance details with you so if you are far from home your insurance company can look after you if you have an accident. Our clients would just call us of course.
  • Caravan Insurance – Make sure you have your van insured & that any precious items you are taking with you are also covered (might be covered under your home insurance). Also make sure that your car is suitable to tow your van. Check the manual.

And lastly, even though you are really excited to be on holiday & want to share it with the world…maybe think about just creating a list of trusted friends & sharing your holiday adventures with them only. The world at large does not need to know that you are not home & your house unoccupied. Most of all have a great break.