Travel should be a source of excitement and relaxation. Often times however, it is a stressful event and people always worry about leaving their homes. Your home is your sanctuary and biggest investment. Here are five key suggestions for protecting your home and giving you peace of mind.
Invest in Alarm System
Investing in an alarm system may seem expensive but the peace of mind you get will be priceless. Often times, if you have an alarm system you can receive a discount on your homeowner’s insurance plan. There are a number of systems and plans available as well as Apps to go with them. Make sure your alarm company provides you with signage; this makes it clear your home is protected to any passersby.
A home is much less likely to burglarized if it appears that people are home. If a house sitter is not in the budget there are ways to fool prospective criminals. Use timers on your lights. Vary them so it appears someone is living in the house. If possible, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to park their vehicle at or in front of your home. Leave a radio or television on as the noise might deter any would be intruders.
Frequent travelers should make a checklist; “Things to do Before Leaving.” Create the list on your phone or computer so it is easily accessible and can be used over and over again. This will give you a visual aid to ensure everything gets done and you can double check yourself. Some ideas to include on your list; check that all your doors and windows have working locks. Check the batteries on your smoke detectors. Many people opt to turn their water line off to prevent any leaks or water damage. The list can be customized to fit your home. Maybe include cleaning out the fridge and emptying the trashcans. Cleaning your home before leaving is always a good idea so you can come home to a clean house.
Tell a trusted neighbor the details of your travel plans. He or she can make a point to keep an eye on your home. Give them a house key and your contact information just in case a problem arises. Also, ask them to do things you would normally do outside your home, water the flowers, fill bird feeders, put the recycle bins out, etc to create the illusion everything is normal. They could go into your home daily just to check everything and turn on lights, radios, etc. As a thank you, a small souvenir from your trip or a nice bottle of wine is appropriate. You can also return the favor when they travel.
One of the biggest giveaways is mail and newspapers piling up on your porch. A simple fix can prevent this. You can opt to stop your incoming mail and paper delivery. Contact your local offices to arrange this. Again, ask the trusted neighbor to pick up your mail and paper daily. If you are expecting any packages, ask them to be on the lookout or give them the tracking information. Having a mail plan in place will help protect your home.
Before setting out on your next adventure, give yourself the gift of peace of mind. Invest in an alarm system, create the illusion someone is home, make yourself a checklist, tell a friend of your travel details, and have a mail plan in place. These simple steps will make your next trip more enjoyable and your biggest worry will be what to pack.