Is it your first time traveling? Leaving the house unattended while you are away traveling is a given. Even though you want to, you can’t just shrink your house and take it with you. It really is one of the most unavoidable things that could happen. But you will not be able to go on your vacation if you don’t leave the house.
That is why securing the house is very important before you go traveling. If you have the peace of mind that you will still have a house to return to once you get back from vacation, then you can definitely go on your merry way. There are several things that you need to do before setting out on your trip. Necessary precautions must be taken in order to fully secure your home.
If you are not yet sure what to do before you leave the house for your trip, here are some of the things you can do to enjoy a worry-free vacation:
1. Notify the right people of your trip
Before you set out on your trip, make sure to notify your immediate family of where you are going. Let them know of your departure and return date as well. Also notify the local enforcement agency. If they know that you are away on vacation, it would be easier for them to be alerted if some mishap or emergency may occur. Be sure though not to publicize your travel plans. It is much safer if only important people know that you will be away on vacation. Leave your contact numbers and information to the right people. So make sure not to post on social media that you are going on vacation and leaving the house alone. Unless you are not living alone, I recommend posting your travel information and photos only once you get back if you really want to share them.. You just won’t know who is checking your social media stream.
2. Have someone pick up your mail
If you can, have a friend or a colleague pick up your newspapers, mail or other deliveries daily. If you have a very close relationship with your neighbor, you can also ask them since they just live next door. This will avoid your newspapers and mail piling up. That is because piled up mail is a very telling sign that nobody is at home.
3. Lock up
One of the best ways to secure your home is to lock up. Be sure to lock all of your windows and doors. Secure your gates and gate doors. You van also put all of the curtains down over the windows.
4. Buy timers
Having timers to turn on outside and inside lights automatically at various times throughout the night can help create an illusion of someone being inside the house.
5. Check the lights
Before you leave, check all outside lighting. If the light bulbs don’t work, make sure to replace them. It would be good if those lights don’t burn out while you are away.
6. Ask someone to check your house
Since you will be away on vacation, it would be best if you can have a friend or a family member who lives near you to check up on your house. Ask them to check if the lights are working fine or if the air conditioning or furnace are working okay.
7. Set your security alarm
Most homes today have security systems installed. If your house has a home security system, then you will feel more secure when leaving the house. Inform your security company and check with them for advice on setting your alarm systems in preparation for your long vacation. Be sure to note as well if there are any news of planned power outages or potential brownouts.
8. Unplug the appliances
Any of the unnecessary appliances should be unplugged. Make sure your television set, personal computer, microwave oven and such are unplugged. Unplugging them will avoid any of then short-circuiting in case a brownout happens.
9. Mow your lawn
Before you leave, make sure to mow the lawn. You can also arrange for a friend or a family member to mow the lawn for you at least once a week if you are going to be away for months. Have them water you plants as well to avoid them from wilting. You can also arrange for payments if you are not comfortable of assigning that kind of work for free. Or you can bring back a souvenir for them from your vacation.
10. Have someone shovel snow from your walkway
If you are traveling during winter time, have someone shovel your walkways and driveway in case it snows. Or if that is not doable, you can have someone or a neighbor walk back and forth from the street to your front door to create a semblance of someone at home.
11. Have a car parked in your driveway
If you are taking your car for traveling, one clear tell that you are not at home is if there is no car in your driveway. If possible, have your neighbor park their car in your driveway.
12. Turn off your phone’s ringer
It would be a great help if you have an answering machine to record all unanswered calls. You can easily return them if you know who called you. Turn off your phone’s ringer. As we all know, if someone calls, your phone ringer will just go off the hook if no one answers it. If you don’t have an answering machine, just unplug or turn off the ringers on all of your telephones.
13. Secure all of your important belongings
If you have jewelry, put them inside your safety deposit box. All important papers and other valuables also go into your safe.
14. Check your insurance policy
Before you travel, check your insurance policy if it is still up to date. Also check if your insurance policy covers your travels.
Ensuring that everything is properly secured before you set out for your vacation is very important to have a worry-free vacation. You will be able to avoid theft or unauthorized entry to your house. You will have the peace of mind that your home is secure while enjoying your time traveling abroad.
Don’t worry about being too fussy. It is better to be safe than sorry. You might think that it’s too much to have some of the important features of your house inspected before you head out. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. For instance, as the experts at Ideal Construction LLC remind us, “The roof protects the home from damaging winds and rain, and homeowners need to stay vigilant when it comes to keeping their roof intact and in good condition.” If your roof is in poor condition and a major storm occurs while you are on vacation, you could end up with a flooded house when you get back. The same could happen if your plumbing is in poor condition. All of this is reason enough to pay a little extra money to call in a professional to look over some of the important elements of your house before you head out on vacation. Don’t set yourself up to regret your vacation. Follow the steps above to have some peace of mind.