Five Smart Precautions To Take Before Your Next Vacation
For most people, getting ready for vacation means packing a suitcase or two, discarding any food in the fridge that might spoil before you’re back, and turning down your thermostat. However, many pre-vacation checklists leave off some steps that you can take to keep yourself, your family, and your home safe and secure while you’re away.
By taking a few smart precautions before you travel, you can give yourself the peace of mind you need to truly enjoy your trip. Not sure how to make that happen? Here are five steps you can take to make sure everything goes smoothly on your next vacation:
1 – Prepare your home. There are some easy ways to prepare your home for vacation to keep your family safe and your property secure. Aside from simply locking windows and doors, there are things you can to do deter theft and ensure your home and belongings are just as you left them when you return. Stop the mail or ask a trusted friend or neighbor to collect it. Also, be sure to have someone pick up any newspapers dropped on your lawn, or even park their car in your driveway to maintain the illusion that someone is home. If you can set your lights on a timer, even better – again, the idea is to make sure it looks as though someone is at home so your house doesn’t become a target for thieves. Another great investment you can make for your home security? A smart doorbell, like Ring. With video streaming capabilities that can show you exactly who’s at your doorstep, you’ll sleep easier knowing you can keep a virtual eye on things while you’re away.
2 – Make sure your car is good to go! Whether you’re planning an exciting road trip or simply need to drive from your home to the nearest airport, it’s smart to make sure your car is in top shape before you go. If possible, take it to your local mechanic for a tune-up, but at the bare minimum, ensure your oil isn’t in need of a change and that your tires are good to go. This is especially important for longer road trips, but don’t underestimate the possibility of running into car trouble on the way to the airport – it’s happened before.
3 – Keep your plans to yourself. Most people want to plaster photos of their vacation all over social media as soon as they land at their destination ( it’s so tempting and I admit I have done this many times) but, it’s best to keep the fact that you’re away from home off of Facebook or Instagram until you return. Think about it – broadcasting the fact that you’re enjoying a week in some far-off tropical destination means that anyone with less-than-ideal intentions knows they have a perfect opportunity to commit a crime. Try to enjoy some time unplugged and, if you really just can’t wait to share that photo of you on the beach with a drink in hand, keep it to close family and friends.
4 – Make copies of your important documents. Many vacation hotspots are also popular places for pickpockets and other petty criminals to make a quick buck. While you can certainly take measures to prevent yourself from falling victim to theft, like utilizing your hotel safe and carrying your valuables in a money belt instead of a purse or wallet, it’s always smart to play it safe and keep copies of documents that might be hard to replace. This includes your ID, passport, and insurance cards, as well as bank information, such as your debit or credit cards. It’s also a good idea to share your travel itinerary with a family member or friend.
5 – Do your research. It’s important to research and familiarize yourself with the area you’re going to be visiting prior to leaving for your trip. Are you heading to a place known for specific scams that target tourists, or a traditionally safe destination that has experienced a recent influx of crime? It’s better to equip yourself with that knowledge and prepare yourself before your vacation than to arrive and be caught off guard, or worse, to pretend there is absolutely no risk at all.
As you can see, you can give yourself and your family peace of mind on your next vacation with just a few simple steps and without spending a lot of money. Reduce your risk, and you’ll set yourself up for a relaxing trip and a safe return.
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Susan is a Travel/Lifestyle Writer & Photographer. She’s Mom to four children ranging in age from 11 to 23 and is an avid solo and family traveler. She’s always on the look-out for her next adventure and loves to share each of her journeys along the way!