Mistakes to Avoid when Planning a Move

Pet dog in a moving box
Image Courtesy of Unsplash

It is said that moving home is one of the most stressful events of one’s life. So it’s no surprise that over 40% of recent movers state they never want to do it again. You don’t want the added nightmare of damaged or stolen goods of all the planning and things that can go wrong. So here are some things to avoid when planning a move to secure yourself.

Doing it Yourself

Moving items of any shape and size can be cumbersome, tiring, and tedious. There aren’t many people who enjoy doing it. But there are trained and experienced professionals. Companies like Allied Van Lines cover the logistics of moving expensive items and the loading, preparation, and transit. Additionally, a moving company typically takes care of any liability. This means they are responsible for safely transporting items from one location to another. Therefore, your goods are insured while they are in transit.

Not Extending Insurance

Further to insurance, you should check or update your policy if you intend to move some items yourself. Standard home contents insurance doesn’t cover goods in transit. Most policies cover things at the address stated on the policy, which is void if the goods are removed from the property. Your new address may also not be protected by your policy. However, you can easily update an insurance policy. All you need to do is contact your insurance provider, inquire about transit insurance, and ask them to amend your policy. This may cost more, though.

Not Protecting Valuables

Moving can be as simple as shifting some stuff around the corner to a bigger house or traveling hundreds or thousands of miles. Yet no matter how far your property needs to go, there’s always the chance of damage. Therefore you should protect your goods from scrapes, bumps, and scratches. Pre-sorting into appropriate boxes is a significant first step. But you can further safeguard expensive items with bubble wrap and adequate padding. Heavy-duty cloth may help against leakages and collisions while moving blankets will help prevent scrapes and scratches.

Leaving Your Old Home Unsecured

Leaving your old home behind, you might become lax about security. But until conveyancing or Transneft of tenancy is completed, you are responsible for the property. Additionally, expensive items might be left at the old residence for pick-up later. Therefore, you should secure the old address as if you still live there. You could be gone for a while as you move your stuff. Still, you can invest in some relatively inexpensive products for extra safety. Smart video CCTV systems connect to your phone. Intelligent locks let you know if someone is tampering with them.

Blabbing About It

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t use one social media platform or another. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are great places to share details of your life. Some are joyous occasions such as births and weddings. But there are some details you should never share. Some such as moving are not the best idea until you are entirely finished. Individuals of the criminal element could take advantage of knowing you are currently away to take the opportunity to unlawfully enter your residence. On the other hand, you might still have things there. And whether monetarily or sentimentally rich, some items cannot be replaced when they are gone.

How to Protect Your Home While Traveling?

A door handle

So, you’re slowly packing your bags for your next big trip. If you plan to go somewhere sunny to escape a cold Christmas, you are probably focused on figuring out what you might need to do to protect yourself from the sun and the heat that awaits you. Or, you might be excited about your field trip to Florida with your kids. Whatever your destination may be, it is essential to consider the safety of your home and your possessions while you are away. That is why we will discuss how to protect your home while traveling so that you do not leave anything to chance.

Why you need to protect your home while traveling

You might feel like nothing could surprise you when you prepare thoroughly for the journey. And you are not alone. Interestingly, most people tend to worry about the safety of the belongings they bring with them on the trip. This is because people usually associate the very feeling of safety with being at home. As a result, their caution is usually focused on avoiding pickpockets and frauds in a foreign country or state. 

However, eagerness to finally sit on the plane or the bus taking you to your vacation may distort your judgment. Just take note of the fact that most break-ins and burglaries happen during the holiday season. And of course, we are not saying it is not important to determine what you should not travel without. But, it is equally important to think about safety precautions you ought to make to ensure your home and your belongings are safe and secure. In that sense, a few things can help you deter criminals while you are traveling. 

Create an illusion that someone is at home

Certainly, the last thing you would want to happen to you during your holiday is a burglary. All of the lovely memories you make on your trip could be outright tainted by such an awful experience. So, instead of becoming a crime statistic, you should do everything in your power to outsmart burglars

The first step toward fortifying your home is to make it seem like someone is there all the time. You can set up an automatic timer on radios, TVs, and even lights to give away a false impression you are at home. Just make sure you set the timer to turn off the lights during the day. It will be incredibly suspicious if your porch light is turned on in broad daylight. When it comes to curtains and blinds, the best strategy is to position them to look like everything is normal, but don’t allow the possibility for someone to examine what is inside. 

A house with turned on lights and a wet driveway
Turned on lights can create the illusion you are at home

Ask a friend, neighbor, or relative to check up on your home

If you have a backyard, you should tidy it up and mow it before leaving your home. This way, the grass will take longer to grow out and show that no one is actually there. Also, if you are traveling in your car, ask a friend or a neighbor to park theirs in your driveway. 

In addition, you can ask someone you trust to check the house from time to time and collect mail, packages, and newspapers. A single stray furniture catalog on your doorstep or a promotional flyer on your doorknob could be a sign that the property is vacant. If you are going away for more than a week, you should consider canceling your subscriptions for the time being. 

