Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vacation Time - 5 Things To Remember To Do Before You Head Out

Taking a vacation is supposed to be an enjoyable experience, but even though you may be excited about your upcoming trip doesn’t mean that you can take your vacation without planning. There are certain things that you need to remember before heading on your next vacation, and the following are five things you absolutely must do before you leave.

1. Tell the police.
If you will not be having a house sitter when you leave, you’ll want to tell the police that you will not be home. This way, the police will keep an extra eye on your home to ensure that it is safe. Plus, if they notice anything out of the ordinary, they can contact you immediately instead of learning about it when you get home.

2. Stop your paper and hold your mail.
If you get the newspaper delivered to your house, you’ll want to make sure that you put a temporary hold on your account. This way, the newspapers will stop being delivered and you don’t run the risk of criminals noticing that newspapers are stockpiling in your yard.

You should also put a temporary hold on your mail. The post office will stop delivering mail to your home, which will keep your mail from filling up in your mailbox. Untouched mail signals to criminals that the house is empty, which increases the risk of break ins while you’re gone.

3. Unplug appliances and double-check every room.
Fires and water damage can occur when you’re on vacation if you don’t take the necessary precautions. Make sure that you double check that all faucets are turned off to eliminate the risk of flooding. If you’re traveling during the spring or summer, you may even consider turning your water completely off to be extra safe.

Along with checking rooms for water, you’ll also want to go through every room in your home and unplug your appliances. This will eliminate the risk of sparks and fires from occurring when nobody is home. You should also make sure that all lights in your home are turned off and that any ovens, curling irons, fireplaces, etc. have been turned off as well.

4. Keep it off social networks.
You may be extremely excited about your trip, but it’s important that you keep the information off of your social networks until you return. If you let the world know that you will not be home, it allows this information to fall into the hands of criminals. Even though you’re virtual friends with these people doesn’t mean they won’t cause you harm. A couple in Tennessee came home from vacation to find their house was burglarized by a virtual friend.

If you really want to keep your home safe while you’re gone, make sure to keep your vacation to yourself.

5. Double-check your luggage.
It’s a good idea to write down a checklist of everything you need to bring with you before you go, then use that checklist to double check that you have everything packed. How often have you gotten into the car or on the plane when you suddenly remember that you forgot your phone charger or your makeup at home? Using a checklist will keep you from having to buy something on vacation in order to make up for the item you forgot.

Steven Peters is a travel agent from Miami.  He writes about traveling, hotels, and vacation tips for people who like traveling abroad.

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