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How To Secure Your Home When You Leave Town
Written By Shani Valencia
When going on vacation, the least of your worries should be worrying about your home. So in order to have a worry-free vacation, here are a few things to take care of before you head out the door.
One of the main things many of us can’t help is making vacation updates on social media. Try to steer away from making it completely public that your home will be unattended.
You should definitely make sure all your windows are locked and that all your doors are locked.
Since you will be out of town, you should give one of your trusted friends or neighbor a key just in case anything were to happen. This trusted person can also stop by from time to time to check on the home and collect the mail.
Another thing to consider would be to set up a surveillance system if you don’t already have one. This will help you immensely if an intruder were to break into your home; you would have a video recording of what the intruder looks like which you could hand over to authorities.
If you have an alarm system that monitors your home, make sure to alert the company so they are aware you are away. So if they do get a notification on an intrusion and cannot reach you, they can dispatch the authorities.
One thing many do no think of is keeping up with the landscape. Try to keep tall bushes and hedges away from your home. These bushes/hedges give intruders a place to hide.
Make sure to keep your yard lit, preferably set it on a timer so your home is not in complete darkness when night falls. But also make sure to set a timer on indoor lighting but do not synchronize it with the outdoor lighting. It must give the appearance that someone is actually staying in the home.
Last but not least, make sure you put away valuables that you would not want to lose. Of course, we do not want any intruders in our home but things happen. So be sure to lock away out of sight items and any monetary items.
The Three Situations Where It Makes Sense To Buy Travel Insurance
Written By Geno Knight
Money expert Clark Howard says buying travel insurance from the site you’re booking your vacation is usually a bad idea. He says you’ll get more bang for your buck by purchasing coverage through an independent company like “InsureMyTrip.” But do you need travel insurance? Not always says Clark. He says there are 3 circumstances where buying the coverage for your vacation makes the most sense and cents!
- If you’re taking a cruise.
- If you prebook tours for your trip.
- Trips that require big down payments.
Why those first two? Clark says they’re probably not going to reimburse you if you no show, no matter what your reason is for not going.
Five Tips On What & How To Pack
Written By Rachel Pitts
Another way to have a worry-free vacation is to pack only what need. This takes some planning, especially if you want to only take a small bag. Getting everything you need into a small carry-on or a duffel can take some skill to maximize the space. It can also be very rewarding and a time-saver to get everything in one bag, too. Less chance of your baggage being lost if you have to check it and you can brag to your friends who had three big bags that you have everything you need in our carryon luggage.
- Make A List & Stick To It: Write down each day of your trip and what activities are planned for those days. Then write out each item of clothing that you may need. Yes, even write down socks and underwear. Pull the items on your list and put them aside. I recommend doing this days before your trip, so the night before all you have to do is throw the items in your luggage. Don’t go rogue and don’t be afraid to edit as you go. Plus, when you get back home you will have less to put away or wash.
- Mix & Match: Try to only pack clothes that go together and that don’t wrinkle easily. I normally pack clothes that are all black and blue. That way you can wear the same sweater with all outfits and mix and match. For example, a simple black dress can be paired with a cardigan one night and a sheer kimono another night and you have 3 different looks that take up very little space in your luggage.
- Shoes: Yes, I do realize it’s good to have options, but shoes can take up a lot of room in your luggage. Try to bring no more than two pairs of shoes. Wear the clunkiest pair to your destination and pack the smaller pair.
- Be Mindful: When you pack your clothes, be very mindful of how you are putting them in your bag. Many times rolling your garments will take up less space than folding. Also, if you travel a lot, consider investing in packing cubes that can help you compartmentalize better. Don’t forget to use all of the available space; stuff your socks in shoes, stuff tank tops or t-shirts in the cups of your undergarments. Get creative!
- Know The Rules: If you are travelling by air, know your airlines’ baggage policy. Also, remember the TSA rules for liquids. Limit liquids to 3.4-ounce bottles or smaller and inside a single, clear, quart-size zip-top bag. If you don’t have TSA precheck, pack your liquids bag so it’s easily accessible when going through security. This also goes for any electronics that may need to be removed from your bags when going through security.