It’s the season of travelling to meet loved ones and exchanging thoughtfully chosen gifts. Christmas is without doubt one of the most exciting and anticipated times of the year. But that doesn’t mean that common sense should go out of the window.
If you need to travel with Christmas presents, then it pays to be aware of how to keep them safe from theft, loss and damage.
Just a few simple steps will ensure that they reach their recipient intact and give them the joy they were intended to. Read our travel tips to keep valuables safe, and include them in your travel planning this festive season.
Travelling by plane
Whichever mode of transport you are using this Christmas, ensure that your gifts are well-wrapped. Use bubble wrap to protect them, or wrap them up in layers of clothes in your suitcase.
If you’re flying to visit loved ones this Christmas, think about where you are going to store valuables, including gifts. It’s not advisable to pack them in luggage that will be in the hold, out of your sight.
Instead, pack them in your carry-on luggage to be stored in the overhead locker above your seat. Store smaller items in zipped internal pockets in your bags to make it harder for would-be thieves to grab them quickly.
You could also consider buying presents once you’re at your destination if you have time. This will eliminate any risk of precious gifts being stolen while en route to their intended recipients.
Travelling by car
Travelling by car should be a safe way to transport your Christmas gifts as long as you take the right precautions.
Keep any gifts out of view, so instead of leaving them on the rear seats or parcel shelf, stash them in the boot of your car.
Keep your boot locked if you make a pit stop on the way, and don’t open it in full view of others if you leave the car for a break.
Unpack your gifts from the boot once you get to your destination to avoid leaving them unattended in the car.
Travelling by bus and train
Travelling by bus or train laden with gifts means that you are vulnerable to theft unless you keep your wits about you.
Know when your bus or train leaves and make sure you aren’t waiting for too long on a dark and lonely platform. Instead, find a brightly lit spot where you can wait.
Keep any luggage with valuables and gifts packed inside near you instead of storing it in the communal luggage racks.
Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable about the behaviour of anyone around you and you fear that your valuables may be stolen, change seats or carriages if you can. If you’re on a train, you can get off at the next stop, then immediately rejoin the train at another carriage to throw potential thieves off the scent.
At your destination
Even if you’ve travelled safely to your destination, don’t be complacent. Keep following our tips to keep those carefully chosen gifts safe.
Keeping your valuables safe in a hotel
If you’re staying in a hotel, avoid using the safe provided in your room to store gifts and other valuables. A passcode can be guessed, or it can be broken into or carried away with relative ease.
Instead, store them in your suitcase and use its built-in combination lock or a padlock to secure it. And choose a case with a hard shell instead of a soft one that can be cut into easily.
When you are out, consider leaving the “Do not disturb” sign on your door to deter thieves.
Be careful when giving out your room number in public. You never know who’s listening and tracking your movements. You can offer your surname instead when checking in for breakfast in the hotel restaurant, for example.
Keep your car safe
Don’t leave any valuables in your car, even if they are stowed away in the boot, if you use valet parking services or will be parking the car yourself and leaving it unattended.
If you are visiting an unfamiliar place, do as much research as you can about the area and any routes you have to take to reach your loved ones. An air of confidence is sometimes enough to deter thieves.
What about leaving Christmas gifts at home?
If you’re leaving a selection of Christmas gifts at home while you go out spreading festive cheer, follow a few common-sense safety tips to ensure they’ll still be there when you get back.
Don’t make the mistake of leaving them in plain sight underneath your Christmas tree. This could prove just too tempting for opportunistic burglars who may grab anything that looks like it could be of value.
Stash any gifts away out of sight before you leave home, and check out these home security measures before you go away on your Christmas break:
Set an alarm if you have one.
- Ensure doors and windows are locked.
- Use timer switches for lights so your home looks occupied.
- Set up video cameras so you can monitor your home remotely.
- Protecting your presents and your peace of mind
Taking some sensible precautions should mean that your thoughtfully chosen Christmas gifts are safe from damage, loss and theft this holiday season. Knowing how to travel with valuables safely will pay dividends when it comes to ensuring Christmas is the fun and worry-free time it’s meant to be.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to guarantee the safety of your gifts 100%. That’s why choosing travel insurance with valuables cover is a must on your Christmas to-do list.
Valuables travel insurance will cover the cost of replacing your gifts if they get lost, stolen or damaged. To find the right policy for you, you’ll need to check the limit that you can claim up to and the excess to pay in the event of a claim.
Protect your presents and peace of mind today by using our online comparison service. It only takes a few clicks to find the exact level of cover you need. Or you can speak to one of our friendly UK-based experts to guide you towards a policy that will help make sure this festive season is peaceful and worry-free.