Savvy Travel Decisions

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There’s nothing worse than returning from a pleasurable vacation, only to discover that your home was burglarized in your absence.  Don’t temp a burglar by being easy prey.  Burglars search for properties that present the easiest access.  A burglar typically is in and out of a home in less than five minutes.


70% of all home burglaries are committed during daytime hours.


Before departing on vacation, exercise a few precautions:

1.            Double-check that all doors are locked.  Beef up any sliding glass doors with extra locks.

2.            Lock all windows.

3.            Activate your burglar alarm before leaving.  Do not leave your burglar password or alarm instructions near the alarm control box.

4.            Never ever leave a message on your telephone answering machine referring to the fact that you are on vacation and the date you will be returning.

5.            Dis-engage your automatic-garage door mechanism and manually lock the overhood door from the inside.  Add dead-bolts to any other conventional garage doors.

6.            Double-check that exterior security motion lights are operative.

7.            Have a friend or neighbor keep an eye on your property and collect your mail and newspapers on a daily basis. Do not stop delivery of either the mail or newspapers.  This is a dead-giveaway that you will not be present - why would you advertise the fact?

8.            Place interior lights on timers, and alternate them so not all turn on and off at the same time.

9.            Unplug unnecessary appliances.  Do not unplug the refrigerator or freezer.  Shut off water to the washing machine.

10.         Park your own or better yet, ask your neighbor to park one of their vehicles in your driveway.

11.         If possible, have a friend or relative stay in your home while you are gone.

12.         Don’t advertise that you will be leaving on vacation.  Don’t discuss your travel plans in the presence of strangers or an unfamiliar taxi driver as you are being driven to the airport.

13.         Padlock all gates.

14.         Place valuables, checkbook, and sign-on and password internet records in a safe and locked location.

15.         Do not list your home address on your luggage baggage tags.  Instead, use your business address.  A favorite ploy of burglars is to case luggage tags at the airport check-in lines, and ascertaining addresses, plan their to-do burglary list.  If a stranger asks you at the airport check-in line your intended destination and how long you will be gone, ignore them and contact security.


16.         Do not interact with friends on Facebook and other social media informing them of your whereabouts.  Yes, it’s fun to be on vacation, but why advertise to potential thieves that are eager to burglarize your home and steal your possessions while you are gone?


17.         If utilizing your vacation hotel internet connections, make certain that it is secure.  Inquire how your information will be protected when you log in from your room.  Public terminals may be unencrypted.  Encrypted websites use the URL prefix: “HTTPS”, with the “S” signifying security.  You would be wise to download virtual private network (VPN) software prior to your trip.  Be sure to delete all cookies created during any public session and also to logout when finished on public terminals.


18.     When traveling, you might seriously consider changing your online passwords during travel and restoring your original passwords on arrival to your destination.


19.         Unless absolutely required, avoid carrying your child’s Social Security card or birth certificate.  Instead, use your child’ Passport for identification.   Identity thieves do not discriminate by age.


20.         Do not leave your laptop, paper documents, medicine, or valuables in plain view in your hotel room in your absence.  This includes your hotel check-in papers, which many travelers carelessly discard when unpacking.