It’s that glorious time of year again – summer! Once again, as COVID restrictions subside,  millions of us have been or will soon embark on a well-deserved vacation. While those summer vibes are flowing, however, this is also the time of the year to review some basic summer travel tips.  

First, roads are often extremely busy, and with the increase in traffic comes an increased accident risk. Meanwhile, “back at the ranch”, your home will be waiting quietly for you to return. What can you do to make sure your summer vacation doesn’t turn into an event that you will remember for many years for all the wrong reasons?  

Here are 5 summer travel tips to ensure your trip actually goes as well as you make it look on social media! 

Check your car and home insurance policies  

Before you embark on a road trip it’s a great idea to get hold of your insurance policy to check what exactly is covered and what isn’t. Your car insurance will pay if you are involved in an accident, but will that cover the full cost of your damage? In this regard, it’s useful to know about umbrella insurance, a special type of insurance that covers the shortfall if the main policy pays out less than your actual damages. 

Apart from that, for example, you might be taking your elderly parents with you on the trip. Will their property be covered if you are involved in an accident? 

Also, have another look at your home insurance policy. Make sure that the coverage will be adequate if disaster strikes while you are on vacation. You might, have bought a new TV or computer since last year’s summer holiday, or perhaps expensive jewelry. Before you leave,  

double-check that you have added all of those to the personal property section of your home insurance policy. 

Towing a trailer, camper, or boat  

Although car insurance is compulsory in most US states, it’s not compulsory to have insurance for a trailer or a boat (particularly not if it’s a boat with a small, under 50 horsepower engine).  And in some states, you also don’t need insurance if you are towing a trailer-like camper. 

If you are involved in an accident while towing any of these, however, the damage can be devastating. It’s simply not worth skimping on insurance when the risk is so high. Talk to your insurance agent about an affordable policy. 

Don’t invite burglars via social media  

Most of us have heard horror stories about would-be burglars who scour social media at this time of the year looking for people who write about their upcoming summer vacations. Just think how easy you will make life for them when you also post the name of your town and a  picture of your garden with the house in the background on your Facebook or Instagram account. As much as this is an ‘eye roll’ statement, it’s better to wait until after you have returned from your trip to post all your exciting pictures and news.

Don’t let your home shout “My owners have left me!”  

Learn to think like a burglar. What would you do if you are looking for a home to rob? The first thing that comes to mind is one where there’s not a single light to be seen night after night.  Another sure sign is a mailbox that’s overflowing with mail and newspapers that were never picked up. 

A good security system that is properly armed will go a long way to deter burglars. So will one or more lights being on inside the house. Add to that a kind neighbor who picks up the mail and newspapers every day, and your home will suddenly not be so attractive to burglars. 

Don’t let the weather ruin your vacation  

We all know how horrible weather can ruin any vacation. But it can do more than that. If a  storm hits your town while you are hundreds or thousands of miles away, will your home be ready for it? Before you leave, check the weather forecast. If bad weather is predicted, make sure the gutters are clean and that all leaks have been fixed. Also, trim shrubbery and trees. In short, do what you have to do to make sure your home will be able to weather the storm without you.