6 Frugal Ways To Protect Your Home While You’re Away

by Patricia Estero

DIY Landscaping for Less photo

Are you leaving for vacation soon and worried about home security? Here are some frugal ways to keep your home safe and those worries at bay while you’re traveling.

Are you planning an extended vacation during the winter months? Maybe you’ll be gone a week visiting family, or maybe you’re planning a winter hibernation to sunny shores and palm trees. In any case, you may worry about your house while you’re gone, and with good reason.

According to TheZebra.com, a home burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the United States. You want to make sure your place stays safe and looks cared for so it is a less appealing target for potential criminal activity.

Burglars see vacations as a perfect opportunity. Here are a few tips to make sure your place stays well-cared for while you are away and you stay within your vacation budget.

1. Swap lawn care.

Are you planning your trip over the winter while your neighbor is planning one during the summer? Why not swap lawn care during your vacations?

Ask your neighbors if they would mind cutting grass and watering plants while you are away, and offer to do the same in exchange during their vacation. You might find you don’t need to pay for that lawn care service while you’re away after all!

2. Collect the mail.

If your vacation will be relatively short, you might ask family or trusted friends to pick up your mail for you. If they drive by a few times a week and grab your mail, newspapers, and/or any packages, and hold all of it for you until you return, you can save the cost of house sitter visits. Plus, they can give you the peace of mind that all is well at your house.

However if you’re planning a trip that will last a while, it may be best to have the post office hold your mail and newspapers or have it forwarded to a new address while you are away.

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3. Take out the trash.

If people see your trashcans out by the road for pick up and then put away by your house when empty, they might assume your home is occupied, or at least someone is watching your house while you are away.

You may talk with a neighbor about periodically taking out your trashcans and bringing them in for you so that anyone watching will know that there is activity at your house.

4. Leave a light on.

Consider leaving a light on or scheduling lights with a timer so it looks like someone is home.

Naturally, make sure the light you leave on is one that will be safe to be left on for a while. A porch light might be good. Any outdoor lights with motion sensors might also work.

5. Consider a house sitter.

If you don’t have friends or neighbors who are willing to help out, consider hiring a house sitter to check on your house while you are away. Make sure the person you choose is trustworthy and try to check references if possible.

6. Research the newer security systems.

There’ve been lots of advances recently in security system technology. Many of the newer security systems have options that allow for remote monitoring while you are away. You can set these new systems up so that actions, like turning on lights, will happen at certain times, and many functions can even be controlled through your smartphone.

Before your vacation draws near, look into prices, requirements, and options for these types of companies so you have the services in place before you leave.

Consider these tips could be ones to think about when you are considering your vacation plans. Hopefully, they help ease your mind a bit and keep you having fun within your vacation budget.

Reviewed November 2023

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