Millions of Americans travel every year, whether to visit family and friends during the holidays, for vacation or on business. Traveling is an opportunity to unplug and unwind while exploring new places. But it can be challenging to relax if you’re worried about the security of your home. Here, we share some tips to help protect your home when you travel.
A simple checklist can help you quickly prepare your home without overlooking anything as you head out the door.
It’s now easier than ever to protect your home remotely with a home security system. Homes without a security system are three times more likely to be burglarized, so simply having a system in place can deter criminals.3 A home security system can also detect other threats, such as fire and carbon monoxide.
Empty houses are an easy target for criminals. Hiring a house sitter is one solution, but there are other ways to make your house appear as though it’s occupied while you’re away. Place a few internal lights on timers and install motion-activated outdoor lights. Devices are also available that can mimic the light and sounds of a TV and create an illusion that someone is home. Arrange to have someone mow your grass and water the flowers, and put a temporary hold on your mail. If possible, leave a car in the driveway to act as a visible cue that somebody is home.2,4
Automating your home can greatly streamline your efforts to protect it and offer you peace of mind while you’re away. When you use app-based video surveillance, sensors and locks, you can keep tabs on your property and receive alerts on your smart device. You can even receive notifications if fire, water or gas sensors are triggered. It’s also easier to make your home appear occupied when you use light automation and smart plugs to turn things on and off at any time.5
Let neighbors, family and friends know that you’ll be away so they can keep an eye on your house for any signs of trouble. But don’t broadcast your travel plans and dates on social media where anyone can see it. Wait to upload those awesome vacation photos until you return.
These tips and strategies can go a long way toward protecting your home when you travel. As an added benefit, you’ll be able to relax knowing that you took extra precautions to secure your home and belongings.
 “9 Ways to Safeguard Your House Before a Vacation,” Caitlin Castelaz, bobvila.com/slideshow/9-ways-to-safeguard-your-house-before-a-vacation-47767 (accessed Aug. 2, 2022).
 “10 Home Prep Tips Before Going on Vacation,” Joseph Truini, popularmechanics.com/home/interior-projects/g29329346/vacation-checklist/ (Jan. 16, 2020).
 “Burglary Statistics: The Hard Numbers,” Alarms.org, alarms.org/burglary-statistics/ (updated Dec. 19, 2019).
 “8 Ways to Make It Look Like You’re Home—And Fool Burglars,” Meghan Jones, rd.com/list/fool-burglars-when-away/ (updated June 17, 2022).
 “Everything You Need to Know About Smart Home Technology,” OTELCO, otelco.com/resources/smart-home-guide/ (accessed Aug. 4, 2022).