6 Tips to keep your home secure when you go away on holiday

If you’re planning a holiday in the near future, today’s blog post is full of ideas for securing your home while you’re away. It can be a real headache if you’re worrying about your home and tech when you’re travelling, so here are 6 simple ways you can alleviate that stress and enjoy your break…

I’ve just got back from my first ever ‘proper’ holiday with my husband. We’ve only ever had weekends away in the past, and longer trips were either work-related or *shudder* camping. And even then, the longest time we’ve ever been away from home was just 5 days. So, when we planned a 12-day break last month, I was both excited and worried in equal measure.

Firstly, the planning was an epic endeavour as we needed to move around during our holiday and visit 3 different cities. Sure, our trip was just a UK break, but we still needed to plan travel arrangements, hotel bookings, trains and meals. It took a lot of booking – and printing out of confirmation documents – but eventually we got it all sorted and were ready to go.

Then came the packing issue. And no, this time I didn’t follow my own advice on packing for a winter break! We could fit one big shared suitcase in our car and two small backpacks for a part of the trip where we would be travelling by train for 3 days. I actually needed to buy more pairs of socks to make sure I had enough clean pairs for the duration of the holiday, haha! And we needed suit bags because we went to a wedding as part of the trip. Once the packing was organised, I could take a sigh of relief and get on with looking forward to our journey.

The final worry was everything we were leaving behind. Our cats went ‘on holiday’ to grannie’s house for a couple of weeks (where they were treated like princesses, and we got daily photo updates!) but I was still worried about our home. We’d never left it for so long before and security was a concern. After taking a few precautions I was happy to leave home, safe in the knowledge that my house and tech was secure.

So, I thought it would be useful to share with you some ideas for keeping your home safe and sound while you’re away:

1 SECURITY SYSTEM

If you’ve already got a home alarm system installed – use it! Set it up in advance so that it’s ready to protect your home from the minute you leave for your holiday. If you don’t already have one but you’re planning a trip away this summer, consider installing an alarm now so that it’s ready to go when you are ready to go!

2 LIGHTING

Remember that scene in Home Alone where all the house security lights come on with a timer? That’s kind of what I’m suggesting here – but perhaps in not quite such an obvious way! Timer plugs are a low-cost way to illuminate your home at different times of day to give the impression that you’re at home. Similarly, if you have Smart Lighting (like the smart bulbs I reviewed last year) I’d suggest setting the lights to come on in the rooms you’d usually use at the times you’d usually use them: living room from 6pm and bedroom from 10pm, for example.

3 TELL SOMEONE

But not everyone! So don’t share any photos on social media until you’re back! However, if you like and trust your neighbours, it’s a good idea to mention to them that you’re going away. After all, who else is better able to check on your property while you’re away? They can keep an eye on the home and can let you know of any concerns. There might even be a Neighbourhood Watch scheme where you are. Or perhaps you could ask a family member to pop by your house while you’re out of town. This’ll reassure you that you’ve got an extra set of eyes on your home in case anything crops up. Plus, if you’ve got Smart Bulbs you can turn on your lights using your phone app wherever you are so if you get a message that something doesn’t seem right, you can switch all the lights on straight away.

4 GET A HOUSE SITTER

This is a good idea if you’re really concerned about security – and if you have plants that need to be watered! A house sitter will stay in your home for the duration of your holiday and keep an eye on things. If you have pets, you could hire a pet sitter who will look after your animals while keeping your home safe too. Here’s a checklist of what to look for when choosing a pet sitter.

5 STASH YOUR TECH

If you’re mostly worried about your technology being stolen while you’re away (I mean, it would be a nightmare for me to lose my laptop with all my work on it!) take it out of the house. I’m not saying you should travel with your tablet, laptop, desktop computer, e-reader, DSLR camera and external hard drives – I mean you could ask a family member to look after the items for you in their home. Just make sure it’s someone you absolutely trust and who is happy to take responsibility for your items.

6 CHECK THE WINDOWS

It’s probably the most obvious thing to say but lock all your windows and take the keys out. Similarly, if you usually keep a key in the back-door lock, take it out and stow it away. Angle the blinds so that no one can peep in through the windows or if you have curtains, put up nets/voiles for a little extra privacy in the daytime.

I hope these 6 tips will help you to feel more relaxed the next time you go away. Do you have any other suggestions for keeping your home and tech secure while you’re away on holiday? Let me know in the comments below as I’d love to hear your tips 😊

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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