We get so excited for vacation, that we don’t want to forget one very important thing, and that is to protect our home that we are in the other 51 weeks a year. Here are some tips for you to make sure you do before you depart for Dayton House Resort in Myrtle Beach that will leave you absolutely stress-free just like you deserve.
Unfortunately, travelers aren’t the only ones who get excited about vacations — as our treks to exciting and faraway places also offer the perfect opportunity for thieves to break into our resident-free homes without detection.
But there are a number of ways that travelers can make their absence less obvious and their homes less inviting to burglars. Consider these six ways to make your home less susceptible to thieves while you’re away:
Get a friend or neighbor to help: If you’ve got a friend or neighbor you trust to keep an eye on your home while you’re away, butter them up first (freshly baked cookies or brownies are never a bad idea), then ask them if they’d mind checking in on the place every once in a while. If they’re up for the task, leave them with a spare key and the security code (if you have a security system), and ask if they’d mind bringing in the mail, watering the plants, taking the garbage out to the curb for pickup, etc. while you’re away. Note: A souvenir from the place you’re visiting makes for a great gift to thank them for their troubles upon your return.
Limit online signs of your absence: When you’re visiting a place as beautiful as Myrtle Beach, you’re naturally going to want to share your photos and news of your adventures on your favorite social media sites. But think twice before making such online status updates while you’re so far away from home — in the wrong hands, this information can serve as a virtual invitation to thieves by letting them know you’re away. Save all of your photos and stories up for a larger update/photo album that you post to social media upon your return. As an added bonus, spending less time on social media during your vacation will give you more time to enjoy the destination while you’re there.
Let the police know you’ll be gone: Especially if you live in a smaller community, you might want to call the police and let them know that you’ll be away on an extended vacation. In some cases, officers will patrol your neighborhood a bit more frequently if they know you’re away, and they might even go out of their way to double-check your residence for any concerning signs for the duration of your trip.
Put your lights on a schedule: To give the impression to any passersby that you’re home, put a light or two in your home on a light-switch timer (or a lamp on an outlet timer) while you’re away. This way, you can schedule the lights to turn on for a while in the evening, then off again during the late-night hours — just as they naturally would if you were at home and on a normal work/sleep schedule. If you’re a tech-savvy homeowner, you can even purchase smart bulbs or a smart outlet that can be controlled via your smartphone (or other internet-connected device) and an associated app while you’re away.
Place a hold your mail: If you schedule the service before you leave, the S. Postal Service will place a hold on your mail for up to 30 days while you’re away, then deliver it or hold it for pickup upon your return. During an extended absence, this prevents mail and packages from stacking up in your mailbox while you’re gone — a telltale sign to thieves that nobody is home.
Secure the spare: You won’t need your spare key anyway while you’re out of town. And especially when it’s stored in the usual spots — think under the doormat, above the door frame, in the hanging plant by the door, under that fake rock by the walkway — it presents a clear risk of being found by thieves. It’s never a bad idea to remove that spare key before an extended time away from home — or to at least relocate it to a less-obvious hiding place.
After you completed this check list, move on to better things, like planning your activities during your Myrtle Beach vacation.