Lock all doors and windows

This might sound like unnecessary advice. But you would be surprised how many break-ins happen due to this kind of oversight. Be sure to double-check if all possible entrances are safely locked. The same goes for pet doors and mail slots. Burglars can make use of these kinds of openings to insert tools that can help them break into your house. Also, be sure to disconnect any doors that can be opened automatically. For example, you should turn off the electronic opener in your garage and place a padlock on the doors instead. 

A black US mail mailbox
A full mailbox can be an indicator that you are on vacation.

Remove all valuables from your home

If you have money, artwork, or jewelry that you cannot afford to lose, do not keep them inside your home. You should consider taking your valuables to a safe storage unit while you are traveling. This way, you will ensure the safety of the most important items as well as your peace of mind. Moreover, it is not only the promise of luxury items that might instigate a burglary. Even newer appliances might provoke someone to try to break into your home. So, if you have state-of-the-art technology such as TVs or sound systems, it might be a good idea to lock them up while you are away.

Be careful about your social media posts

During the holiday season, many homes are targeted by criminal organizations for weeks. So much so that they might even follow you on social media to see if you are traveling. In that sense, as much as it might be tempting to share photos and live videos of your holiday, it is better if you restrain yourself. 

Two people hugging each other while posting on social media
It is safer if you and your family members post vacation photos after the vacation ends.

Of course, we are not saying you must not indulge in sharing your experiences with your followers. But it is wiser if you postpone posting on your social media until you return from your vacation. You can also lock your profiles or switch to ‘Private’ for the time being if you cannot resist the urge to post. Also, if you decide to share a photo, make sure you remove the geotags. Just think about it. Abstinence from posting on social media is another way to protect your home while traveling. And – it is free and effortless. So, if you observe it from that perspective, you might be able to acknowledge how important it is. 

6 Smart and Safe Solo Travel Tips

Travelling on your own can truly be one of the most enjoyable and empowering experiences you’ll ever know. Feeling the freedom of exploring new places by yourself, on your own terms and on your own schedule is truly second to none. Scoping out the best destinations as a single traveller is exciting to say the least, but it’s important to make the most out of your trip. As well as staying safe, you’ll want to make the most of being by yourself by meeting new people and creating memories to last a lifetime. Consider the following smart and safe solo travel tips and your upcoming venture will be smooth sailing and unforgettable.

1. Tell Someone Where You’re Staying

When you go travelling alone, it is important to let a member of your family or friend know where you’re staying. Giving a contact number or address of your hotel or rental apartment will not only give them peace of mind, but it will ensure that you have a level of safety. If you’re planning on travelling to a number of different cities or countries, you should give your itinerary to someone you trust so they know where you are at all times.

2. Make Plenty of Memories

Going travelling on your own doesn’t mean that you can’t take epic pictures and videos of the beautiful places you’re staying. This OM 5 allows you to capture high quality video and take selfies with ease, so that you can have memories to last a lifetime. When you’re travelling solo you need lightweight, portable items that you can manage on your own, so this is the perfect solution if you just want to carry your smartphone, rather than a bulky camera.

3. Do Your Homework Before You Go

Scoping out the area before you go is a great idea. This will give you the confidence to go out and about with ease when you arrive. Once you’re familiar with the area it will be much easier to plan your activities, restaurants and excursions. Head online to some relevant travel blogs and you will soon start to learn everything you need to know about your chosen destination. You may also need to look up local transportation to make sure you can get around the area easily.

4. Be Confident

When you’re out and about in a new place on your own you should try and exude an air of confidence if you can. If you look like a vulnerable tourist who looks lost with a map, you might be opening yourself up to pickpockets and thieves. Before you leave your hotel or apartment complex, look up where you’re going on a map and try to remember where you’re going. You can always stop and ask someone for directions along the way, but try to walk with purpose at all times!

5. Keep Your Valuables Safe

It is especially important to take care of your belongings when travelling abroad by yourself, after all there is nobody there to watch your bag when you go to the bathroom or stay in the hotel room whilst you pop to the supermarket. Get in touch with your accommodation provider and ask if they offer additional security measures such as a safe in your room. Keep your money, passport and any expensive items in your safe if possible. When you’re out and about try not to show your phone, laptop, tablet or any other gadgets and gizmos as this may attract unwanted attention. Staying safe when you’re travelling on your own should always be your number one priority and these safety measures will help you to achieve this.

6. Put Yourself Out There and Meet New People

There is something so special about connecting with new people when you go abroad. Meeting new people and making friends is arguably much easier to do when you’re on your own; you have no ties to the rest of your travel party and everything is on your own terms. Head to busy bars and cafes and strike up conversations with interesting people. You might make friends for life on your solo travelling trip!

Whether you’re travelling around the country you live in or you’re expanding your travels to Europe and beyond, there are so many exciting reasons to go solo! Staying safe during your travels should be your number one priority, as well as soaking up every new experience that is available to you. Hopefully these handy tips will allow you to enjoy a smooth and enjoyable adventure as a solo traveller!

A man on a beach