You are planning a major trip — perhaps a special event related to your job or for that vacation you have finally earned after years of hard work. You may be a little nervous due to the excitement of the travel and because you will be leaving your home unattended. Here are some easy and important steps you should take to keep your mind at rest during your travel.
Keep Your Network in the Loop
Image via Flickr by Traveloscopy
If family and friends live near you, then let them know when you’ll be departing and returning. Ask this group to keep an eye on your home and to take in your mail, newspapers, or packages so these items don’t pile up and draw unwanted attention to your absence. Ask this group to call or text you if they see something suspicious and to call the police directly if something is seriously wrong.
Keep the number of people on this list to a few who are reliable, and do not broadcast your plans on your social network and let others know when you will be out of your house.
Give Your Home a Life of Its Own
Use some of the many devices that make it appear as though someone is home. Light timers and motion sensors are inexpensive and essential. Set timers on lights in rooms with windows, but adjust the shades so it is not easy to see inside your house. You can also install low-cost, battery-operated outside security lights that will expose a trespasser on your property at night.
Have your set-back thermostat and HVAC installation checked by a professional service technician so you do not waste energy nor return home to frozen pipes in winter or houseplants dying in the summer heat.
Set your central alarm system to “away” if you have one, or affix simple noise-making alarms on easily accessible doors and windows. Low-cost noisemakers install easily and can help attract a neighbor’s attention and scare off intruders. Some will even alert you via a phone app when triggered.
Arrange Care for Your Pets
You’ll likely miss your beloved pet companions while you travel, but knowing that they are safe and comfortable will ease your concerns. If you have a friend or family member who knows your pets and enjoys their company, ask for their help. Friends may be willing to take your pet to their home or to regularly check in on your pets while you are gone.
If you do not have a family member or friend who can keep a watchful eye on your pets, consider a reputable third-party sitter-walker who will come to your home, or consider boarding your pets. Many pet-walking and boarding services now offer apps where you can check on the status of your pet 24/7, including live webcams to watch them at play.
By taking the few simple steps above, you can focus on what matters during your travels and know that your home will be safe and sound during your time away.