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How to be safe this festive season

By EVELYNE MUSAMBI

Safety is key during the festive season and however way you look at it there is always ways in which we expose ourselves unknowingly.

From the way you exit your home town while embarking on your holiday journey to the way you travel, there is need to beware and stay safe.

1. Don’t leave your home at once

If travelling with the entire family it is advisable to leave the house in batches as opposed to packing up everything and getting into the car together. Some opportunists monitor the movements of everyone within the estate and immediately they notice that a certain house has been left unattended they start plotting how to sweep your household appliances.

2. Scan all your travel documents

Ensure that you email yourself a scanned copy of your passport, tickets, bookings receipts and travel itinerary so that it is easy to retrieve in case of any theft. All travel documents should be kept safely in your to go bag and while in a hotel room safely deposit them in a safe.

3. Don’t have a predictable schedule

Be as unpredictable as possible to avoid being trapped. Since your holiday may be at a location that is new to you. Remember to ask your guide for all eventualities and alternative routes to different destinations. This will ensure that you use different roads to the hotel and come in at different times sometimes even popping in in the middle of the day.

4. Drive safely

This perhaps carries a lot of weight as it includes not over speeding, not drinking and driving as well as not stopping in the middle of the road at night. No matter what happens to your car or who is flagging you down at night, do not stop at an isolated area as you could end up being a victim of carjacking.

5. Not everything deserves to be uploaded on social media

Giving too much information on your whereabouts may just lead robbers to your home while you are away. Sharing too many and very revealing photos of your family while still on holiday may also put them at risk. Avoid giving too much details on social media and remember that your boarding passes are not for public consumption or flossing as many would term it, they could be used to track you and your luggage.

6. Have contacts of the relevant security officials

You may be travelling to a new city where you have never visited and do not know anyone around. Remember to ask the hotel to give you their security team’s contact and if possible share the contacts of the city’s police. This will ensure that you call for help in case you get into trouble within and outside the hotel.

7. Go back to the hotel in good time

Avoid coming back to the hotel late into the night as you may not be able to tell which route is most secure at that time. Darkness may even confusing to the extent of making it hard for you to locate the hotel while hiring a cab may turn out to be your kidnapping ticket.

8. Pop in to your home or have someone pop in unannounced

This gives the impression that you are still around despite the fact that you may have gone to a different town. Have a trusted family member pop into your home unannounced and if possible spend the night so that those planning anything may be distracted. If the town you are visiting is not so far away you may consider popping in at least once a week.