Travel with peace of mind and leave your worries behind. What a nice way to spend your vacation! Here are a few tips from Tandem CDN/NDG, Montreal’s support program for citizen action in urban security, to help you relax and enjoy your few days or weeks of rest. These basic principles can be adapted to your own situation.

Before you leave

• When burglars choose a target, they search for a home that does not look occupied. Make sure that your absence is not obvious. This is why it might be useful to make a friendly request to your neighbour or someone you trust. They could:

– Pick up your mail;

– Park their car in your driveway or in front of your house a few times;

– Turn the indoor and outdoor lights on and off, when needed;

– Open and close curtains;

– Make sure that everything is in order;

– Move your car;

– Mow the lawn, in summer:

– Shovel your walk or driveway in winter;

• You can also ask the post office to hold your mail and you can cancel newspaper delivery.

• You should know that some insurance policies limit coverage in case of prolonged absences. Ask your insurance company or your broker if this applies to your policy.

• Make a list of your confidental numbers (passport, credit cards, PIN numbers, travelers’ cheques, etc.) and store it in a safe place.

• If you are travelling abroad, we recommend that you contact the Department of Foreign Affairs to know if you should take special precautions in the country you are about to visit.

It is also a good idea to notify your credit card company if you are planning to travel abroad.

• It is better to be discreet about your travel plans.

Inside the home

• You should store valuables and important documents in a safety deposit box. Make sure TVs, VCRs, computers and the like have been engraved. Do not keep large sums of money in the house.

• Place your blinds and curtains in a way that will prevent anyone from looking in.

• Make sure that doors and windows are locked. Turn off the ringer of the phone. If your home is equipped with an alarm system, turn it on.

• Unplug the automatic garage door opener.

Have a nice trip!

• Put discrete identification tags on your luggage or use your business address. Lock your suitcases. Don’t bring too much luggage and try to arrive during daylight hours.

• Make sure that objects that you carry on the roof of your car are fastened tightly and locked. Do not leave anything of value visible in the car but rather store them in the trunk, away from prying eyes.

• Carry your money and ID cards in an inside pocket and avoid carrying large sums of money. Use bank cards, credit cards or travellers’ cheques instead.

• After you arrive, write down emergency numbers such as police, fire department and ambulance.

• Get to know the city you visit. Ask which are the safest places to travel.

• At night, choose an itinerary or route that includes well-lit streets.

• Do not leave your valuables on the beach without surveillance.

• During your trip, every family member should carry identification on them.

For any information on prevention before or after your trip, contact our Tandem CDN/NDG office at (514.736.2732).

In case of emergency or if you notice something suspicious during your trip, phone the local police.