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Posts Tagged ‘HOLIDAY’

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 Home insurance, automatic lighting or cancelling the milk.

 Nothing spoils a holiday more than coming home to find you’ve become the victim of a crime. Those hard-earned hours of relaxation will be quickly undone if you have to start filing a claim on your home insurance.

To that end, here’s five ways to protect your home before you go on your summer holiday, so you can enjoy ‘no more worries for a week or two’.

1. Hide the tell-tale signs you’re away

Nothing says ‘I’m an empty house, break in and help yourself’ like a pile of letters visibly building up on the doormat, leaflets dangling out of the letterbox or bottles of milk lining up outside your front door. Consider giving a trusted neighbour a spare key so that they can pick up the mail every couple of days.

Alternatively, the Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service will hold your mail for up to two months. If you’re only going away for a fortnight, Keepsafe will hold your mail for up to 17 days for £11.25.

Cancelling the milk delivery and any other grocery deliveries will also keep your home safer and save you a bit of money too.

 

2. Turn everything off at the socket

Make sure that every single appliance except for your faithful fridge/freezer is turned off at the wall and not left on stand-by. Not only does this reduce the risk of fires, it’ll also save you money on your utility bills.

While you’re at it, check your central heating, if you have it. There’s not going to be any frost for a few months yet, so you could turn off any automatic time-sets and avoid heating an empty house.

Also check you’ve not left any fires or free-standing heaters on. And double-check the oven: a colleague cooked some pasta for his daughter before setting off on hols last year and spent the whole of his break worrying about whether he’d switched off the gas ring or not.

3. Create the impression you’re still home

Remember in the film Home Alone when Kevin McAllister duped hapless burglars Harry and Marv into thinking that the house was occupied and actually hosting a party?

Well, you don’t need to go that far, but you can buy timing switches for your lights which can be set to turn on and off at specific times of the day, giving the impression you’re home.

If you’re driving to the airport or your resort, see if you can find someone to park their car outside your house while you’re away.

4. Locks and keys

It sounds fairly obvious, but make sure you do a sweep to ensure all doors and windows are closed and locked properly. Check the garage and shed as well, if you have them.

If you were to leave a door or window unsecured and were burgled, you may find your home insurance provider unwilling to pay out for a claim because you failed to take “reasonable care” of the property.

Also, once the doors and windows are locked, make sure the keys are completely out of sight and reach of any windows or your letterbox. There’s no point locking a door if you’re putting the key within easy reach of an intruder.

Finally, leave a spare set of keys with a friend, relative or trusted neighbour so that someone can gain entry to the property if something was to go wrong inside the house.

According to NFU Mutual research, you’re statistically more likely to be a victim of water damage from a leaking or burst pipe than you are to be burgled – so having someone check on the property while you’re away could prevent disaster.

5. Don’t broadcast your absence

Many of us like to brag about where we’re jetting off to on Facebook, or even post pictures from the beach on Twitter – but this could be a big mistake.

MoneySupermarket’s home insurance expert Hannah Skenfield warns: “In the excitement of your trip it is all too easy to publicise that your home is empty. Avoid posting your trip on your social media account, where it may be viewed by strangers, until you get back.

“Just taking some simple precautions will significantly reduce the likelihood of needing to make an insurance claim and help ensure that your lasting summer memories are of your holiday and not of a problem that occurred at home.”

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holiday-destinations-india

You’ve finally got a hassle free week, to spend in whichever way you like. Can’t think of what to do? This is precious free time, and it would be a bad idea to waste it. If you’ve finally got some break time and have no idea how to spend it, then don’t panic. Just read this article…

1Sleep. Have you always wanted to sleep in, but had to get up because of work/school? Well now is your perfect chance. Turn off your alarm and sleep your way through the early hours of the morning. You can also stay up late, then sleep late.
2Take A Trip Somewhere. It can be anywhere, Florida, a friend’s house, your grandmother’s farm, anywhere. Take time to kick back and see some new places, or just chill out with somebody you know. Get a change of scenery and forget your troubles.
3Learn Something New. There’s a ton of knowledge just floating around out there, waiting to be gained. Try learning a new skill, like knitting or a fresh sport. Or pick up National Geographic, turn on the TV and have a look at something educational and interesting! Research up on your favourite topics and take some time to study.
4Read. Catch up on your reading. Head out to the local library or book shop and pick up some new novels. Find a genre that suits you and take time to see what authors you like best, or get more knowledgeable about some. Reading can be educational or just fun, and there’s something out there for everybody.
5Shop. Plenty of stores have sales when there are breaks from work or school. Have a look around at your favourite shops, and see what you can get. This may be the perfect time to treat yourself, or get a present for a friend or family person. Take a friend with you and enjoy a long, hardcore shopping spree.
6Call up a friend. Catch up with one of your friends. This is a great time to brush up on a friendship. Plan an outing with a bunch of friends or just that special close buddy, and have fun together. You could even go shopping or take your trip with them!
7Practice a skill. If you’ve been trying to improve on something or been lazy, use this spare time to brush up on it. Practise singing, an instrument, sports, whatever you’ve been doing. Use this time to perfect another skill.
8Have a girl’s/guy’s day out. If you’re a mother, take your daughter out. If you’re a father, spend some “bonding” time with your son. Call a bunch of your girlfriends over a for a fun night in, or catch up with the guys for some sport or partying. Have fun with some same sex mates.
9Spend time with your child/children. Spend some quality time with the kids. Go out and do something that you all enjoy, whether it be a movie, sport, or a cosy night at home watching movies. Get to know your children even more and have some fun.
10Cook. Cooking is a fun and useful skill that anybody can learn. Pick up a cookbook or somebody skilled and get cooking! Be creative and think up your own recipes, or dream up something imaginative for dinner. Remember, the more skills you have, the less bored you’ll be.

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