Preparing for a summer vacation: safety and security tips

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Manitoba has the perfect weather for staying outdoors and having fun under the sun from May to August. Many families go on road trips, camp out under the stars, or stay in cottage by a lake.

If you are planning on going away for the weekend or longer, here are a few tips and reminders to help you plan for an enjoyable and stress-free vacation:

Before you leave

  1. Don’t overshare – Don’t announce that you’re going away for the weekend (or longer) on social media. If your post has a geotagged photo or if you mention your location, you’re practically inviting robbers to your house while you’re away.
  2. Hold mail – Mail that is piling up is a sign that nobody’s home. If you’ll be away for longer than a week, ask a neighbour or a friend to collect your mail. You can also avail of Canada Post’s Hold Mail service (request for this at least three days before you leave). This can protect your sensitive mail such as credit card notices or mailed checks.
  3. Have a friend check your home – Ask a trusted friend or neighbour to check on your home every now and then. Make sure they know your alarm code so they don’t set it off accidentally.
  4. Don’t forget to lock your door before you leave!


  1. Pack light – Bring only what is necessary. A lighter vehicle means more savings in terms of gas mileage, or no baggage fees if you’re flying to your destination.
  2. Bring proper gear – Bring protective gear appropriate to the activities you have planned. This means hats, helmets, knee pads, goggles, and other equipment that protect you from injuries. Also bring sanitizing items like wipes or hand sanitizer. Consider bringing face masks.
  3. Keep an emergency kit handy – Having a flashlight, first-aid kit, cash, and extra batteries in your car is a must for a road trip. If you want to know what items to have in a complete emergency kit, go to Get Prepared Basic Emergency Kit.

Drive safe!

  1. Check your vehicle – Make sure that your vehicle is road-ready, especially if you plan on driving a long distance. There are many online guides that can help you with this such as 14 ways to get your car ready for a road trip from Canadian Living. Read 8 easy steps to prepare for a road trip for more tips. The most important thing to remember is to do this weeks before your trip. If you discover that intensive repair is needed, you’ll have time to do it or have it done.
  2. Plan your route and stops – Getting lost in the prairies may not be the ideal summer memory for your family. As you are not familiar yet with the Manitoban landscape, it will be wise to plan your route, bring maps, or GPS. Better yet, consult someone who knows the way. Estimate the amount of time you will need to reach your destination and consider your stops. Know if there are hotels, motels or inns along the way in case you need to rest.
  3. Observe road safety – Always observe traffic rules and buckle up! Get the latest information on road conditions on Manitoba highways (call 511 toll-free, visit Manitoba 511 or follow @MBGovRoads on Twitter). Never drive after drinking at a picnic or barbecue.

Have fun and have a great summer!
Article updated May 23, 2024.
Sources: The Government of Canada – Get, The Government of Manitoba Spring and Summer Safety.

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