Make sure Christmas presents don’t end up in the wrong hands

The first rule of being a successful Santa is to make sure presents get to the person they’re meant for. Christmas is a great time for thieves who know that cars, houses and suitcases are likely to provide rich pickings so it’s worth taking a few extra precautions, especially if you’re travelling and taking gifts with you.

Top tips for travelling with presents:

Don’t put expensive gifts in luggage that will be unattended – in an aircraft hold or a luggage rack on a train.

Don’t wrap presents – it’s an advertisement and if luggage is security checked, the wrapping paper will probably be taken off anyway.

Check food and plant products are allowed in to the country you’re visiting– there are strict rules on a range of items from meat to honey that can be confiscated.

Always carry valuable items in your hand luggage but check the weight allowance with your airline.

Check the limits on valuable and other items on your travel insurance policy Christmas presents in the car and at home.

Make sure Christmas shopping and gifts are well concealed and securely locked in your car.

Be alert when in public car parks to anyone acting suspiciously and when unloading the car.

Don’t let outside Christmas lights lead burglars in by using extension cables fed through partially open windows – opt for battery, solar or outdoor electrical power.

Don’t flaunt it! Draw curtains and blinds at night and don’t leave valuable items on display.

Rubbish – if you can’t get to a recycling point, wait until refuse collection day before leaving boxes and packaging out that advertise the new contents of your home.

Secure sheds and garages – scooters, bicycles, garden equipment and tools are Christmas gifts for thieves too.

Be extra careful about wallets, purses and handbags – Christmas shopping and the January sales crowds are a pickpocket’s dream.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.