5 Tops Tips for Keeping Your Items Safe on Holiday

We all love a good holiday – but, sadly, the holiday doesn’t always love us. Pesky ne’er-do-wells are lurking in every corner of the globe, ready to pry away your hard-earned items in an instant. Today, let’s take a look at five tips you can employ for keeping your items safe on your vacation.

  1. Check hostel reviews before travelling

It sounds an odd step, but make sure to check out the reviews left by former guests when it comes to the accommodation you’re staying in. This is particularly important if you’re stay at a hostel, as opposed to a hotel.


These will give you a heads up when it comes to checking out which places do and don’t offer the safest vaults and places of accommodation to store items. You can check this type of factor across a number of online ratings websites.


  1. Don’t leave items unattended

It should go without saying that leaving your items lying around is a recipe for disaster. Sadly, a surprising amount of people continue to ignore this painfully obvious step. Most often leaving the likes of phones or other electronics sitting around without supervision.


It should come as no shock to you that you won’t be covered in regards to insurance if items do go missing after leaving them unattended. It’s totally your own fault and not the responsibility of anyone else but yourself for your negligence.


  1. Keep your smaller valuables on your person

If you’re lugging around items like cards, a wallet, passport or any other important type of documentation, you’d be wise to keep them on you at all times. Sure, they might be safe in your bag or luggage, but there’s a much higher chance of them getting pinched if they are.


Ultimately, if someone is able to take them from you while you wear them, it’s likely they would have been determined enough to gain access to your items wherever they were. Your person is the safest possible place.


  1. Ignore street children

Alright, that sounds a little harsh. If someone seems like they desperately need some cash, it might be wise to help them. However, if you’re suddenly approached by one, or a group of children, you should do your best not to interact with them.


This is an ongoing problem across most of Europe right now, with Sweden particularly badly impacted by the growing level of child street gangs who are pickpocketing people at train stations.  Generally, one child will approach you, while the rest gather and rummage through your clothes for valuable items.


  1. Stay alert at all times

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, it’s crucial to keep your awareness primed at all times. Don’t slack off and take your eye off the ball. While most people around you are of no concern, it’s the one bad apple in a thousand you need to watch for. Make sure you don’t allow yourself to turn off – especially in busy areas.


Have these tips helped to give you a clearer picture on how to keep your items safe when heading abroad? Make sure to follow them and you won’t find yourself in a spot of bother at any point of your trip.

Snowing in Spain something I hadn’t expected in the costa’s.


I awoke to hearing my son Ube saying “28 minutes” as he was watching some App on my phone relating to expected snow fall in the area. I hadn’t expected any snow here because it hasn’t snowed where we are for over 90 years according to some information. Yet as they waited for the bus there was still no snow in sight. Was a little disappointed as the kids and my wife April have never experienced snow before.

Snowing in Spain 2017-01-18 photo by Matt Wilkie and copyright of Matt WilkieTorrevieja, Spain Snow 09.07.08 photo by and copyright of Matt Wilkie

But as we headed out of our street we could see a lot of cloud cover in some areas across the lake. So we decided to head down to La Zenia and as we did so the snow started to form. Initially it was like a few bits of dust and grew to the point of snow flake formations and as you can hear from the video April was happy to experience snow for the first time. Sad thing is we didn’t get to see the kids experiencing the snow at school but they did tell us all about it when they got home.

On the way back from the shopping mall we headed on up to the vineyards and nature park where we bumped into a friend. She admitted she felt like a kid as it was the first time she had experienced snow. She remembers her grandfather telling her about it when she was a child but now experiencing it herself for the first time.

La Mata Spain, Snow 12.07.08 photo by and copyright of matt wilkie


Snow In La Mata, Spain 2017-01-18 - Photo by and copyright of Matt Wilkie

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Are pastures greener on the other side?

Moving to a new country offers many changes but I think wherever you go there will be things that improve and things that you will lose or miss. For us compared to the UK we find Spain has mainly problems relating to “how to” process things as so much is decided locally rather than nationally. So even national requirements can be locally altered to suit peoples interpretation of what they think something means. Which makes things a little harder to work out what to do as the internet has conflicting information due to people living in different areas.

But we do find the weather, food and family environment fantastic but off set with the lack of work opportunities in our area and adapting to a new language that I find myself could take me a few years to become fluent. Small sacrifices but positive changes as well. Compared to the Philippines its cleaner air, more varied diet and access to Europe. But also we still miss the Philippines because its where April’s family are along with I find it a very free country for traveling around.

As you can probably guess there will always be some changes in life in moving to a new country but they can be both good and bad. For us as long as the kids get the best opportunities for their future and are happy we are happy.

2 Years in Spain any regrets?


As I sit here recovering from a fever and flu I have been suffering with for 3 days it seems an ideal time to reflect on the last two years.

Coming to Spain was a major decision yet I have to say April and the kids love it here. Although work is difficult to source locally I believe the upcoming year will be a bit easier. Even with this short time in La Mata we have seen a bit of a recovery from the recession even if it is in small doses. A few new restaurants, a souviner store, flower store, green grocer have all opened up while we have been here. Which also makes La Mata even more of a village feel to the location.

The school I have to say is fantastic especially with Zoei’s autism, she has come on leaps and bounds and quite simply the kids are constantly happy. Also a lot healthier from the lack of dust that you experience with living in the Philippines.

However the landscape continues to change with Brexit about to start to become a realisation as from what I could see it was “trumped” until Trump offered to do trade with the UK and at that point a bargaining chip has appeared. Although I cannot see Spain being too harsh on its number one tourist population, along with those who retire and live here. If anything its likely to see a lot of the same as there are bi-latural agreements already in place.

Spain is no longer somewhere we have visited but simply home.

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Does Spain agree with the Wilkie family?

Matt Wilkie at a local nature park in La Mata, Spain -Copyright of Matt Wilkie

After over a year in Spain we have to say there are good and bad things about living in Spain. Although hammered with a 700 euro bill for a vehicle repair that I estimate would be at least 200 euros cheaper in the UK. There is a lot of exploitation of tourists and residents if the opportunity arises. But it is the same world over and that you need to look past the negative stuff.

The school is fantastic and the kids love it, which is probably the one reason that if I wanted to move again I couldn’t. Zoei’s education is coming along as well as the teachers helping with Zoei’s communication and Spanish are extremely good. Before someone gets on the soapbox of taking money out of the Spanish system for my “foreign kids”. I want to put a couple of things in the fire. We pay tax in Spain, we pay social security in Spain, I also pay tax and National insurance in the UK. If anything I do and have done for a long period of time paid a lot into a system I don’t take much out of. If anything the contracts I have brought in internationally have put money into the UK treasury as although they are overseas the companies are registered in the UK.

April’s also loving the variety of food here in Spain as well as our location. Having the beach to the East and a huge natural park to the West we sit in a place surrounded by natural beauty. The other side of that being is many of the fresh produce grows locally with oranges, vineyards, lemons, peppers and many greens are on our doorstep along with the fresh food market every Wednesday.

The only draw back of Spain has to be the lack of job opportunity in our “area”. Going into Madrid or Barcelona the job opportunities are much greater although I would hazard a guess that the quality of life reduces the same as living in any major city. I want us to be able to enjoy the environment that surrounds us. If we were forced into a more dense type of living we might as well be back in the UK.

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