With many people planning a holiday now that COVID restrictions have lifted, it is important to consider security when you go away – follow our tips to ensure you and your belongings stay safe.
With social distancing restrictions having ended in July in England, and numerous countries around the world starting to open up to tourists again as the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under some degree of control thanks to the vaccination programme, many people are taking the chance to book holidays for the first time in two years.
But it is still important to think about security when you are going away – whether that is domestically or overseas – here are our top tips to ensure you don’t fall victim to crime while you are on holiday.
If you are leaving your house unattended while you are away, make sure it is fully secured before you leave. Most of what you should do is basic but can be easily forgotten in the excitement of going on holiday. For example, make sure all windows are closed and locked, as well as all doors, including garages, sheds and the like.
Ensure any security devices, such as alarms, or those that switch lights on and off at certain times are programmed.
It is also worth unplugging any non-vital electrical devices, such as kettles, televisions, games consoles etc to cut the risk of fire.
In addition, any devices, such as laptops, that aren’t being taken on holiday should be stored out of sight of any prying eyes. Likewise, if car keys are being left at home, ensure they are kept out of sight or stored in a box so they cannot be accessed for thieves trying to pull off a relay theft of your car.
If nothing else, this can give you some peace of mind as you head off.
Keeping luggage safe
If you are travelling by air, rail or coach, you’ll have to stow your luggage somewhere and you won’t always be with it to keep an eye on it, and this can make it vulnerable to theft or loss. One of the easiest and most effective ways of securing your luggage is with a lock.
There are a variety of luggage locks on the market. Padlocks are commonly used, as they are cheap and widely available – many hardware shops and supermarkets have them – and don’t have many components that could break. However, the downside is that the ‘loop’ of the lock can easily be cut, and keys can be lost, rendering them useless.
Combination locks are like padlocks but have the added advantage of having no keys to lose. Instead, it uses three or more numbered dials, which when set to a defined pin code, lock. The only downside is having to remember the combination or again they are rendered useless.
Cable locks have an extendable cable that can go through multiple zipper points, which is great if you have multiple compartments on your suitable or rucksack as it means you don’t have to fiddle around trying to lock/unlock several padlocks. You can also buy extender cables that allow you to fix your luggage to solid objects.
If you don’t have a lock, then a simple cable tie, looped through the zips, can also be an effective way to keep your luggage secure and stop zips coming apart.
Luggage straps are also useful for keeping luggage secure, especially when it goes through the airport system where items can get bashed about in transit from check in to the aeroplane and to luggage reclaim at your destination. Some luggage straps also have combination locks, which add another layer of security.
Wrapping your luggage in clingfilm is another way to keep your belongings safe – there are machines available in many airports that do this – but this isn’t environmentally friendly, and you do need something sharp to cut it off when you arrive at your destination.
Finally, there are also luggage trackers available. These devices fit inside your suitcase or bag and use GPS technology to locate it wherever it is in the world. Linked to a smartphone app, it means the user can quickly and easily track down where their luggage is if it goes missing in transit.
Keep valuables secure at the hotel
When you reach your destination, it is still important to think about security. Many hotels provide a safe either as part of the room or for a small additional fee, and it is worth investing in to keep valuables such as passports, money and jewellery in if only for the peace of mind it provides if you are out for the day.
Again, the usual rules about keeping valuables out of site when you are not in your hotel suite apply. While hotels are generally very safe places with in-resort security and CCTV etc, they can still be targets for thieves.
Of course, it is always prudent to take out travel insurance before you leave. If you get sick in a foreign country, the bills for treatment can rack up very quickly – and remember that the UK is no longer a member of the EHIC scheme in the EU, which entitled you to treatment.
But it can also be useful if your luggage is lost or items are stolen while you are away – the cost of insurance, which can be taken out just for the duration of your holiday, is less than the cost of replacing what gets lost.
Security reviewIf you are concerned about security before you go on holiday, you can call Inta-lock Locksmiths in Leicester for a security review. One of our experienced team can visit your home and assess the current security of it and advise on what, if any, additional security measures should be invested in. Of course, should you choose to invest in additional security, the Inta-lock team will be able to fit it, all at a price that is competitive with any other locksmith in the Leicestershire area.