You’ve been counting down the days — maybe even marking them off on your calendar — and your vacation has finally arrived. Your getaway should be just that: a chance to get away from the stress of the everyday.
Whether you’re laying on a tropical beach, wandering cobblestone streets or camping on the side of a mountain, your vacation is all about living a little and relaxing a lot.
Unfortunately, many travelers still find themselves stressed while they’re away because they worry about the safety of their homes when no one’s around. Some may even consider a staycation over traveling (which is essentially day trips to local places) to avoid leaving their home vulnerable to break ins. It’s certainly a cause for concern, but it’s a concern that can be easily avoided. Before your next trip, follow these five tips to safeguard your home while you’re on the road.
5 Tips How To Secure Your Home When You’re On Holidays
#1. Stay Mum on Social Media
In a world full of hashtags and filters, it seems as though a vacation update or photo is required on social media. However, sharing your vacation plans and dates with all of your social media network could compromise your home’s security — acquaintances or even strangers will know your belongings are unattended for a while.
Therefore, on your next vacation, try and refrain from sharing any photos or updates until after you’ve returned from the trip. If you feel as though you must Instagram a picture or share an anecdote via Facebook, try and whittle down your audience to those you trust enough not to take advantage of your absence.
#2. Don’t Close the Shades
…Unless you always do. Some homeowners think it’s a better bet to pull down their blinds and draw the curtains when they’re out of town, even though they typically keep them open. This change can actually end up clueing others in that you’re not around.
As a compromise, move all of your valuables so they’re not visible from a non-curtained window. Then, make sure all of your panes are locked for an extra vote of confidence.
#3. Cut (Off) the Cord
Most vacationers worry about thieves, but an unattended home could also be subject to fire. Even if you have a home security system that will sense fire and send distress signals to the local firehouse, you can do your part to prevent it from even starting.
Unplug every non-vital electronic device and appliance — which is probably most of what you have plugged in while you’re home. An electrical surge could cause any one of these items to catch fire while you’re gone, so simply unplugging what’s not needed could save your home — and save firefighters a trip.
Having a key hidden outside of your home is certainly useful when you forget yours, but you probably won’t leave your set behind before jetting off on vacation. Those who make a dishonest living by breaking into homes will know the likely places where a spare key will be hidden, and they will undoubtedly check for it if they suspect you’re out of town.
Simply remove your hide-a-key while you’re gone and rest easy knowing the only one who can unlock your doors is you.
#5. Phone a Friend
Maintain your peace of mind while you’re on vacation by relying on a friend to keep an eye on your place while you’re gone. You don’t necessarily need a house sitter, but rather someone to come over and hang out, turn a few lights on at night, bring in your trashcans and grab your mail if you haven’t had it held by the Post Office.
That way, your place will seem occupied and you’ll rest easier knowing your home is under surveillance — from someone you want. Just make sure everything is cleaned up, and not just for aesthetic reasons. If, say, someone comes over and trips and falls on something left on the floor, you may be sued for the damage caused.
That is, of course, an extreme case, but, if you’re trying to achieve a sound mind before take-off, that’s the final step. As an added bonus, you’ll love coming home to a clean house.
Your home is more than just a shelter or a storage area for all of your stuff. It’s a place where you feel comfortable and secure, and nothing should ever compromise that. Follow the above tips — and consider further steps, such as installing a security system — to ensure your place looks just as you left it when you get back.
Now, sit back, sip your cocktail and let your mind wander to absolutely anywhere you want — you’re on vacation, after all.
About the author:
Megan Wild is a well-traveled twenty-something who values the safety of her home. Check out more of her travel tips and tricks on her blog, Your Wild Home.