Keeping safe: tips for the holiday period
Are you planning to go on a well-deserved vacation anytime soon? Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or are going away for the first time, the following safety guidelines can help you have a relaxed and safe trip.
No matter where you are heading, you should never take safety for granted. Here are some handy tips that can help you to be prepared.
What to do before you leave
Take the following precautions to ensure your home isn't at risk while you're away:
- Make sure to close all the windows and doors.
- Make sure your alarm system is working.
- Inform your family, neighbours, or friends of your intended destination. Let them know the time you expect to return and the route you'll be driving.
- Lock all tools such as axes, spades, picks, and ladders away. These can be used to gain access to your house by criminals.
Keeping safe in the street
- Plan your route beforehand by making use of a map or by getting clear directions.
- Avoid being a target for thieves by not wearing expensive jewellery.
- Never display your valuables, for example; your phone, wallet or camera.
- Only carry the amount of money you'll need and be alert at any ATM terminals.
- Avoid walking alone or in quiet streets in areas you're unfamiliar with, particularly at night.
- Always remain vigilant and avoid suspicious-looking persons.
- Plan your journey. This includes the modes of transport you intend on using. Familiarise yourself with public transport routes and operating times.
- Ask for directions before you start on your journey.
- Ensure that you know the distance, direction and time it takes to get to your final destination.
- Be alert at all times while travelling on public transport. Keep valuable items out of sight.
- Use only recommended and reputable private transport services.
- Be particularly alert at any transport interchanges.
Sightseeing, concerts and other major events
- Familiarise yourself with emergency measures, such as your nearest exit sign, fire extinguishers and stairs in case of fire emergencies.
- Take care of your valuables.
- Where possible, avoid being alone.
- Plan travel arrangements, particularly when travelling after hours.
- Deal only with authorised agents when you exchange money.
On the road
- Familiarise yourself with the traffic rules of the Western Cape.
- Plan your route and consider fuel consumption in advance.
- Check that your car is in a roadworthy condition before going on long road trips.
- Keep car doors locked and windows closed at all times.
- Lock valuable items in the boot/trunk.
- Never pick up strangers.
- Stop only at designated viewing or picnic sites.
- Don't use your cellphone when driving. Your calls and messages can be returned once you've arrived safely at your destination.
- Most importantly, never drink and drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other narcotics drastically reduces your driving ability and poses a threat to yourself, other motorists, as well as pedestrians.
When travelling on the road this festive season make sure your journeys are safe.
- Plan your routes and activities for the day. Obtain information about the outdoor area you'll be visiting, including information on wild animals (if any) which may be in the area. Always inform a family member or friend of where you'll be going, as well as your expected time of return.
- Check weather conditions.
- When visiting the beach, get information on the tide times and check the beach for warning flags.
- When going on hikes, carry protective clothing, wear suitable shoes, make use of maps and carry water. If possible, take a compact hiking first aid kit for minor injuries.
If you’re planning to travel abroad this holiday, use our guide for advice on safety, your itinerary, and other tips that can help you make your time oversees fun and enjoyable.
VIDEO: Visit the Western Cape today!
You don't have to book a flight and travel to another country for the holidays. The Western Cape is one of the domestic travel destinations in South Africa preferred by foreign tourists. Take some time to discover the world on your doorstep.