One of the greatest benefits of travel is disconnecting from the stresses of daily life. That’s why it’s important to do all you can to secure the homefront before you go! We polled our in-house travel experts and tech gurus for the must-haves and must-dos in home security—here are our top seven.
1. Reset Your Social Preferences.
We know you’re going to post pictures of your trip on social media—and you should! But before you document your every move, from airport check-in to all of those glorious toes-in-the-sand pics, consider your audience. For the duration of your trip, consider resetting your preferences to share your posts ONLY with friends, and not with the public. There’s no reason to broadcast your empty house to the world.
2. Maintain Your Regular Routines.
Going away for more than a week? It’s crucial to “keep up appearances,” as they say in the UK—and that starts with the exterior of your home. Put a stop on your mail, so those ubiquitous catalogs and bills don’t pile up on your stoop. Make sure your lawn maintenance crew or snow shoveling service keeps their regular appointments and ask a neighbor to handle your garbage and recycling bins while you’re gone. An unkempt exterior can be an indicator you’re gone for more than a few days.
App-Enabled Home Security with Nest
3. Keep an Eye on Things from Afar.
While it’s always wise to tell a neighbor to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity around your home, it’s important to remember that Mrs. Roper won’t be working 24/7 to keep would-be burglars at bay.
That’s why we’re thrilled to welcome Nest to eBags! Our newest home automation brand features app-enabled indoor and outdoor (available later this month) security cameras and smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. A single user-friendly app connects every Nest device, giving you the ability to monitor and control what’s happening in your humble abode…from anywhere in the world.
Got a critter who’s being looked in on by a neighbor or pet-sitter? Check in on them anytime with the Nest Indoor Wireless Camera. It’s a great way to boost your peace of mind when you’re away from your furry friends, and you may even catch some amazing animal shenanigans on video. There’s a hilarious highlight reel on Nest’s website, here, that includes pets and other how-did-it-happen fun.
4. Remove Keys from the Equation.
Speaking of Mrs. Roper, every extra key you hand out to a neighbor is another key that could be lost. Remove the possibility of human error from the equation with a remote locking system like those offered by August Home. The Smart Lock Homekit Enabled turns your smartphone into a door key, and it’s compatible with Nest products for a single, user-friendly app experience.
5. Create the Illusion of Occupation.
Opportunistic thieves are much less likely to attempt a breach if your home looks occupied, and lighting plays a big part in this impression. Your local hardware store likely sells basic light timers that enable you to program your interior lights (and even your TV, if desired) to switch on for several hours every evening.
If you don’t already have motion sensors for your outdoor lights, get some before your trip. These are small purchases that can help you take big strides toward greater security.
6. Move—or Remove—Temptation.
Yes, it’s tempting to shutter your house tight while you’re gone. But if you’re in the habit of keeping the curtains open during the day, a sudden shift to total darkness may be a tip-off to thieves that you’re out of town.
Instead, keep a few shades open, and a few drapes drawn—just be aware of what’s visible through the windows. Move any obvious valuables (like jewelry boxes or laptops) out of view, and be sure to keep the doors of your media cabinets closed while you’re gone.
7. Power It Down or Unplug It.
Many appliances continue to use energy even when they’re turned off; keeping them plugged in subjects them to power surges, too. For the safety of your home AND the protection of your electronic goods and gadgets, it’s best to unplug everything you won’t be using while you’re away.
It’s only fair, as the whole point of going on vacation is for everyone to unplug—right? For even more peace of mind, shop additional SMART HOME AUTOMATION products now.
While pursuing her graduate degree in Creative Writing at CU Boulder, Staci took a part-time job crafting trip itineraries for an extreme travel company—and so embarked upon an adventure that continues to this day. In the ensuing two decades, her passion for journey and destination alike took her everywhere from the Far East (backpacking in Cambodia) to the Wild West (wrangling horses in Colorado). Work and family permitting, Staci is devoted to her ongoing quest to find the perfect taco and the perfect point break. Fair warning: if she finds them in the same place, she’s probably not coming back.