Going on holiday? Your pre-trip home and vehicle safety checklist

Imagine this: The excitement of packing for your long-awaited holiday is overshadowed by that nagging feeling – did you turn off the geyser, or double-check that everything’s locked up? 

Pre-trip worries can steal the joy of a getaway, so we’ve put together this handy pre-departure checklist to ensure your home is secure and your car or bakkie is ready to roll. So, let’s minimise the stress and maximise your holiday fun!

Home Security Essentials

  • Double-Check Doors and Windows: This seems obvious, but it’s the most important step! Be sure to check all the usual entry points, plus those sometimes forgotten – back gates, garage doors, even smaller windows that may look too tight to squeeze through.
  • Secure Valuables: If you’re not taking them with you, don’t leave expensive items in plain sight. A hidden safe or a less obvious location within your house offers more protection.
  • Lights and Timers: A few strategically placed lights on timers can make your home look occupied even when you’re away. This is a simple and effective deterrent.
  • Inform a Trusted Neighbour: A friendly neighbour keeping an eye on your house can provide great peace of mind. Ask them to collect your post or put out your wheelie bins on collection days to maintain the appearance that someone’s home.
  • Unplug Appliances: This protects against power surges and saves you a few rands on your electricity bill while you’re soaking up the sun.
  • Alert Your Armed Response Company: Let your security company know you’ll be away and provide them with contact details where they can reach you in case of any concerns.
  • Consider a House Sitter: If you’re going to be away for an extended period, having a house sitter is a great option. Not only does it add an extra layer of security, but also ensures your pets are cared for and your plants are watered!

Prepping Your Vehicle for the Road

Hitting the open road takes more than just packing your bags and a good playlist. Here’s how to make sure your trusty wheels are ready for the journey:

  • Tyre Check: Take a good look at your tyres. Check the tread depth (a worn tyre is a safety hazard, especially in wet conditions) and make sure the pressure is at the recommended level. Most petrol stations offer free tyre checks if you’re unsure.
  • Fluid Levels: Topping up your engine oil, coolant, and windscreen washer fluid might not be glamorous, but it’s essential for a smooth ride. Refer to your vehicle’s manual for the correct types and levels.
  • Lights and Indicators: Do a quick walk-around with a helper to make sure all your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and indicators are working. A busted bulb could cause more than just inconvenience.
  • Emergency Kit: Pack the basics: jumper cables, a basic first aid kit, a torch, reflective triangles (to comply with regulations!), drinking water, and maybe a few energy bars for good measure.
  • Spare Tyre and Tools: Double-check that your spare tyre is in good condition and that you have the necessary tools (jack, wheel spanner) to change it if needed.
  • Plan for Toll Roads: Factor toll costs into your travel budget. If you’ll be travelling on e-toll routes, ensure you have an e-toll tag or are prepared to pay within the designated time frame to avoid penalties.
  • Road Safety Reminders: Be extra cautious at rest stops, and don’t leave valuables visible in your car. Stay alert behind the wheel and always practice safe driving habits.

If you’re not familiar with basic car checks, it’s sometimes worth getting a pre-trip inspection done at a reputable mechanic, especially if your car or bakkie is nearly due for a service. Prevention is always better than being stranded on the side of the road!

Bonus Travel Safety Tips

While preparing your home and car is essential, here are some extra precautions to keep your trip safe and enjoyable:

  • Travel First-Aid Kit: Pack a compact first-aid kit with essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, painkillers, and any personal medications you might need. It’s your first line of defense for minor scrapes or sudden ailments.
  • Secure Your Luggage: Invest in sturdy locks for your luggage and keep an eye on your belongings at all times. Avoid leaving valuables in plain sight, even inside your locked car.
  • Personal Safety on the Road: Be mindful of your surroundings, especially when driving long distances. If possible, avoid traveling alone at night, and stick to well-lit and populated routes. Trust your instincts – if something feels off, find a safe place to stop or seek help.
  • Child Car Seats: Make sure your child’s car seat is properly installed and suitable for their age and weight. Never compromise on car seat safety, even for short trips.
  • Keep Kids Entertained: Long drives can get boring for little ones. Pack age-appropriate activities, snacks, and comfort items to keep them occupied and minimise distractions for the driver.
  • Plan Frequent Breaks: Schedule regular breaks during long drives to let everyone stretch their legs, use the restroom, and refuel. This is especially important for children who get restless easily.
  • Family Emergency Plan: Make sure everyone in the family knows essential contact information, what to do in an emergency, and what to do if you get separated.

EMERGIVAC – Your Safety Net for the Unexpected

We understand that even the best-laid holiday plans can face unexpected challenges. Accidents happen, and medical emergencies can strike when you least expect it. That’s why EMERGIVAC is here – to be your safety net when the unpredictable disrupts your getaway.

  • Accident Response and Medical Assistance: If you’re involved in a road accident or experience a sudden medical emergency while on holiday, rest assured we’ve got you covered. Simply activate the Medical Panic button on our EMERGIVAC Mobile App, and we’ll dispatch the nearest emergency response vehicle. Trained paramedics will assess your situation and transport you to the nearest private healthcare facility if needed. We’ll handle all the logistics of hospital admission, letting you focus on recovery.
  • Emergency Evacuation: In severe cases, we offer helicopter evacuation guarantees to ensure you get the critical care you need, fast.
  • Medical Support 24/7: Need urgent medical advice? Unsure about a sudden health concern? Our 24/7 medical helpline is a call away, providing valuable guidance and support during those stressful moments.

Learn more about the many benefits of joining EMERGIVAC.

At EMERGIVAC, we believe your holiday shouldn’t be overshadowed by the fear of “what if?”. Let us provide the vital support you need in an emergency, ensuring your well-being and giving you the peace of mind to truly enjoy your time away! 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is double-checking doors and windows crucial before leaving for a holiday?
    Ensuring all entry points, including back gates and garage doors, are secure minimizes the risk of unauthorized access.
  2. How can lights and timers enhance home security during vacations?
    A: Strategically placing lights on timers creates the illusion of an occupied home, serving as an effective deterrent against potential intruders.
  3. Why should I inform my armed response company about my holiday plans?
    Alerting your security company ensures they can reach you promptly in case of any concerns, maintaining an additional layer of protection.
  4. Why is checking tyre tread depth important before a road trip?
    Adequate tyre tread depth is essential for safety, especially in wet conditions, reducing the risk of accidents.
  5. What items should be included in the emergency kit for a road trip?
    Jumper cables, a basic first aid kit, reflective triangles, and essential supplies like water and energy bars are crucial for unexpected situations.
  6. How can I plan for toll roads to avoid penalties during travel?
    Include toll costs in your budget, and if using e-toll routes, ensure you have the necessary tag or are prepared to pay within the designated time frame.

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