Home Security Tips For When You’re On Vacation

Planning a vacation is no day at the beach. Aside from booking travel and hotel details, you also have to plan out what sights you want to see, what restaurants you want to eat at, and what museums you want to traverse. But one thing you shouldn’t forget when planning a vacation is your home’s security. After all, most people aren’t home when their homes are robbed, making vacations a very vulnerable time for your home’s security. However, there are a few preventative measures you can take to not only protect your home from burglars, but also to give you the peace of mind that will let you actually enjoy your vacation. Let’s get started! 

Home Security Tips While You’re On Vacation

Home Security Tips While On Vacation

Security Baron  • 

Internet of Things Devices

Kasa TP-Link Smart Light Bulb
Kasa TP-Link Smart Light Bulb

One simple way to seem like you’re home when you’re not is by using smart light bulbs. You can put these bulbs on a schedule so they turn on and off periodically throughout the day, a welcome alternative to simply leaving your lights on during the entirety of your vacation. Because let’s be honest: who has their lights on all the time?

ihome-isp6x-smart-plug-review
iHome iSP6X Smart Plug Doesn’t Block Other Sockets

Another IoT device that could be helpful is smart plugs. With smart plugs, you can turn appliances on and off remotely, and set them on schedules. I can see this being useful for something like a sprinkler system or any other appliance that’s visible from the outside. Just set those devices on schedules before you leave and let your smart devices do the work for you!

Check out my review of 2019’s best smart plugs along with the best smart light bulbs of 2019

Smart Security Cameras

logitech-circle-2-camera-review
Logitech Circle 2

Peace of mind can be hard to come by when you can’t actually see your home. Luckily, there are easy ways to livestream footage from your home. A connected security camera, like the Nest Cam Indoor or Logitech Circle 2, provides both sound and vision anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection. And with continuous cloud recording, you’ll be able to review footage if something goes wrong.

For the best coverage, you’ll probably want to purchase a few cameras, depending on the size of your home. Blink’s cameras, like the Blink XT2, are small and cheap enough to blanket your house, and their ability to run for years on battery power means you don’t need to snake power cables all over the place. 

If you only have one or two cameras, place them in your home’s main rooms on the main floor such as a front hallway or living room. If you have more, I’d add some to areas that store your more valuable goods so you can catch the intruder in the act, god forbid. 

Also consider utilizing outdoor cameras. Nest has an outdoor option, namely the Nest Cam Outdoor, and Netgear’s Arlo Pro 2 and Arlo Ultra are wire-free cameras rated for inside and outside use.

Explore your options with our review of the best home security cameras. 

Smart Security Systems

simplisafe-security-system-review
SimpliSafe Summerfort System

There’s nothing like a good security system to keep your home safe and your mind at ease while you’re away. Obviously, the first step is arming your security system before you leave for vacation. I’d also test out your security system beforehand to make sure all of the batteries are good on power and that all of the components are connecting correctly. You may also want to tell your security provider that you’ll be away, especially if you have 24/7 professional monitoring. 

To explore your options, check out our review of the best home security systems of 2019.

Lock All Doors and Windows

Lock all doors and windows before going on vacation
Lock all doors and windows before going on vacation

Securing your space also means making sure everything is locked up tight. Checking the locks on all your windows and doors is a great first step. You’ll want to test all deadlocks for extra security and place a strong bar in any sliding doors to ensure they aren’t jimmied open. Also consider turning off your garage door opener to keep it from being opened with illicit “universal” remotes.

Consider unplugging unnecessary devices as well. Obviously, this will save on electricity, but it will also cut down on chances for electrical fires or other accidents. However, you’ll probably want to leave your router and modem plugged in if you’re using a security system or smart devices that rely on the internet connection to do their jobs.

Get Help From Neighbors

Get neighbors to help protect your home while you're on vacation
Get neighbors to help protect your home while you’re on vacation

Nothing beats a real human keeping an eye on your house. This can be as simple as letting a neighbor know you’re away to hiring someone to check in daily. However, be careful broadcasting this info too much, as you don’t want it to get out that your home is empty.

Again, some smart home solutions can help here, especially if you’re hiring a dog walker, plant waterer or other helpers that need access. You can buy smart locks that allow access only during certain hours to certain people, keeping your house sitter from throwing a rager. 

You’ll definitely want someone to come by to take in any papers, mail or flyers left outside. A stack of packages and mail is a sure sign that no one is home. Also consider asking someone to mow the lawn or shovel the walk during longer trips. No trash bins out on garbage day is another sure sign someone is away, so make sure they’re taken in and out, even if they’re empty.

Recap of Home Security Tips While You’re On Vacation

Armed with these tips, you should be able to really relax and enjoy your vacation knowing your house is safe and sound. Plus, they’re simple enough that you can still spend plenty of time packing and planning for the fun part. Bon voyage!

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.

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