Along with all the planning of what you're going to do and where you're going to stay, consider this checklist to make you feel more comfortable while you're away from home.
- Ask a trusted friend to pick up your mail, newspaper and keep yard picked up to avoid an appearance of not being at home.
- Stop your mail (USPS Hold Mail Service) and your newspaper.
- Don't post about your trip on Facebook and other social media until you return; some burglars look for this type of announcement to schedule their activities.
- Do notify police or neighborhood watch - especially if you're going to be gone for more than just a few days. Let your monitoring service know when you'll be gone and if someone will be checking on your home for you.
- Light timers make it look like someone is home. Set multiple timers for various times to better simulate someone at home. There are plug-in modules for lights and appliances that would allow you to control them from your phone while your out of town.
- Do unplug certain appliances - TV, computers, toaster ovens that use electricity even when they're off and to protect them from power surges.
- Don't hide a key; burglars know exactly where to look for your key and it only takes them a moment to check under the mat, above the door, in the flower pot or in a fake rock.
These easy-to-handle suggestions may protect your belongings while you're gone while adding a level of serenity to your trip.