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Basics: Being Away + Protecting your Home.

Contributing Author May 14, 2020

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Whether it’s travel in normal-times or just sheltering out of town, being away from your primary residence comes with a lot of stress and added ‘home’ anxiety. Did you remember to lock the back door? Did you switch off the heating? Did you leave food out for your cat Trixy? Even your trusted ‘to-do’ list can sometimes let you down. Leaving your home into a totally new environment is not the easiest thing to do, but you can’t forfeit the adventure or safety with loved ones either. The decision to leave your comfort zone unattended to experience life away is clearly not that straightforward. These days, you can do both with the right resources and information. Here are three simple ways to manage what goes on in your home while on a business or leisure trip.

a cat looking at something
Trixie isn’t amused that you didn’t leave the cat-sitter with enough food.

Neighborhood Watch

It’s one of the oldest, simplest and effective ways to know what goes on in your household. Family, friends, and neighbors can be useful in giving you feedback on what goes on in and around your house. Just make sure you really know whoever you’re entrusting your sanctuary with so that you don’t do more harm than good. Here are some quick tips:

  • You can leave your keys with a close relative to check in on the house once in a while. 
  • A trusted neighbor could be someone to check on outdoor activity around your home. 
  • If possible and willing, get someone to stay in the house while you are away. You can give it to your friends and family for free or rent it out to others. If you’re ready to take on the second option, you may make a little extra money while you’re away, money that you can possibly use to fund your next adventure away.  
  • If you have a housekeeper who comes in regularly (lucky you), then they can also give you updates and also keep your house in shape for when you return. 

Be very specific with regards to the type of feedback you require and the updates on how your home is doing. Leave phone numbers, emails, and other contact information that they can reach you on to facilitate effective communication.

a sign on a pole
Trust your neighbors? They could be a great help while you’re away.


Tech! Tech! Technology!

Technology has come a long way, and has done so much for us – so much so that now you can remotely manage your home from any suitable device. 

New to us is the low cost virtual mailbox srv system that allows you to virtualize your postal mail…really. You get online addresses to which all your mail is sent, and you can take further action on what to do with them. So, someone ELSE can shuck all that junk mail directly into the recycling bin. You can access the service from different parts of the world, and so you are guaranteed to receive your mail no matter where you are. It is also budget-friendly, and so you can have it for as long as you want.

Other technological approaches to use are video surveillance, remote-controlled lighting and appliances, and interactive door locks. This means considering making your home smart so that you have control of what is going on inside. 

The technology approach works if you don’t really trust anybody to take charge of your home, or even just to supplement the human effort. You will be more at peace, seeing and controlling for yourself anyway. Easy setup home monitoring starter kits are available for use with Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

a group of files in a row
Stop your mail while away or use a virtual mail service to avoid clutter that makes it obvious you’re not home.

With this information at hand, you can go on your trips or escape to your summer quarantine space without worry or fear. Not only will you know what is going on in and around the house, but your home will also be safe. Now you’ll no longer have to contemplate whether or not to go on that trip you’re looking forward to. 


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Contributing Author

General travel tips and advice on destinations, hotels and flights.

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