How-to: Travel Proof Your Home
Protecting your home while you travel is important!
Summer is upon us which means family vacations and trips to the lake. Follow these steps to travel proof your home so while you’re away, you can play!
Step 1: Get properly insured.
Knowing you’re covered if there is a break-in or major disaster can be the difference between a restful vacation and a stressful one.
-If you’re a homeowner you’re required to have some type of homeowners insurance. Make sure to read over your policy so you know exactly what you’re covered for, sometimes only the structure is covered, in which case, it is smart to expand your policy to include some of your pricier possessions. It’s a good idea to shop around every few years too, just to be sure you’re getting the best rate.
-If you’re a renter, get insurance for your belongings! Some landlords include renters insurance with their contracts (if you’re not sure give them a call), but most often it is the responsibility of the renter to insure their belongings. Some policies are as little as $15 a month—totally worth it for peace of mind!
Step 2: Hire a trustworthy neighbor/friend as a caretaker.
Choose a neighbor you trust or a friend that would be willing to check on home while you’re away. It’s best to start looking for this person as soon as you book your trip.
-Have your mail/newspaper collected daily (get a neighbor to do this if your check-in person can’t get there every day).
-Do you have pets that need fed and watered? Try to find a caretaker that can stay at your home while you’re away or find a local boarder.
-If there happens to be a big storm while you’re away, arrange to have your house checked for any leaks and have that person take photos so you can have records for your insurance—some insurances require notification within a certain number of days for your claim to be valid.
-Bring home a “thank you” gift for your caretaker. If you’re compensating them with cash it could still be a nice idea to get them a small toke from your trip to show your gratitude.
Step 3: Travel proof your home.
The idea is to make it seem like someone is still home, closing your house up tight can be a sign no one will be returning for a while.
-Keep some blinds and curtains open when you leave. An intruder is less likely to break in if he can be seen from the outside.
-Set a few switches to a timer to go on at night so it appears like someone is home, if you’re caretaker isn’t staying at your house.
-Consider installing Door Armour by Armour Concepts© to any exterior door for maximum security.
-Add motion sensor lights around the back of your home, above your garage or any other darkness prone areas. Don’t add any additional outdoor lighting right before you take a trip though, if there is a drastic change to your outside lighting it can be a trigger that you’ve taken a long trip.
Step 4: Before you leave.
-Turn off your A/C or raise the temp up to 90 and unplug major appliances (keep your fridge running though!) to save on electricity—in winter don’t turn off the heat, just turn it down to prevent your pipes from freezing.
-Lock all windows and doors, consider doing something random while you do the task so you when you’re on vacation you can be sure you remember you actually did lock the pet door!
Tip for while you’re gone: Don’t post your vacation photos on social media until you get home!
Nothing ruins a vacation faster than getting a call saying something has happened to your home. Ensuring your home is protected while you’re away will help you enjoy your vacation to the fullest!
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