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    Keep Your Home Safe During Holiday Travel

    My son asked me the other day what I love most about the holidays. I wasn’t sure how to articulate the charm behind the season—the warmth, the smell, how time stops, and the feeling that consumes me when my favorite Christmas song plays.

    What creates that holiday magic? My favorite part of the holidays is being with family. Most years, it takes traveling home for the holidays to get that desired family time.  

    But traveling for the holidays can leave your house vulnerable to burglary. While burglary offenses have decreased in the past decade, they are on the rise again, with a 1.3% increase from 2021 to 2022, totaling 847,522 burglaries, according to the latest FBI reports.

    It's important to secure your belongings and take measures to keep your home safe. Here are some practical measures you can take.

    puppy with santa hat on

    Photo by Raul Velasquez Alva on Unsplash 

    1) Pay someone to house sit.

    The best strategy for creating the illusion of being home is to have someone else stay there. Many college students coming home for the holidays love earning a little income between semesters. Finding a willing, breathing person to watch your house may not prove difficult. This can also be a great solution if you have pets and would like to avoid the pet hotel option.

    2) Ask a neighbor for help.

    Making your house appear occupied can be as simple as leaning on your neighbor for a little help. Simple things like wheeling your trash can to the road and collecting your mail while you're out of town is easily compensated with a bottle of wine or a gift card for coffee.

    If there's no one you feel comfortable asking to collect your mail, put your mail on hold while you plan to be gone.

    3) 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 for more than a week. Property that appears to be unkempt may be more prone to burglary.

    4) Automate lighting and security.

    outdoor security camera mounted on house

    Photo by Geometric Photography on Unsplash

    Another way to keep your home looking occupied during your vacation is to set up automated lights and security. Home cameras such as Ring and Nest are fairly affordable and allow you to keep an eye on your home without the home security service price tags.

    5) 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 you're settled back into your house to share photos and fun adventures from your travels. Unfortunately, you don't know who may have access to your online information, authorized or not, as tech security is much harder to maintain these days.

    6) Unplug. 

    Turning off your automated garage door will make it more difficult for potential thieves to invade your home. It’s much easier to spot someone trying to roll up a heavy door than entering an open one.

    Additionally, unplugging your major electronics such as your computer, TV, printer, gaming system, and small kitchen appliances can save you some money during your trip, but also eliminate the enticing glow from the window as well as the possibility of shorting them out during any potential storms while you’re away.

    For more information about military family travel both overseas and stateside, download our free Guide to Military Family Travel below.

    Happy holidays and safe travels!  

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    Danielle Keech


    Danielle Keech

    Danielle Keech is a writer and content creator for MilitaryByOwner Advertising. She writes on military life topics, highlights clients’ open houses on social media, and manages the Military PCS Facebook group. She especially enjoys covering financial topics and helping military families exercise financial responsibility and plan for the future. Danielle has been a Marine Corps spouse for ten years (and counting!) and is a momma to four littles and one fur baby. She and her pilot spouse have lived in Virginia, Florida, Texas, California, Hawaii, and, most recently, Okinawa, Japan. And yes, you guessed it, Hawaii is her favorite duty station to date! Find MilitaryByOwner's Millitary PCS group here.

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