Holiday Safety and Security
We really want you to enjoy your holiday, so to help you stay safe when abroad, The Camping and Caravanning Club are working in association with Aria Assistance (formerly Europ Assistance) to bring you an essential guide to help you prepare for your holiday and highlight potential issues so that you can avoid them. These precautions will help to protect you, your family and your possessions while you are away.
The high mileages you are likely to cover on the continent may put a strain on your car, so to reduce the possibility of breakdown there are a few things you should do:
• Arrange a full service, in good time, before departure, paying particular attention to the following parts: battery, tyres, brake systems and linings, cooling system, water hoses and fittings and fan belt.
• Ensure that you take appropriate equipment to comply with local law such as a high visibility
vests, warning triangle, beam deflectors, spare bulbs and NF approved Alcotest Breathalyzers
when travelling in France.
• Do not overload your car.
• Plan your route ahead and ensure that a member of the party other than the driver is familiar
with the route.
• Do not allow your fuel tank to run low and stay on well-lit and well-travelled roads.
• If you get lost in an unknown area - on foot or in a vehicle – ask for directions only from officials or proprietors of larger businesses e.g., hotels, garages, etc.
• Holiday motor breakdown insurance is invaluable when travelling abroad. Always keep
your Breakdown Insurance documents with you when travelling as you will need to call
the emergency telephone number shown in this if you need assistance.
• Make sure you have told your UK Motor Insurer that you are taking your car abroad so that they can extend your cover during your trip.
• If you break down on a motorway in France, Italy or Switzerland, before calling your vehicle breakdown insurer you need to use the motorway emergency phones to call the police and arrange for the vehicle to be towed off the motorway (only police-authorised breakdown vehicles are permitted to remove cars from the motorway in these countries).
• You should never leave valuables in an unattended car and you should always keep them out of sight, whether on your person or in the car.
• You may be particularly vulnerable when entering or leaving your car. Look inside your car before opening it and be aware of anyone loitering in the vicinity; if in doubt, walk past and find help.
• Beware of intruders gaining access to your car via open doors and windows whilst stationary.
It is generally best to travel with all doors locked from the inside particularly in built-up areas.
• Avoid parking in poorly lit or vulnerable areas. It is not advisable to sleep in your car or to stay overnight in lay-bys or rest areas, particularly as thefts from overnighting vehicles is becoming increasingly common.
• Do not stop for anyone other than the police. In Spain it is not uncommon for foreign motorists to be flagged down by robbers posing as motorists in distress, or even as police officers. If in doubt, continue to the next service area before stopping. If you do have to stop lock your car doors as soon as you step out of the vehicle and make sure handbags/valuables cannot easily be snatched.
• According to some reports, units parked on service stations have been broken into while their owners are fast asleep, apparently after a gas has been fed into the unit. The Club does not recommend service areas or lay-bys, whether on motorways or on other roads, as safe places in which to spend the night.
For your own personal safety it is advisable to carry as little cash as possible; credit cards or foreign currency cards are widely accepted and provide a more secure means of meeting your holiday expenditure. Traveller’s cheques are less widely accepted now. Make a note of your credit card or foreign currency card numbers, and the contact phone numbers for reporting lost or stolen cards, and keep these details in a safe place, separate from your cards.
• Children remain the responsibility of their parents at all times. Be sure to always accompany any small children in your party. Also make sure that your children know where you are staying and the number of the pitch you are on.
• If you have access to a safe/safety deposit box make sure you keep your valuables in it.
Your insurance may only provide cover in circumstances where money is stolen either from your person or from a locked safety deposit box/safe. You will need to obtain a police report if property is lost or stolen. Please leave valuables at home.
• Keep a careful note of which belongings you have with you and check regularly to make sure
that none are missing.
• Report anything suspicious to camp site/hotel staff, or local police.
• Be sure to lock doors and close windows when you leave your car, caravan or motor home
and secure your tent.
• Be particularly vigilant if out and about after dark.
• Always carry emergency telephone numbers to contact should the need arise.
Download our Holiday Handbook for further details on Ferry/Eurotunnel travel, Around the campsite, Children at play, Swimming Pools, On the beach and much more...