Preparation Before Long-Term Travel
10 Nov 2021
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is still making headlines, folks across the country who are overwhelmed by many months of being cooped up inside are deciding to take an extended vacation either abroad or across the great USA.
Wherever you are going, if you are leaving your house for an extended period of time then you will want to take the proper precautions to ensure that your home remains safe and your possessions are protected. While you may have secured your house in the past during a trip, this extended vacation may require extra precautions. We’ll talk about what you should do below.
The Illusion That You Are at Home
If you are planning to be gone for an extended amount of time then you will want to take certain precautions to ensure that you are not giving the impression that your home is vacant. Smart criminals look for signs that you may be out of town, and if the coast appears to be clear, they may try to break into your property. A big step that many people take to give the appearance that they are home is putting their interior lights on timers that go off at strategic times during the day. So a light might turn on in your bedroom at night and on in the living room in the early evening.
Next, you should stop your mail service during the entire duration of your trip and avoid ordering any packages until you return home. Mail piling up at the front door is a dead giveaway that you are not there. It is also a good idea to befriend a neighbour who can watch your property, and if anyone leaves an unexpected flyer on the door, they can remove it so it isn’t there for too long.
Also, consider keeping your yard well-manicured so you avoid overgrown foliage that is an obvious sign that the home is vacant. You can keep your yard in good condition by hiring someone from the neighbourhood to cut the grass while you are gone. If you can afford one, consider hiring a house sitter who can ensure that there is no trouble or at least someone who checks in at least once per week.
Secure Your Home
Even if you are successful with the illusion that someone is living in the house, you will still want to properly secure the home to protect against more brazen criminals. Make sure that all doors and windows are locked. If you have a door or window that needs repair, consider doing so before you leave so it isn’t easy to get through. Make sure to keep all expensive electronics and valuables out of sight of people who may look in your windows. For the best protection, put your valuables in a safe.
It is also important to secure the outside perimeter of your home by installing lights that are activated by motion sensors. The lights can be placed almost anywhere and when someone approaches, they shine bright and may even convince the criminal that they were turned on by someone inside the home. Some motion sensor lights even have cameras included that can record the suspect in the act.
Speaking of high-tech, there are many smart devices that you may be inclined to install to provide extra protection while you are enjoying your trip. A smart doorbell can be instrumental when anyone approaches your front door. An included camera allows you to see who is there and some models even allow you to speak to the visitor. A smart lock on your front door is another great idea that will prevent anyone from entering your home unless they have a one-time code.
Prepare Your Home
In addition to securing your home, there are certain steps you will want to take to keep your house in tip-top shape so you don’t return to any disastrous surprises. For instance, it is a smart idea to go through your refrigerator and dispose of any older or otherwise perishable food that could spoil over time. That way, you won’t come home to a smelly house. You should also unplug the refrigerator to save everything else in the case of a power outage.
On that note, it is important to unplug all of your other non-essential electronics, especially if you are going to be gone for several months. There are a couple of reasons to do so. For one, if a severe storm comes around and there is a surge, your valued electronics could be destroyed. Also, any electronics that are plugged in still use a bit of electricity which can add to your monthly bill, so unplugging them can save a few bucks as well.
While you need to prepare your home for a long stay without you there, you may also need to have a plan in the back of your mind in the case that your trip is cancelled or otherwise cut short. For instance, you might choose to travel to a secondary location or opt to have a staycation in the comfort of your own home instead. If you do decide to travel to a different destination, it is a good idea to bring proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test as some locations will require that you do so. Finally, you would also want to ensure that you get a refund for your travel and any accommodations you had planned.
We all deserve a chance to relax and clear our minds after many months of dealing with the pandemic, so go all out and have the vacation you always wanted. Use the tips described here and your trip will be worry-free.