10 Tips to Protect the Family Home while You’re Vacationing

BY: - 24 Jun '14 | Travel

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You’re very excited about your upcoming vacation and happily count the days till your plane takes off.  The fresh and fabulous outfits for the family are all planned along with the coordinating accessories (lol).  Everything is ready to pack and you’ve already brought all of the suitcases in from the garage.  There’s one thing you forgot to prepare for your trip…your house!

Travelers often forget that their homes need a little preparation and protection while they’re gone on that dream vacation.  No need to worry we’ve packed a few tips to ensure the family home is safe and sound while you’re gone to the Caribbean.

  1. Don’t tip off criminals via social media that you and the family are going away/on vacation.  Don’t be tempted to share those fabulous pictures from the theme park on Facebook, Twitter or your blog.  You never know who’s watching, just post them when you return home.
  2. Do inform the police if you are going on extended travel.  It won’t hurt if officers make an extra pass or two by your home during their daily patrols.
  3. Ask a friend or neighbor to check on your house while you’re gone on vacation.
  4. Place a stop/hold order on your mail and newspaper deliveries.   You could also ask your friend(s) or neighbors to gather your mail.  Piled up newspapers or mail in your box or on the front porch is a dead giveaway that you’re not home.  It’s also something criminals look for and use to steal your identity.
  5. Prepare your house for vacation and make it look as normal as possible.  This task includes:  doing your normal landscaping chores, leaving your curtains as they normally are and removing the outside spare key (everyone knows about the fake rock…lol).  Security experts also suggest that you purchase a programmable light switch with a timer.  This nifty little device will allow you to program your lights to go on/off at the times you and the family are normally home/sleep.
  6. Don’t discuss your vacation plans in open/public areas.  You never know whose listening.
  7. Lock-up!  Remember to lock all the doors and windows.  The morning you leave for vacation also remember to lock the garage door opener.
  8. Don’t leave the GPS unit in the window!  Don’t be tempted to leave your portable GPS unit in plain sight. Criminals will not only steal them and use it learn your address and break-in while you’re gone they’ll also damage your car in the process.
  9. Do check-in yourself.  If your security system includes cameras and your monitoring company has an app, download it and check-in on your house yourself via your smartphone or tablet.  Peace of mind is priceless.
  10.  Consider hiring a house sitter.  Still uneasy about leaving the house empty or trusting your neighbor/friend to check on things?  Hire or ask a friend to house sit for you.  If you have a family pet, this will save you money on boarding /kennel fees.  They can be a house and pet sitter at the same time.

Remember to have fun and enjoy your vacation.

About the author

Kirstin Fuller wrote 285 articles on this blog.

Kirstin N. Fuller aka The Travelin Diva is a DC based travel journalist bringing fellow travelers the best deals on family vacations, couples retreats, spa getaways, the best travel gadgets and more in BMWK's exclusive Travel Tuesday & Weekend Travel Guide columns. Check out her new travel blog daily for more deals & destinations www.passenger156.com.

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Should I Go on Vacation without My Spouse?

BY: - 15 Jul '14 | Travel

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Summer is the time for vacations. It’s a great time of year for family vacations and couples’ only getaways. Everyone needs a break from their daily routine but inquiring minds want to know is it okay to take a vacation without your spouse and kids? Well…YES it is!

You’re probably thinking that doesn’t sound like a good idea or it could lead to problems in my marriage/relationship. Relationship experts actually suggest that once in a while it’s okay to take (what they call) separate vacations. They’re more commonly known as girlfriend getaways and guys weekends (lol).

Here are some of the reasons why you should consider a separate vacation:

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  It’s an old saying but oh so true. When one parent/your spouse is gone everyone misses you and is overjoyed when you return. Make them miss you a little (lol).
Special bonding time with your children.  When one spouse goes on a weekend getaway without the family, it’s a perfect time for the other spouse to bond with the kids. You know…it’s time to do the things with the kids that the other parent won’t allow. (lol)
You may need a breather from everything. Sometimes when one spouse takes on a few more responsibilities they can become overwhelmed and just plain worn out. A getaway with the girls/guys or favorite cousins is a great way to take a breather and recharge.
No vacation compromising.   On vacations with your family or kid-free vacations, you often have to compromise on what activities you want to participate in and even where you want to vacation. Separate vacations are the perfect opportunity to do exactly what you want. You may want a spa getaway mixed with some fabulous shopping. Grab your BFF and hit the road for a few days.
•  Reconnect with old friends and family members.  Remember that sorority sister, frat brother or cousin that’s more like a sister/brother that you keep missing at reunions?  A separate vacation is a great way to reunite, catch up on each other’s lives and just have some fun.

Even though it’s a good idea to take separate vacations, experts caution that you should not make it a habit/too frequently and if you’re already having problems in your marriage/relationship, a “separate vacation” is not a good idea. Separate vacations should never replace vacations with your spouse or family.

BMWK – do you ever go on vacation without your spouse?

About the author

Kirstin Fuller wrote 285 articles on this blog.

Kirstin N. Fuller aka The Travelin Diva is a DC based travel journalist bringing fellow travelers the best deals on family vacations, couples retreats, spa getaways, the best travel gadgets and more in BMWK's exclusive Travel Tuesday & Weekend Travel Guide columns. Check out her new travel blog daily for more deals & destinations www.passenger156.com.

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