The preparation before traveling can be a chaotic and stressful time. Ideally you want to start packing one week before a trip, but unforeseen circumstances often arise and we wait until the night before to begin arranging transportation to the airport, frantically packing clothes, filling prescriptions, and loading a playlist onto our phones. Amidst all of the last-minute travel preparation, its important to take a deep breath and think about how you will enjoy your time away. But, before you take that deep breath, be sure to do the following things before leaving on a vacation.
1. Keep An Eye On Your House
This has become easier over the past several years, thanks to WiFi enabled security camera systems. The camera’s feed can be viewed from a smartphone, allowing the homeowner to keep a watchful eye even when thousands of miles away from the home. While this can be advantageous, try not to spend too much time watching your home that you forget about enjoying your vacation. But, what about those of us who do not have a security camera?
When going on vacation, or any time you will be away from the home for an extended period of time, ask a neighbor if they would be willing to periodically check your home for any issues. This would include walking around the perimeter of the home to see if everything looks normal, which could be done once in the morning and once at night. It’s also not a bad idea to leave the neighbor a key to your home in case you want them to check the inside of the house for any surprises such as a burst pipe.
2. Lawn Upkeep
If traveling for an extended period of time, the last thing you will want to do is pull into the driveway and realize that the lawn is overgrown and needs immediate cutting. It can be unsightly, and if you live in a community with a HOA, it could cause problems.
If you regularly mow your lawn and then suddenly stop, the overgrown lawn could be a security risk in that it signals to passersby that no one is home. Your best bet is to mow your lawn right before vacation and then consider hiring a neighbor or landscaper to cut the grass while you are away.
3. Mail Delivery
While everyone uses email and a lot of us use online bill pay, there are still important letters that are sent via snail mail. And for online shoppers, we receive our packages from Amazon Prime and other retailers by placement in a mailbox or on a front porch. Consider notifying the local post office to hold your mail while traveling or ask a neighbor to periodically check your mailbox and notify you if something extremely important is received and needs attention.
4. Avoid Social Media
It is tempting to provide live updates of your travels, especially the beautiful view of your feet in the sand when at the beach enjoying a piña colada. Make sure to take plenty of pictures and videos of your travels to cherish the memories. However, if you are traveling thousands of miles away from your home and posting status updates, it is best to keep this information private so that your home does not become a target for a burglary, since it is apparent no one is home.
Before taking your next vacation, make sure that you are getting the best price on a hotel stay, you have a plan in tact for someone watching your house and checking your mail, and most importantly that you mentally prepare for a fun and relaxing trip.