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Part of pre-trip anxiety (for me) is trying to get my home in order before leaving. It doesn’t matter whether I’m leaving for a weekend getaway or headed out of the country for a month, there’s still the same amount of stress involved as I make sure I’ve got everything buttoned up before I walk out the door. Below are our tips to keep your home safe while traveling.
Having a packing list is good but having a pre-trip list for the house is even better! Here’s my list for keeping my home safe while traveling:
1. Lights – If everyone in your home will be away, consider setting lights on timers so it appears as though there’s activity in your house. At the very least leave one or two lights on to give the appearance of someone being around.
2. Appliances – Double check to make sure appliances are turned off, especially the stove! Make sure your iron is unplugged as well as any other appliances (such as a curling iron) you might have used to get ready for your trip.
3. Shades and Curtains – Leave these the way you normally do when you’re home so as not to tip off a would-be thief. Leaving them closed for days at a time might signal that you’re away AND it would make it impossible for someone to be seen if they were rummaging through your stuff.
4. Alert Your Neighbors – Let those living in closest proximity to you know you’ll be out of town so they can watch things while you’re away.
5. House sitter – If you’ll be away for an extended period of time, consider having someone housesit for you so they can keep an eye on your home.
6. Mail Service – If you’re traveling for more than three days, request a mail hold from the post office so your mail doesn’t pile up while you’re gone.
7. Garbage Pickup – So that your garbage cans don’t sit outside for an extended period of time, ask a neighbor to bring in your bins so it doesn’t appear that you’re away.
8. Pets – If you’ve got a cat, dog, bird or other pet, be sure to make plans well in advance for someone to take care of your animal(s).
9. Valuables – Hide them, store them or put them in a safety deposit box while you’re away. If your home is broken into, you at least won’t lose the most valuable of items!
10. Your Thermostat – Be sure to set it to “away” or to a low temperature that isn’t going to cause you to have a high heating bill when you return.
11. Frozen Pipes – If you live in a cold region and are traveling during the winter, ask someone you trust to run hot water through your pipes so they don’t freeze.
12. Clean out the Fridge – Don’t forget to freeze or give away items in your fridge that might go bad over an extended period of time.
13. Check the Plumbing – Make sure your toilets and faucets aren’t dripping.
14. Clean Up! – There’s nothing better than coming home to a clean house so put away the dishes and clean things up as much as possible.
15. Doors and Windows – Before you walk out the door, check all your windows and doors to make sure everything’s locked up.
Those are my 15 tips to keep your home safe while traveling.
Beth Whitman, Wanderlust and Lipstick, March 29, 2017
Watch Beth Whitman speak at the Dallas Travel & Adventure Show at the Dallas Market Center on April 1st!