Q&A: Customer Education
Things to do before you go on a vacation.
In one of our earlier features we shared tips on packing your bags when you go on a vacation - this month our feature story is on what you need to keep in mind even before you start packing your bags. We share a compilation of tips and guidelines you can consider that will ensure peace of mind and a feeling of total control over the situation.
We’ve heard of instances where the husband asks the wife some really “too-late-to-answer” questions. Did you switch off the lights in the bedroom? Did you turn off the TV? Did we roll down the garage door and sling a lock? (The questions go on and on, and can bring on worry lines even before you even reach your destination.)
So, we thought we would compile a list of tips that should come in useful – please make a mental note of these suggestions, or take a print out for easy reference. These tips come to you from people who are in related fields when it comes to customer advice and support.
Check if you have your id papers – all resorts require you to present your id papers during check in. Also remember to take a printout of your booking confirmation. It may never happen, but a small glitch in the system might just be tricky to solve, till it is eventually solved.
Please ensure that you have all your credit and debit cards with you in your wallet, along with some basic cash that you might need along the way, or at transit points. Also check the validity dates on your credit or debit cards.
Make sure that all your bills are paid, or pre-paid – things like power, water, mobile phone bills need to be paid on the due date and it’s useful to tackle these even before you go. While all this has a pre-vacation priority, you can also make online utility payments from virtually anywhere – which means you could pay your electricity bill from your beachfront shack in Goa. (But we think it’s better to pre-pay before you leave, rather than leave things to bad connectivity at a beach location.)
If your residential area has a lot of power variation it may be simpler to switch off all gadgets and appliances – seems unnecessary, but a life-saver if there is an acute power surge in your absence. Your gas cylinder in particular needs to be turned off and safeguarded. Also consider investing in sophisticated heavy-duty line regulating devices to tackle the problems of excess voltage.
If you usually keep important documents and jewellery at home, it’s better to keep them in your bank locker till you get back from your vacation. Nothing really might happen, but it’s a reassuring thought that your valuables are safe under lock & key till you get back.
Hand over a spare set of house keys to a trusted neighbor, relative, or friend who lives close by. This can be a real life saver if you misplace, or lose your original set of keys. You could also tell your immediate neighbors about your vacation plan, just to keep them on alert and spot any suspicious activity in your absence.
If you cannot take your pet with you on a holiday, make advance plans with friends, or pet kennels that you are familiar with. Keeping things to the last minute on an issue like this can be extremely tricky to handle. I know people who have actually cancelled a trip, because they could not find anyone to look after their pets.
Remember to stop milk and newspaper deliveries for the duration of your holiday. Milk satchets and newspapers lying uncollected near your door can send signals to passersby – indicating that you are not at home. (And that’s something we don’t need, do we?)
Make sure all windows are shut and fastened securely – in addition to a security measure this can even prevent rain water from coming inside if there is a heavy downpour. Also make sure all cash-and-jewelry vaults in your bedrooms are safely locked and the keys kept in a place you won’t easily forget.
If you are a frequent traveler, get burglar alarms / home security systems installed – this will go a long way in ensuring peace of mind on your holiday.
Hope these tips did not come across as an overload of information. Have a great vacation - here’s wishing you all the safety and peace of mind you will need on that vacation.
The All India Resort Development Association is a self-regulated, independent advisory dedicated to the timeshare and vacation ownership industry. AIRDA’s primary members are resort owners, who benefit from AIRDA’s constructive sharing of ideas and strategies on the running and promotion of timeshare. All members are governed by a common Code of Conduct - AIRDA works closely with member resorts to cut a clean image in the industry and offer fair value to end customers.
AIRDA also represents the industry within government circles on policy issues that could have a bearing on timeshare and vacation ownership in the country.
AIRDA has a balanced end-customer focus and provides updated information on the official website. This covers the timeshare marketplace, advice on making informed choices on vacation ownership and assistance on complaint redressal, if any.
AIRDA is an affiliated member of the American Resort Developers Association.
What does an AIRDA membership mean to resort owners and developers? AIRDA comes in as your industry partner, conscience keeper and business catalyst - with a wide portfolio of support services.
What does AIRDA mean to holiday seekers and prospective customers? AIRDA comes in to provide information and offer guidelines on making the right timeshare decisions.