Your Holiday Travel Checklist: Make Sure Your Home is Secure While You’re Out of Town

Your bags are packed and you’re about to head out the door to visit family for the holidays, but you can’t help but feel like you’re forgetting something. If you’re planning to travel this holiday season, you’ll want to make sure your home is safe and secure while you’re out of town.

Here’s a checklist to keep your mind at ease and avoid that sinking feeling in your stomach when you’re not sure you remembered to lock the deadbolt:

  • Lock doors and windows. There’s nothing worse than wondering if you remembered to lock the door or close that first-floor window. Unlocked doors and windows are easy points of entry for intruders. This is also a good time to replace any broken locks and make sure all of your locks are working properly.
  • Make the residence look occupied. Try to make things look as normal as possible while you’re gone. Keep your blinds in their normal position, leave the air conditioning/heat on while you’re gone, hire someone to mow your lawn, ask neighbors to park in your driveway and place a hold on mail or deliveries.
  • Use timers. Putting lights and TVs on timers to turn on and off at normal times is an easy way to make it seem like someone is home.
  • Beware of social media. Be careful of what you post and share online. By sharing your vacation pictures and travel plans online, you’re advertising that your residence is unattended. If you have a landline, leave a normal message on your answering machine, and don’t share that you’re out of town.
  • Tell select people that you’ll be away. Ask neighbors to keep an eye on your property and give them a phone number where they can reach you in case of emergency. If you’ll be gone longer than a week, consider asking a friend or neighbor to check in on things while you’re away.
  • Remove your spare key. If you keep a spare key hidden outside of your residence, either take it with you or leave it with a neighbor.

This content was provided by the National Association of REALTORS® as part of NAR’s REALTOR® Safety Program. NAR is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.5 million+ members, including NAR’s institutes, societies, and councils, involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. As a member of NAR, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services may reprint NAR’s content and promote their resources. To learn more about NAR, visit https://www.nar.realtor/. To learn more about NAR’s REALTOR® Safety Program, visit https://www.nar.realtor/safety.

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