Keeping your home safe while traveling
Planning a trip can be very exciting and sometimes quite overwhelming. We usually get started by doing a lot of research and making a ton of lists. Lists of some of the touristy sights we might want to check out, of hotels, hostels and short and long term apartments we’d like to stay and of towns for daytripping. We talk to friends, tourism boards and other bloggers who may have been to the same destination for some off the radar places to see and of course, we make a list of the foods of the region that we want to search out.
Things you leave behind
Once the trip itinerary is somewhat outlined there is one question left to answer, what to do about the things you leave behind? Whether you’re going for a few days, weeks or months, unless you’re nomadic, you’ll want to consider keeping your home and its contents safe from intrusion and be prepared for other emergency situations as well.
Here are several options
- Possibly the easiest option would be to have a family member or neighbour drop by every few days to check on the place. Pick up mail, turn on or turn off a light or two to make it look like someone is present. If it’s winter and you live somewhere that snows, make sure you hire someone to keep the driveway and walkways clear as well. The more lived in your home looks from the outside, the less chance of a break-in.
- Renting out your home or apartment (if it’s allowed) is a great option if you’re strapped for cash. This will allow you to cover your mortgage or rent while you’re away and it’ll alleviate any financial stress you might have of financing your travels and your home expenses simultaneously. Money woes in check, now what about vetting the strangers that will be sleeping in your bed and possibly wearing your slippers? Make sure to get references and check those references, if at any time you have a gut feeling that a candidate is not suited for the job at hand, move on to the next one. Continue the process until you are confident you’ve found the right fit. If this is the route you choose and you have valuables you would rather not leave out, move everything of value, or that you don’t want to chance getting broken, into a room that can be off-limits to the renters. If it makes you feel more at ease, install a lock on the door. If you don’t have the extra space to secure your precious items, move your valuables to a locker or a friend or family member’s home for the duration of your trip.
- Trending in the travel blogger realm is getting free accommodations by housesitting. This arrangement is usually beneficial for both parties. The owner gets someone to watch their house, water the plants and feed the animal, if applicable. The housesitter gets a free stay where they planned on travelling. There are numerous websites boasting trusted and honest housesitters. Most require registering and the house owner usually pays a fee. You can search for housesitters that are looking for a housesit in your area and again, do your best at vetting all potential candidates by checking references and maybe doing a skype call or two to get a feel for the applicant. Some sites require the housesitters to go through a police check and attach references to their profile. For added assurance, you can write up your own contract.
- If you’d rather just lock the door and walk away, you should consider looking into home security systems, nowadays they are very sophisticated. You can have a smoke detector connected to the alarm receiving centre where someone would evaluate the signal before calling emergency services. If you want to keep an eye on your residence as well as have a security company watch over your abode, once surveillance cameras are installed you can set up your smartphone or tablet to view all video content from a distance. There are quite a few choices as far as security services. Ask friends or neighbours if they have a security system and if they are satisfied to help you decide which company to go with.
Knowing all of your options and doing your due diligence is key to making a decision that is right for you in keeping your property safe. This will ensure you have a great time while you’re away (unless you lose your luggage) and you won’t constantly be thinking about whether or not everything is okay back home. Secure your home, get on a plane, or train or car and don’t look back, enjoy your trip knowing all is safe and protected.