I’m sure you’ve had this happen to you – you go on vacation and get a call from your neighbor letting you know that something has gone terribly wrong with your house. They see water flowing into the street from your garage, the lights are flickering and won’t turn off or part of your fence has fallen down. Murphy’s Law has a way of playing tricks on travelers and it can really ruin a vacation! In addition to Mr. Murphy, a house or apartment left empty while its owners are traveling can be an invitation to criminals. Here are some ways you can protect yourself.
Ask a Friend to Help
If you have a family member or friend who can stop by your house to check on things while you are away you will gain significant peace of mind. You can also ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye out for anything unusual and ask that they call or text you if something suspicious is going on.
Don’t Share Your Travel Plans on Social Media – Criminals Can Find You
It may be fun to share your travel photos on Facebook or Instagram but wait until you get home to make the post. It is also important to refrain from announcing an upcoming trip with details of your travel. You never know who could inadvertently come across this information and use it against you.
Should You Leave Your Lights On?
It is very easy these days to purchase a light switch timer that will turn your lights on and off automatically at a pre-determined time. They are inexpensive and easy to use and will save you a huge electric bill! They will also leave your house looking less suspicious to criminals who are looking for empty homes.
Stop Your Mail
Or have a friend or neighbor help bring it in at the end of the day. It’s easy to put your mail on hold at USPS.com. They will even deliver it to you on the day you return from your vacation so no need to make an unwanted trip to the Post Office to stand in long lines to retrieve your mail!
Pull That Plug
Make sure you unplug your computer, tv, electronic devices and other appliances to protect them from a power surge. Not only can this save your equipment, it will also save you money on your electric bill. Many appliances draw energy even when they are turned off.