Traveling can be a great way to enjoy your time off from work and deepen the bond between you and your family members. Going away for a few days or a few weeks takes a lot of preparation time when you’re planning your itinerary and your stay in a new place. One thing that some travelers don’t pay as much attention to is how to make sure their home stays secure while they’re gone. There’s nothing worse than coming back from a dream trip to a burglarized home. Instead, follow these tips to keep your home secure during your trip.
Hire a House Sitter
If possible, you should try to hire someone to watch your home if you’re going to be gone for a significant amount of time. Start by asking people you trust, such as your family members or friends, to watch your home. If you can’t get someone you know to commit to your housesitting job, you can turn to a professional service. Some sites offer convenient house swapping services for vacationers who want to trade locales temporarily. Make sure the person or organization you choose is bonded, insured, and has top reviews.
Ask a Neighbor for Help
Not everyone will be able to secure a house sitter for the duration of their trip. An alternative to a full-time house sitter is simply someone coming by periodically to check on your property. It may be best in this situation to ask a neighbor or someone who lives nearby. Your neighbor can check on your property every few days, and let you know if something doesn’t seem right.
Notify the Post Office
When you’re planning a trip that is going to be more than a couple of days, you don’t want your mail to be piling up at your mailbox. This is one of the first clues that potential burglars look for when scouting homes to break into. If you don’t have a house sitter, you can make arrangements with your local post office ahead of time. Simply go to the post office website, and request that your mail be held for a period of time.
Let the Local Authorities Know
Some neighborhoods may have a higher crime rate because of a variety of circumstances. If you live in a high-crime area, it may be wise to notify the police department of your trip plans before you set out on your journey. Smaller police departments may be willing to add your home’s street to their regular patrol route. This way, you can get a little more peace of mind about what’s going on back home while you travel.
Set a Light Timer
Inside of your home, you can make things appear to be normal with a few small changes. If your home appears to be empty, it may be a target for criminals. Electronics can help you stage your home so it seems to be filled with people. A simple way to do this is to set up a few light timers around the interior of your home.
Equip Your Home With a Security System
Install Video Cameras
In addition to a security system, you can get even more monitoring power for your home if you set up a few video cameras around the perimeter of your home. There are plenty of inexpensive web cameras you can use around your property to make sure things are safe and secure while you’re gone.
Watch Your Social Media
The final security tip for your home concerns your social media activity. During your trip, you may be tempted to post pictures and details about your vacation. This information may lead to someone realizing you’re not at home and trying to break into your house. Instead, save your images and stories and post them after you come back.
The last thing on your mind while you’re enjoying a great vacation is how secure your vacant home is. If you prepare ahead of time with these tips, you won’t have to get a nasty surprise when you return to your property.