Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Away
There are many things that you need to do before leaving for vacation, besides making sure that you have packed everything properly. Securing your home to deter intruders and prevent disasters are the two most important things on the list. You don’t want to leave in a rush, so make sure that you take the time necessary to get everything done. This way, you’ll have peace of mind while traveling, which is the entire point of taking a vacation in the first place.
Tackle the Small Things That Most People Won’t Think Of
These include taking out the trash, emptying the refrigerator of perishables, and washing and putting away the dishes. Not only do you not want to come home to a series of chores (you’ll have enough to do after unpacking your bags and washing the clothing that you took with you), but you don’t want to have to deal with unpleasant sights and smells. These simple chores will prevent this from happening.
Secure Your Home and Its Contents
Make sure that everything in your house is safe. Store your valuables in your home safe or another hidden location. Close all of your blinds and/or curtains so that no one can see in. If you have an automatic lighting system or a set-up that allows you turn lights on at night when you aren’t home (so that it looks like someone is there), check to ensure that it’s running. You’ll also want to alert your trusted neighbors to keep an eye on your home and garage, inform your local police station or neighborhood watch group, and put a temporary stop on your mail and newspaper deliveries. Last but not least, turn on your alarm system on your way out the door.
Tackle the Small Things
These little things should be done ahead of time, particularly if you know your travel dates far in advance. They include letting your bank and credit card companies know that you’ll be out of town – otherwise they might put a hold on your account for “unusual activity” if too many foreign charges appear. You don’t want to be caught without access to your money! Also, if you have pets or need to hire a house sitter, contact your local kennel and set up everything far in advance. If you wait until the last minute, you might have a hard time finding help.
Purchase a Wi-Fi Surveillance Camera
If you don’t have an alarm system at home but want the security of knowing if an intruder enters your home, there are solutions for you too. There is now a market full of in-home, Wi-Fi enabled surveillance cameras which you can place in your home. These cameras are setup to view either a large room in your home, or the front door, depending on where you think intruders are most likely to be in the event your home was broken into. Most of these devices offer notification to your phone when they sense any motion and you can also have peace of mind by going into their app and looking at the camera’s feed directly on your phone. Personally we use a Nest Cam https://nest.com/camera which has helped our peace of mind when we travel.
Things NOT To Do
You should never let anyone besides trusted friends, neighbors and family members know when you’ll be out of town. This includes not leaving a voice mail or answering machine message with this information, and not posting your vacation plans all over your social media accounts (even the ones with privacy filters). You can never be too cautious, especially when your home is on the line. Of course, there are many other things that need to be done before you leave for your next trip. For more suggestions, please check out my useful home preparation checklist here.