There are numerous reasons you may be traveling this holiday season. Perhaps you're traveling home to see family. Maybe you're simply taking the opportunity to take a vacation. Or possibly, your spouse is deployed and you're off on a little adventure of your own!
Whatever the reason, it's important to keep yourself AND your home safe during your travel.
MilitaryByOwner's latest e-book, Guide to Military Family Travel, offers many tips to help keep you, your family, and your things safe while traveling overseas this holiday season, and our recent post, 12 Tips for International Travel, is loaded with tips for keeping you and your family safe while you're traveling.
Now, let's talk about your home!
While you're keeping yourself safe traveling, you also need to be mindful of your home. Do what you can in preparation for your trip to keep your home looking lived in and occupied..
Pay someone to house sit.
The best thing you can do to create the illusion of being home is to have someone else stay there. Many college students come home over the holidays and are looking for a little income to accumulate between semesters, so finding a willing, breathing person to watch over your house may not prove so difficult. Additionally, if you have any pets, this person can also be paid to keep after them rather than boarding them at a local pet hotel!
Ask a neighbor.
Especially over the holidays, you don't want your home to look vacant, as it could end up being targeted by thieves or vandals. Instead, ask a trusty neighbor to roll your trash can to the road and collect your mail while you're out of town. If there's no one you feel comfortable asking to collect your mail, put your mail on hold while you plan to be gone.
Maintain the outside of your home.
For the same reason you want your neighbor to check your mail, you'll want to have someone come by to sweep stray leaves or clear snow if you plan on being gone more than a week. Property that appears to be unkempt will be more prone to burglary.
Automate lighting and security.
Another way to keep your home looking occupied during your vacation is to set up automated lights and security. By doing this, you can create the illusion of being home over the holidays.
Don't advertise your travel plans.
As excited as you are for your big trip, don't share your plans on social media. Wait until after you're settled back into your house to share photos from your travels. You don't know who may have access to your online information, authorized or not. It's a better plan to share your fun adventures with the rest of the world after you're back in your residence, rather than risk making your home a target for thieves.
Tuning off your automated garage door will make it more difficult for potential thieves to invade your home while you are gone. Additionally, unplugging your major electronics within the home such as your computer, TV, printer, gaming system, and small kitchen appliances can save you some money during your trip, but also eliminate the possibility of shorting them out during any potential storms.
Traveling overseas can and should be fun! For more information about military family travel both overseas and stateside, download our free Guide to Military Family Travel e-book.