Source:nextgov.com

10 Tips to Stay Secure While Traveling

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When you are ready to leave for a vacation, you may be worried about the safety and security of your home. By taking several safety measures, you can ensure that your home is secure and protected while you are away.

Protect your mail

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While you are traveling, your mailbox will be left unattended. You can always pause all mail activity through the postal office because you do not want to risk losing important documents or bills. Instead of stopping your mail, you should set up a digital mailbox to keep receiving secure mail.

A digital mailbox takes the place of a physical mailbox outside of your home. The virtual mailbox connects to your street number, so by logging in to your computer, you can access every piece of mail that goes to your home. Your mailings will be secure while you travel, and you do not have to wait until you are back home to go through your mail.

Install a security system

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A great way to secure your home is to install a security system. There are many security systems to choose from. Most have security cameras to monitor your house and alarm systems that notify you and the police if anyone breaks in.

Security systems also have flood lights that will turn on after detecting motion outside. Some brands offer additional features like video doorbells and sensors on all of your windows and doors.

Take advantage of signs

Security systems can be costly, but they allow you to monitor your home 24/7 while you are away. If you get nothing else, place multiple signs for the security system company around visible entryways to your house. The signage will signal to burglars that your home is monitored and protected.

Leave lights on

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Leave lights on around your house to signal to would-be robbers that you are home like usual. To save money, install lights that turn on via a timer or app on your phone. Leave your lights on for several hours every night so people passing by think you are home.

Recruit your neighborhood

Your neighbors are one of the best ways to ensure your home is safe while traveling. Before leaving for your trip, ask neighbors you trust to monitor your home periodically.

They should contact you if they notice anything amiss while you are gone. If there is an emergency, tell the neighbors to call the police. Enlisting your community is a great way to not only protect your home from robbers but from fluke accidents like fires and floods as well. You can always repay the favor later.

Enlist a house sitter

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In addition to having your neighbors monitor your home, go a step further and ask someone you trust to house sit while you are gone. House sitters are a great way to ensure that your house is secure for the entire time you are gone.

More than surveillance

In addition to monitoring your home, house sitters can water your plants, collect your mail, and care for any of your pets. They will ensure that lights and appliances are regularly turned on, monitor your valuables, and clean your home.

Make sure to choose a housesitter you can trust to live in your home. Before you leave, go over any house rules or guidelines and leave detailed instructions for your home maintenance.

Hide your spare keys

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It is normal to hide spare keys around the exterior of a home in case you get locked out. Burglars know that spare keys are often hidden in pots or under door mats and will check these common places. Before you leave for your vacation, remember to pick up your spare keys and bring them inside.

Park your car in your driveway

A car parked in your driveway will immediately cause passers-by to think someone is home. If you are taking your car with you on your trip, ask your neighbors or friends to use your parking spot.

Mow your lawn

Like a parked car in your driveway, a well-maintained lawn signals to would-be robbers that your home is occupied, even while you are gone. Before you leave for your trip, take the time to mow your lawn, pick up debris, and water your garden or plants.

Hire a lawn care service

If you are leaving for an extended period, hire a lawn care service to stop by your house. The cost of the service is worth it for the security it provides.

An overgrown lawn is an immediate signal to burglars that your house is empty. Mowing your lawn is a simple yet important preventive measure to secure your home.

Notify the local authorities

Before you leave for your trip, call your local police station and tell them the dates you will be gone. Once they get this information, police will increase surveillance by sending patrol cars to your neighborhood.

When you notify the police, make sure you do not call 911. Police stations have non-emergency lines you can contact to let them know your house will be unattended. Other police stations will ask you to fill out a form with your vacation dates.

Avoid posting on social media

You may think all of your social media followers are trustworthy, but posting your location or providing updates on your vacation while you are away is dangerous. If you let everyone know that your home is unattended through social media updates, you risk letting burglars know that they can rob your house.

Some people are technologically savvy and can deduce your location only from photos or tweets. So, it might be tempting to update your family and friends on social media while you enjoy your vacation, but you should wait if your home is unattended. Save your family photos to share when you get back home.

Wrapping up

Source:onetravel.com

When you leave your home to travel, you might be concerned about protecting your house. In the weeks before you leave, take several preventative measures that are simple yet effective methods to secure your home.


Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignpolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com