As the snow birds come south for the winter and some ambitious Floridians travel north, travel plans and the excitement of time away from the usual gets the best of us. We let the trip take front and center in our planning and forget about the care of our home when we’re gone. Putting that planning off until the last minute puts undue stress on the trip as well as puts your property in jeopardy of theft or damage. When planning your next holiday getaway ensure you follow these tips to keep your home in order for when you return.
Around the House
Before you leave your house, ensure your security systems and alarms are in working order with fresh batteries. Make sure to test them the day before or day of your departure and lock all doors and windows with curtains closed as well. For added security when you’re not there, give a key to a trustworthy neighbor or friend who is able to check on your house while you’re gone and collect any mail delivered while you’re out. Leave your porch light on at night or set a schedule for it to turn on and off if your lights have that feature. Avoid potential water damage and turn off the water to your house, especially if you’re in an area with the potential for pipes to freeze/burst.
On Social Media
Having an itinerary and plan for traveling is great to let family and friends know. However, posting the dates you’re gone leaves your address as a target to burglars. It is a good idea to conduct a home inventory to document your personal property prior to taking the trip and take pictures of your more valuable possessions. When you return from your vacation or holiday trip you can verify things are where you left them as well as make a claim if anything was damaged or stolen unexpectedly.
If you are traveling somewhere with drastically different weather than you’re used to, ensure you and your family pack the appropriate clothing to stay comfortable. If driving, ensure your car is suited for the conditions, such as extreme heat or cold, snow or ice, or mountains versus flats. Having the right tires, coolants, and engine oil ensures your car survives the trip and running smoothly after you return. A broken heater in a northern winter storm would make an otherwise enjoyable trip pretty terrible.
Also take into consideration the weather back home. If it will be stifling hot or a strong storm rolls through and knocks out the power, make sure you have a backup plan to take care of your house. As mentioned above, having a neighbor or friend check on your house and give you updates as needed is extra peace of mind.
Review Your Insurance Policies
Homeowner’s, Life, and Auto policies are all good things to review before taking a trip for days or weeks at a time. Knowing what your insurance policies will and won’t cover is always a good thing to know off the top of your head. Further, protecting the documents outlining your policies when you’re gone by locking them in a safe is another fail safe. Knowing where these documents are stored makes the transition back to normalcy after something goes wrong much easier.
If at the end of the day you are still uneasy about leaving for an extended period of time, contact your nearest Pablo Beach Insurance Agent for more information.
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