Prepare & Travel-Proof Your Home for Holiday Travel
Holiday travel requires a ton of planning – where are you going? How will you get there? What will do you while you’re there? What if you’re stuck for hours on a layover? Who’s taking care of the pets while you’re gone? With so much focus on where you’re going, it’s easy to overlook an essential part of travel planning: protecting the home you’re leaving behind. To help ease your planning burden, we’ve compiled some tips for travel-proofing your home.
Think Like a Burglar
First, this doesn’t mean that you should sneak around outside the house wearing a mask and carrying a bag with a dollar sign on it. To determine the best ways to protect your home, it’s essential to evaluate its weaknesses. Is a door not very secure? Does a ground floor window not lock? Are any valuables lying in plain sight? To protect your home from a break-in, it’s important to look at it the way someone who might break in would.
Find Someone to Check In
Let someone you trust know that you’ll be out of town. Telling a neighbor or the police that you’ll be away ensures that you’ll have someone to contact if something goes wrong during your absence. A friend or neighbor can help by collecting your mail and making sure the house is still in good shape. Ideally, you should have someone check up on your home at least once every two days. Don’t forget to bring them a gift as a thank-you when you return – watching someone else’s house is a lot of work to add during the holidays.
Don’t Post on Social Media
It can be tempting to document your travels online, but that can wait until you return. Your Instagram photo from the beach may get a lot of likes, but that’s basically an advertisement to any potential burglars that screams “I’M NOT HOME!” Hold on to your vacation photos and post them when you get back home.
At first, it might make sense to close all of your curtains – you don’t want anyone looking inside for potential valuables, right? Instead, you should leave everything as you normally do. Don’t do anything out of the ordinary that might draw attention to the fact that you’re away. Investing in light timer switches is a great idea – keep your lights on a regular schedule to make it look like you’re still at home.
Be Smart About Trash
If you’re traveling over the holidays, there’s a good chance that any big-tickets appliances or other gifts won’t go with you, and instead will be opened before your trip. While you might be tempted to throw away the resulting packaging before you leave, you should wait. The boxes from your new TV or computer are beacons to any potential burglars if they’re sitting out with the rest of your trash. Save that disposal for your return, or take it directly to a recycling center. Don’t let the stress of holiday travel make you overlook what’s most important – returning to a safe, intact home. Take steps to protect yourself early, and you’ll be rewarded with peace of mind during your travels.