Protect your home while on vacation

2013-08-13T07:15:00Z Protect your home while on vacationBy Amy Bertrand abertrand@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8284 stltoday.com

When it comes to traveling, many of us get so excited about the prospect of what we are about to see and do that we forget about what we are leaving behind.

Protecting your home while you are gone should be the first thing you think about before you leave.

Here are some tips from Vonage (which include, of course, a plug for their mobile app): 

• Timers: An easy way to make your home look active while you’re out is by using indoor light timers. The GE folks recommend the $10 GE Plug-In Dual-Outlet Heavy-Duty Timer. With timers, you can set select lights to turn on and off every few hours to give the appearance that people are at home.

• Newspapers: Don’t let newspapers pile up on your doorstep. This is one of the most telling signs that someone isn’t home. Go here to put your Post-Dispatch on vacation hold.

• Phone: Keep in touch with your family, friends and neighbors who may be helping take care of your home with Vonage Mobile. Get your friends and family to download the app before you leave and you’re able to talk, text and video chat for free over Wi-Fi.

• Mail: Contact your local post office to stop mail delivery until get back. The post office can hold mail from three to 30 days. For some locations, you can even submit a stop mail request online.

• Social Media: Although you might want to keep your social networks updated on your glamorous vacation, putting your trip on Facebook and Twitter alerts everyone that you’re not home. Be sure to upload your pictures and stories after your vacation because you never know who may be watching while you’re gone.

Amy Bertrand is the editor of the Home & Away and the Let's Eat section of the Post-Dispatch. Follow her at stltoday.com/travelswithamy, @abertrand on Twitter and on Pinterest at pinterest.com/amybertrand. 

 

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