Family Vacation

Protecting Your Home While You’re Away

LKR Agent guest post by Katie Birdsall

The end of the school year is fast approaching and that often means another family vacation is in sight.  Whether you’re leaving for a road trip over a long weekend or taking a once-in-a-lifetime trip halfway around the world, you’re leaving your home alone for the same period of time.  An empty home doesn’t always give you peace of mind, however, Katie, who recently took a two-week long trip to Thailand, came up with a few tips we think will help keep your mind at ease.

Let a Friend or Two Know That You’re Leaving… But Don’t Tell EVERYONE!

It’s always good to tap into a friend and ask them to help look after things while you’re gone: things like checking on your mail, watering your plants, putting trash cans out, feeding your goldfish, etc. can be very helpful in coming home with some semblance of normalcy.

You also want to avoid over-publicizing the fact that you’re cutting out of town on social media, especially if you have a public profile. If you’re posting about your upcoming trip, it can make it very easy to do a search of some #vacation hashtags in your area to see which homes are sitting empty.  Enjoy your trip, be in the moment, and share your favorite moments when you return.

Consider a Home Monitoring System

The Home Security System industry today has everything from the budget-friendly DIY self-install systems, such as the Abode Home Security Starter Kit, to a professionally-installed 24/7 monitored systems, such as the ADT Pulse. Many of these options are accompanied by apps that give you the ability to monitor activity from your smartphone, as well as smart features that allow you to control door locks, lights, and thermostats.

No thief wants to have a spotlight on them, so it’s also beneficial to have motion-censored exterior lighting.  If it’s already installed at your home, give it a good test run and make sure you replace any lights that may have burned out. Finally, add a sign to the yard stating you have a security system in place, as this can be a deterrent for someone considering your home as a target.

Lock Up Your Valuables

According to, it will only take a burglar approximately 8-10 minutes to get their list of “easy-to-sell” items. This includes cash, small electronics, gaming systems, guns, jewelry, personal ID, medications, and liquor. Even if you cannot fit everything into a safe, try to hide items in less obvious places, like a kitchen pantry or laundry room, as the master bedroom is typically the first place a thief will look. You can also look into purchasing a special cable lock for your small electronics.

Stage Your Home

The best thing you can do is make it look like someone is still home! Most burglars have said that they will think twice before entering a home if they see a car in the driveway, or if they hear a TV or radio on inside the house.  You can set your interior lights up on a timer or utilize smart home technology and turn them on randomly throughout the evening.

We hope these tips will help give you some peace of mind, but remember to enjoy your time away.

Editors note: If you want to see photos from Katie’s Thailand vacation, you can see the original blog on her website.