Taking a holiday is all about relaxing, not about worrying that you have left the oven on, the door open or have forgotten to take out insurance cover.
Moving home, on the other hand, is considered to be one of the most stressful and exhausting experiences that we have to face. You can, however, make it less of an ordeal by ensuring that you are well-prepared before the day itself, to minimize the risk of anything going wrong.
Whether you will be travelling by air, sea or car, choose the best luggage that you can afford, as cheap suitcases will soon weaken. Tie round a coloured tape or buy straps with your name woven on them to help you to identify your luggage quickly at an airport. Never write your name and home address on luggage labels where they can easily be seen – anyone dishonest will instantly know where their next ‘job’ is to be.
Several weeks before you are due to travel, check that all passports are up to date and will not expire while you are away. You will also need to find out well in advance whether you need visas for the countries to which you will be travelling, and, if so, to organize them with the relevant authorities, which can take some time.
Take out holiday insurance and make sure that, in the event of having to cancel at the last moment, you will be given a refund.
Holidays in which sports are involved may require additional cover. Always check that, in the case of an accident, you will be flown back home: for long or specialist treatment. Check with your doctor whether any vaccinations or a course of tablets are required for the country or countries that you will be visiting.
Order some currency and arrange traveller’s cheques for the remainder of the money – this is both safer in case of loss or theft, and more convenient.
Lock ladders to a garage or shed wall so that would-be burglars cannot use them to gain entry to your home.
Mark all your valuables with an engraver and stencil or ultra-violet pen so that, in the event of a burglary while you are on holiday, the items can be identified should they be recovered. Many stolen items such as hi-fi (stereo) equipment are found by the police, but cannot be returned because of lack of identification.
Giving a little thought to security before you go on holiday will greatly reduce the chances of a burglary while you are away. Some of these suggestions may seem obvious, but it is surprising how often they are forgotten.
Ask a neighbour to call in every day to remove flyers and letters from the mat, as a pile of these is a good indication that you are away. Cancel milk and paper deliveries, as these can alert any passerby to the fact that no one is at home, if they are stacked upon the doorstep. Keeping house plants watered is also a good way of ensuring that the house looks occupied.
Fit door and window locks if you have not already done so (this may be a requirement of your insurance policy in any case, so you must do this or your policy could be invalidated in the event of a burglary). Padlock ladders to a wall and lock up the garden shed if you have one so that tools cannot be used by burglars to gain entry. Buy time switches to operate the television and some lights to give the impression that people are in the house.
Leaving washing up on the drainer and a couple of magazines scattered around will also make it look as if the house is occupied.
Travelling with children
Stop boredom from setting in by taking a selection of games and toys with you. Guessing games and stories also help to pass the time enjoyably. Acupressure wristbands and travel-sickness tablets are useful for long journeys. Another remedy is to eat crystallized (preserved) ginger, which prevents nausea.
This should include the following:
- Sun-screen lotion.
- After-Sun lotion.
- Insect repellent.
- Antiseptic wipes.
- Sticking plasters and bandages.
- Upset-stomach tablets or medicine.
- Paracetamol or other pain-relief tablets for adults and children.
- Dehydration packs for diarrhoea.