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Millions of people are itching to travel again. Some time may have passed since your last trip and staying home has made everyone feel a bit stir crazy. If you’re like us, you’re anxiously awaiting the opportunity to get out of town again. Before you do, take a few minutes to protect your home while traveling. Anxious travelers are not the only people who are ready to jump on the chance to go away for a few days.

As much as we wish things were different, we know there are plenty of unscrupulous people out there who are also waiting on people to spend some time away from home. When people start traveling again, there will be plenty of opportunity for burglaries of unattended homes.

There are a few simple steps to help protect your home while traveling. Many of these can be implemented in a short amount of time and will leave you feeling better prepared.

Invest In A Security System

There are dozens of systems on the market, each offering their own features and price points. Take some time to research the system that best meets your needs and get it installed. Some features you may want to consider are glass breakage, motion detectors and cameras, professional monitoring, and even flood sensors. Be sure to arm your system prior to departure. Convenient apps allow you to check in once-in-awhile during your time away.

Inform Trusted Neighbors

Good, trusted neighbors are your ally when going away. Ask them to keep an eye on things while you’re gone. They might be willing to help with the mail, shoveling or mowing too. These things give the appearance that someone is still home.

Maintain Your Exterior

If you live in a house, it is important to maintain the exterior. Keep large bushes and shrubs trimmed back. Otherwise these can provide excellent hiding places. Do a quick check of the perimeter of your property too – make sure gate latches are secure and everything is in place. Again, have a plan to have your lawn mowed or snow shoveled if necessary.

Light It Up

We are big fans of using programmable timers on our lights. Thanks to digital technology, you can now set a variety of programs on a variety of lights (as well as other electronic items). Setting random programs and keeping the house interior illuminated is usually a good deterrent.

Don’t forget exterior lights. Experts have said time and time again that a well lit exterior also deters burglars. If you can’t program your exterior lights, invest in a motion detector light. We purchased light bulbs with a sunset to sunrise sensor for our porch. These automatically come on when the natural light hits a certain point at night and turns off when it gets bright enough in the morning.

Unplug It

Survey your house for lights and electronics that do not need to be powered up during your absence. Unplug them! Even when not in use, these items draw a phantom charge. Items that you wish to leave plugged in like computers should be on a surge protector.

Consider The Weather

Be sure to check the local forecast during the time you will be away and plan appropriately. If there is a winter storm in the works, turn up the heat and prop open cabinets. The last thing you want is to come home to a pipe that has frozen and burst. The same goes for extremely hot temperatures, rainy days, etc. A few extra minutes of planning can help prevent unintended property damage.

Secure Valuables

It is a good idea to secure your valuables at all times, but even more so when you travel. If you choose to have a safe at home, keep it in an inconspicuous place. It is also important to make sure the safe is secured. A few strong people can easily carry a small safe out. Be sure to bolt it to a wall or something along those lines.

Shut All Interior Doors

This might help reduce heating and cooling costs while you are away. More importantly, you can help slow the spread of a fire by shutting the doors should one break out during your absence. Speaking of fire, this is a great time to check the batteries in your smoke detectors.

Lock Everything

Check the locks for all windows and doors. It is so easy to think a window is securely latched, only to find out that it is not. This also includes double checking locks to gates, storage sheds, garage doors and even items you keep on your property (like cars, trailers, etc.). Make sure everything is properly locked up and spare keys are stored in secure locations.

Don’t Share Your Trip Details

Social media rules everything these days. But, as tempting as it may be, don’t post about your upcoming trip or share photos while you’re gone.

These simple steps will help you protect your home while traveling. None of them take much time to put in place, nor are they super expensive. Putting these in place will help give you peace of mind while you are away.

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30 Comments

  1. Great post full of the information travelers need prior to leaving. In the excitement of a trip, it is very likely it would be easy to overlook or even forget to double check the security of one’s home. Having these tips to refer to is definitely a huge step up to securing the safety of one’s home. Thank you for the reminder to check and even double check home security prior to leaving for whatever destination.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post! We always do home security steps starting a few days before our trip. That way we can make sure everything is in place and ready to go as soon as we go! It doesn’t take too long, but gives some peace of mind!

  2. Great guide for those unsure of what needs to be done to secure their home before travel. To know your home is secure means you can enjoy your trip to the full.

  3. Great tips! We sometimes leave a key with a trusted neighbor too, just in case they need to check on something. We also have friends who turn their main water valve off before they leave town. They had a water pipe break and flood their home once when they were gone. They had to replace their entire kitchen and carpet. We don’t normally do that, but it definitely makes sense if you have an older home especially. Thanks for the important reminders.

    1. I must say that, after some rather scary experiences, we haven’t had any more issues since we installed the sensor bulbs on our porch. Game changer!

  4. We are much happier after moving to a condo when we head off to travel. The building has full time security and our condo has an alarm. But I must admit we did get a security camera because there are maintenance workers coming in sometimes when we are away for a long time. Securing valuables is something we have fretted with. We hide a small safe but do worry that it is not secured down. Shutting all interior doors is a new idea for us to consider. But stopping posting while we are away is a rule I break every time. Thanks for the reminders.

    1. There are definitely perks to living in a condo – many of which are in our future considerations as well. It seems there is always something a person can do to make themselves and their home more secure. We always post on social media after the trip – not before!

  5. These are all great tips! Most people spend much more time planning for their trip than making plans for while theyre away. It is important to keep all these in mind and prevent stress or incidents that may happen while youre away!

    1. It really doesn’t take much time to put many of these practices in place. No one wants to have to worry about what might be happening with their home while trying to enjoy some time away.

  6. Great tips! I do most of these as well. A light timer is especially useful in making it look like somebody is home. Usually the first clue that the property is empty is the pile up of mail, so it is extremely important to have your mail collected during your absence.

  7. A wonderful and very informative post! I don’t have my own house as of yet but I’ll be sure to refer to this when I do. Peace of mind during traveling is definitely valuable to a worry wort such as myself, haha

  8. Great tips here. Over the last couple of years I was very conscious of leaving my house, which I did for months at a time. I had a friend come in & check weekly & turn on taps just in case of freezing. I would also encourage my neighbours to use my driveway which they all loved. This way it kept a constant motion in front of the house. Life is much easier now as I rented out my house & now live in a 2nd floor flat. Leaving that is much better for my peace of mind!

    1. I would imagine having a flat would be easier to manage, but there are still several things to be done prior to leaving. We are also fortunate that our neighbors will park a car in our driveway once in awhile.

  9. An excellent post and a good reminder to take precautions and keep our property safe when we travel away. I am a user of programmable devices as well and ensure a good security system is in place.

  10. Thanks for all tips to protect our house when we are traveling. I do keep all valuable jewelry in lockers and precious stuff in house completely safe in a hidden area. Also investing in a good programmable light is a good option as it will create false impression that someone is inside.

  11. We unplug most of our electronics before going on a vacation. In Summer when we’re usually away longer we turn of our fridge and freezer and close the water tap. So there can’t be any flooding when we’re away.

  12. Good tips! For us, having that trusted friend or neighbor is crucial, just in case something happens. We’ve had to have someone reset things after thunderstorms, check on plants, and even respond to a police call once! Couldn’t travel without them. (Yes, we bring them awesome souvenirs! 🤣)

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