It’s that time of year for most of us. Vacation time. Time to take those few weeks away from work and make the most of your holidays.
You have booked the flights. Arranged travel insurance. And packed. If you like planning you have probably booked your hotel and have a list of things you wish to see while you are there too.
Your trip is organised. But before you get too excited, there are a few things you really need to consider before you walk out that front gate. Is your home secure while you are away?
How Do Criminals Know You’re Not Home?
Vacation season is common knowledge. Everyone knows this is the few weeks of the year that most people are away travelling. Criminals know this too. Only they are not taking a vacation like everyone else. Criminals are in their peak season!
In Australia – criminals are known to observe neighbourhoods and specific houses for weeks to get to know the occupant’s routines. This allows them to know when the homes are empty.
Here are some things criminals look for, and tips to keep your home safer while you’re away
Criminals Like Mail!
So the lady that drops off the pile of catalogues each week has been, and so has the postman (delivering all those Christmas cards that didn’t make it on time, joking. He’s delivering the bills you racked up over the festive period).
A few days worth of mail is in your mailbox, that pile or two of catalogues wedged between your fence palings and maybe even the weekly or daily paper you get delivered are scattered around the lawn. Looks like you are not home.
Before you leave, call over to your neighbour’s house and ask them if they don’t mind collecting your mail for you while you are away. That way, your mail will be safe and it won’t be obvious to criminals your not at home.
Have a creepy neighbour you don’t wish to ask? Simply pop down to your local post office and put a hold on your mail delivery. The post office will simply collect your mail while you are away. When you return, pick up your mail from the post office and let them know they can resume your mail delivery from then on.
Speaking of Your Neighbour. and Your Spare Key
If your neighbour is of the uncreepy kind – give them your spare key instead of keeping it in an obvious place. Yes, the key is under one of those pots along the front porch, the doormat or that medium-sized rock. And we all know it.
If your neighbour is creepy, give it to a family member or friend. That way, someone can access your house if needed or can check on it every few days.
The Lights Are on But Nobody Is Home
Set your lights with a timer if you can. If you have sensor lights outside then leave these on also. If your house is left dark, night after night, it is clear to everyone that nobody is home. You can also ask your neighbour to turn your lights on at night every couple of days so it looks like you are still in town.
The Best Solution to Keep Your Home Safe While on Vacation?
Find a house sitter to live in your home while you are away. They can collect the mail, water the garden, and take care of anything that happens to occur.
If you have a dog, cat or fish, organising a house sitter to look after your pet (and your home and garden) while you are away is a super affordable option compared to paying for kennel services for your pet.
House sitters will come to your home for free, and look after both your pets, garden and home. You can organise your house sitter online, well ahead of time, or at last minute sometimes. With a plethora of housesitting and petsitting websites popping up in resent years finding a house sitter has never been easier.
Simply put the details of your house and city, and duration you require a house sitter for, on one of the housesitting websites. You will receive applications for house sitters and take it from there. You may be able to meet some house sitters before you decide (if they are already in your city).
Read their application carefully, read their reviews and if they seem like a fit for you and your home then simply let them know.
But Who Are These Housesitting People?
People, like you and me. People who might be visiting your city. People who housesit full time. People who slow travel. Retirees. People taking a gap year off from work. People who housesit in your city full time.
List of Housesitting Websites
- Mind My House – https://www.mindmyhouse.com
- Trusted House Sitters – https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/
- House Carers – https://www.housecarers.com
- Mind a Home (Australia) – www.mindahome.com.au
- Aussie Housesitters (Australia) – https://www.aussiehousesitters.com.au
- Stay Me (Australia) – www.stayme.com.au
Wishing you happy and safe holidays.
I hope this post has been helpful and more importantly, i wish you all an exciting, happy and safe holiday!