These days, it seems everyone is “Doing it for the ‘gram” – instagram that is, or any social media platform, for the matter. From tweeting you’re on a plane headed to a specific place, or instagramming a photo of you enjoying time on an out of town or out of country beach, can be viewed as showing off but also, putting every aspect of your daily life can prove to be detrimental. Who wants to return home from a relaxing, fun-filled vacation to an empty house? Not me!
Anyway, I was prompted to write this post not only because I’ll soon be vacationing, but also because I noticed that a lot of my family and friends, while on vacation, announce to social media AKA the world, that they’ve gone out of town, and the length of time they’re gone. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been guilty of that too; however, after hearing about situations of entire homes being robbed (sometimes by friends/acquaintances), etc. from people I know, it made me more conscious about what I announce on social media, especially when vacationing.
Below are some tips to help you share your vacation experiences on social media without putting your home at risk for theft and burglary.
1. Don’t post upcoming travel plans
I know it is exciting to finally get a break from work, life, etc., but posting your travel plans (dates, location etc.), is not a good idea. It just allows people know the amount of time they have to rob you clean.
2. Check your social media privacy settings
Facebook, for example can share your posts with ‘Friends’ or “Public’. You want to make sure your settings are set to ‘Friends’ only. You might want to clean up your friends list while you’re at it. 🙂
3. Turn off location sync capabilities on all of your mobile devices.
Turning off your location sync capabilities or GPS based geotags makes least susceptible to tracking, as well as tagging your location on social media posts. So, even if you don’t say you’re away, a simple post or picture about anything won’t alert anyone that you’re away.
4. Don’t post status updates or pictures while on vacation
Posting these things is a notification that your house is empty, and will be for a good period of time. Use your time away to snap away, and organize your photo sharing plans for publish upon your return.
5. Don’t tag fellow travelers in photos taken while still on vacation
Fine, you want to expose yourself, but, don’t create drama for your travel mates, too.
Wait until everyone is safely at home and then tag him or her later if they
want to be tagged.
Other important tips to remember to do to prepare your home for your vacation are as follows:
1. Hold your mail
When you’re leaving for more than a couple of days, call your local post office to stop mail delivery until you get back. They can hold mail from three to 30 days. Visit: https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/
2. Have someone check on your home
Have someone in the area check your house periodically. Whether it’s a neighbor or relative, nothing beats having a person check the premises every day or two while you’re gone.
3. Create the illusion of someone being home
To help create the illusion that the residence is still occupied, invest in timers that turn on the interior lights for a few hours every evening. We picked up the Intermatic TN311 15 Amp Heavy Duty Grounded Timer, and we also have outdoor lights that automatically come on at night.
Notify your alarm system company that you’ll be traveling or away on vacation, and no one will be entering your home during that time (if that’s the case). That way, if your alarm goes off, the company will automatically send police.
5. Lock Up
It’s important to double check that all doors and windows are locked. Just one entry left unlocked can lead to your home being invaded and robbed while you’re away. If you don’t make it easy, there’s a better chance that when you get home, your house will be in the same condition as when you left it.
I hope all of these travel tips are helpful, and you use them the next time you and your family are on vacation, I know I will.
Please share, what are some things you do to keep your home safe while you’re away on vacation?