Does this sound familiar? Your flights are scheduled, your bags are packed, and you’re ready to head out on a much-needed vacation. But as you leave your home behind, you can’t shake a lingering sense of worry. What if something happens while you’re away? What if someone tries to break in? How do you know your home and belongings will be safe? Fortunately, here are 10 ways to get peace of mind so you can travel without worry and enjoy your R&R time.
1. Go on lockdown.
First things first: It should go without saying, but make sure every door, window, and gate is locked securely. And don’t forget the garage door!
2. Stash your stuff.
Make sure your most valuable items—cash, jewelry, will—are secured at home in a safe, in a bank vault, or with a trustworthy person.
3. Batten down the hatches.
There are several things you can do around the house to avoid damage and save money. Set your thermostat for energy savings (55 in the winter, 80 in the summer). Turn down your water heater. If your home endures freezing temps, make sure your pipes are protected. You can wrap them with insulation or have someone come over to run the faucets from time to time.
4. Turn off your electronics.
Unplug all your power-sucking devices from wall outlets to protect your home from a fire caused by power surges or electrical malfunctions. You can also use surge protectors to safeguard against electrical malfunctions. Plus, unplugging your devices saves energy!
5. Snooze the snail mail.
Don’t let your mailbox overflow, alerting would-be burglars that you’re away. Just ask the post office to hold all deliveries while you’re away (they’ll do it for up to thirty days), and pick up your mail when you return. If you get other regular deliveries (like the newspaper), put a hold on those, too.
6. Make yourself at home.
Take a page from Home Alone: pretend you’re still at home. If your blinds are usually open, keep them that way. Just be careful that your home’s contents aren’t clearly visible. This may require leaving only a portion of the blinds open or choosing windows on upper floors. You can also purchase timers or smart home devices for your lights, lamps, and other electrical devices to match your regular at-home schedule.
7. Don’t advertise your departure.
It may be hard to stop yourself, but try to avoid social media status updates that show you’re away from home, especially if your posts are public. Save up those awesome vacation photos and post them when you return.
8. Call for reinforcements.
Ask a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor to set up watch for your home. Having someone regularly checking on the property is a great idea because he or she can alert you if something is wrong. You may also want to have a neighbor mow your lawn in the warmer months or shovel your driveway in the winter, which makes your home look like it’s occupied.
9. Hire a helping hand.
Consider paying someone to do yard work or even house-sit while you’re away. This is also a great option for pet owners who don’t want to board their furry friends.
10. Invest in security.
Finally, it’s a good idea to consider installing a security system. It’s one of the best ways to ensure that your home will be safe while you’re traveling. Modern systems can include door and window sensors, security cameras, and live monitoring from your smartphone. If something goes wrong, the police will be alerted, and you can take care of the problem immediately.
I hope these tips help you enjoy your vacation a little bit more! Keeping your home and belongings safe is worth a little extra effort before you leave.