The Top Travel Safety Essentials for Your Holiday
Going on holiday is the highlight of most people’s calendar. You've worked hard all year, you've counted down the days, and now you’re finally away. Make sure that your holiday becomes a fantastic memory rather than a traumatic one, by following our guide to holiday safety essentials.
Travel first aid kit
When you’re travelling it can be easy to forget about first aid – but really, it’s one of the most important occasions when you should have some essentials with you. Whether you are travelling abroad or closer to home, if you’re in a strange place it can be difficult to track down emergency supplies quickly – particularly at night.
You can buy fully stocked first aid kits from a number of reputable suppliers. You should always supplement or personalise these to suit your own family's needs. Suffer from indigestion or heartburn? Include the appropriate relief. Are you on any prescription drugs? Take enough for the duration of your holiday with a bit extra for any unforeseen delays. Keep your medicines in their original packaging to make it easier to source new ones if something unexpected happens and you run out. Don’t forget about inhalers and antihistamines, and think about motion sickness, altitude sickness and other holiday-specific medications you might need.
If you wear glasses, it’s good practice to have your prescription details with you (you can simply e-mail yourself a copy) in case you lose or break your specs while you are away. This way, you should be able to get replacement glasses as quickly and as inexpensively as possible.
Well thought-out carry-on
Even if you're not flying anywhere, you should keep a well-packed ‘carry-on’ or a relatively lightweight piece of luggage that you will keep with you throughout your journey (and even when you’ve arrived, in some cases). Prescription drugs, cash/cards, passport/ID, tickets are the core essentials – and don’t forget some snacks, your phone and some kind of entertainment (crossword books, e-reader, Game Boy, etc). A bottle of water is a must and thermal flasks are a great, reusable option here; your water will stay cool for up to 24 hours in some cases.
Think about the worst-case situations – you are separated from your luggage for prolonged periods, it is stolen or it is lost. Your ‘carry-on’ is all you will be left with in a foreign country or strange place – what do you need to get where you need to go and remain safe?
Plan for the worst
On the subject of crisis-planning, you need to consider how you behave when you are abroad. There’s a strong temptation to drop your guard and relax into a ‘holiday’ frame of mind – but the unfortunate fact is that top tourist destinations are also frequently hotbeds for pickpockets and scammers. It’s good practice to keep your cash and cards secured on your person – money belts, neck wallets, leg wallets and hidden pockets are great for this. Keep some pocket money available for quick access and top it up discreetly when necessary. If you don’t need to carry your passport with you, lock it in the hotel safe, along with any other valuables.
If you are going on a day trip, make sure (where possible) that the providing company is licensed and reputable. Keep copies of important contact information on your person, too – your hotel number, the local embassy and emergency services, for example. The more adventurous among us like to get off the beaten path but, where possible, try and stay in groups – you’re less likely to be targeted or victimised.
Don’t forget about home
In a society seemingly obsessed with social media and constant updates, it’s important to think about what you are telling people. Posting about how you are eating pasta in Rome or surfing in Hawaii is essentially telling the world that your home is empty and is likely to be so for a while.
You undoubtedly trust those you've added to your profile, but what about when they comment or share? Does that post then get a much larger, unanticipated and unvetted audience? Save the updates for when you get back, it’ll be a nice chance for you to relive your holiday and you still get to show off a bit.
You can improve your home safety by asking trusted family, friends or neighbours to check up on your property while you’re away, installing a top-quality alarm and using timed lighting/smart electronics to give the impression that someone is in. If none of that works, making sure that anything of monetary or sentimental value is hidden away or, ideally, locked in a good-quality safe means that you won’t come home to a complete loss.
Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk