Let us imagine this scenario for a bit: you have just had the most thrilling Australia trip of your life. Not to mention, from flight tickets to cheap travel insurance, you saved big on your vacation. Everything seems to be dandy, until you pull into your garage and realise something is a miss. You see your door open and its handles destroyed. You survey the room and find a couple of things missing. All that excitement from the trip completely evaporates.
Well, that is Murphy’s Law for you, an epigram that states anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Returning home from a memorable trip only to learn that something has happened at home can put a damper to an otherwise amazing week. But the truth is, an empty house or apartment is an easy target for criminals. This is not meant to scare you off taking long vacations, but it is important to take certain steps to make sure your home is secure during the duration of your trip.
Here are some of the necessary precautionary measures you can take to keep your home safe while you are traveling.
Ask friends or family to watch your place for you
This is the simplest way to make sure everything will still be in place once you get home. Ask relatives and friends to stay at your home for the duration of your trip, or at least visit it every other day to keep things in check. You can even ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your house for you while you are away. This is easier if you do not have pets or plants to take care of; but if you do, make sure the person you have appointed has a key to your house.
Additionally, make sure they have your contact information. Right now, since pocket Wi-Fi modems are easy to rent when you go abroad, you are almost always online. But just in case, give them the number and address of the hotel you are staying at, and a copy of your itinerary. If you have asked multiple people to watch your house, tell them about each other. You would not want your neighbour reporting your friend to the police.
Lastly, make sure you have brought something back from your trip as a thank you gesture.
Avoid announcing your travel plans on the web
We tend to be too excited when we plan our trips that we just cannot help but announce it online. However, if your house is going to be empty for majority of your trip, it would probably be best if you do not post about it. Tell your friends and family about the trip, for sure, but do not call too much attention to it online because the wrong people might be alerted to it. Especially if you were not able to find someone who can stay or go to your house everyday.
Do a maintenance check before leaving
Another way of keeping your house safe is making sure there will not be maintenance issues while you are away. This includes checking for exposed wires that may cause fire, frozen pipes that might burst, and so on. Create a list of things that needs to be fixed and attend to them before leaving.
Once you leave, make sure that all the appliances have been unplugged. Lastly, there is debate around leaving your lights turned on to make it look like someone’s home. You risk getting a high electricity bill in this way, though. The best solution is drawing the curtains close and then getting yourself a light switch timer that turns on and off on a specific schedule.
And remember that there is nothing more dangerous than leaving a set of keys under the mat or a potted plant, not to mention, very cliche. Your trip should help you relax and forget about the worries back home. So make it count by taking these precautionary measures to keep your vacation stress-free.