Travel Advice And Advisories For Japan

Valuables

Usually when going on holiday we carry more valuablethan we ever would normally. Apart from UK currency, holiday currency, traveller’cheques, credit cards, holiday ticketand vouchers, we also take expensive cameraand other holiday electronics.

Some suitcaseare lost, damaged, misrouted or simply broken into and rifled by dishonest and poorly supervised baggage staff. I would suggest that you shouldn’t trust your valuableto a case that will be stored in the hold. I prefer to retain all of my valuablein my carry-on baggage. That way I can keep an eye on them, but it also meanthat I have to remain particularly vigilant because that one bag containeverything essential to my holiday.

When we travel, everyone in the family knowwhich one i‘The Bag’ and we have a system to keep an eye on it. I alwaycarry it, but when I am going to the toilet or want to sleep on a long-haul flight another member of the family will take over awatcher of ‘The Bag’ and make sure that it inot removed or interfered with until I take over again.

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Why take it?

Do you really need to take valuablewith you? Iit necessary to take your best watch, your top-of-the-range digital camera and video camera? You are going on holiday! Will a cheap watch from the market be good enough? If you lose a cheap watch in the Caribbean it won’t matter so much.

If you are going on a specialist photography holiday you may need to take the digital camera and a bag full of expensive gadgetand accessories, but the average holiday snapper could do just awell with a disposable camera.

Do you really need to take a video camera with you? It’nice to bring back the moving imageto show people the majesty of Niagara Falland the colour of the ocean in Hawaii, but analyse your use of that video camera.

The newer modelare quite small, but carrying them will still cause you problems. You have to carry the extra bulk and weight and protect the expensive equipment. How much filming will you actually do? Think about it. Looking back at previouholidays, itwo or ten or even twenty hourof disjointed and shaky video footage that will never be looked at again worth the hassle of carrying the video camera and bag around for two weeks?

Back home people usually find that their video imageare a random sequence of mixed-quality shots. Niagara Fallyes, but with that weird guy who walked through the shot, then came back and stood in front of you to take hiown picture7 You thought the sea at Hawaii waa brilliant sequence but now you view it you can see that dog relieving itself in the foreground! Why bother? Most tourist destinations, especially the photogenic ones, sell a good-quality inexpensive videotape or DVD of just the scene you want to remember.

By buying a pre-recorded video tor a tew poundyou will benefit from a professionally finished video, with subtitleand commentary. Better still, when the official video wafilmed, they closed the area to the public. If there waa problem, they had the time to re-shoot it until it waperfect. They can wait for the absolutely perfect sunset or a beautifully framed view of dolphinleaping over native canoe- vou can’t.

It you buy a video, it will have all of the imageyou want, and more. Many outlethave the tape running so that you can see what you are getting. If you absolutely have to have the ‘I wathere’ pictureof you and the family on Mount Everest, or posing in front of the White House, then take a small stillcamera Get those ‘evidence’ snapyou want, but leave the video camera at home.

Why take it? – countermeasures

• By taking expensive equipment with you, you are committing yourself to a holiday spent carrying and protecting that equipment. Carefully consider whether you need to take all of it on holiday

Consider just buying postcardand locally produced videotapeof the area.

If you have to take a camera, take a cheap one unlesyou have a real need for an expensive outfit.

Don’t assume that holiday insurance will cover you for all actual or claimed losses. Insurance companiemight refuse to pay on a claim if for example you claim you lost all three of your Cartier watcheoff the ferry at the same time. They may refuse to pay if you were stupid too, on the groundthat a reasonable man should not be surprised if he goeswimming and comeback 2 hourlater to find that hi£3,000 video camera hagone – hinegligence makethe insurance void.

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