Protecting your home while on vacation is one serious matter, and sadly, many homeowners neglect to prioritize it.
But you’re not one of those homeowners. The fact that you’re reading this post means you’re concerned about home security while on vacation, and you’ll improve your chances of keeping your home and valuables safe.
In this article, I’ll share with you some of the best ways to secure your home while on vacation. Here, you’ll also find some helpful information to make sure that you can have total peace of mind while you’re traveling.
11 Security Tips: Protect Your Home While on a Trip
Now you have packed your things for your trip, the itinerary has been finalized, and all arrangements were made. What’s next on the list is to protect your home.
With a lot of things to consider before going on your well-deserved vacation, do not forget to make arrangements for your home’s safety and security. Spare a moment of your time meticulously planning this. Your home’s security is the number one priority before leaving.
1. Lock All Doors and Windows
There are a lot of ways to protect your home, but this first security tip is by far the simple universal rule. Do not leave your house without locking all points of entry.
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many break-ins occur if you leave the main door or window unlocked – 32% to be exact.
This is one of the easiest ways to protect your home while on travel mode – check the entire house and make sure that all doors and windows are locked. This also includes the porch entrance, and especially the garage door.
Pro Tip: Better yet, ensure that all entry doors of your home have a deadbolt. This is much harder for an intruder to get through than picking a doorknob. For complete home protection, check Fortress Security.
2. Install a Doorbell Camera
This tip is not only a great idea when you travel, but it’s also one of the top home security gadgets to keep your property safe. 
Instead of just having a standard doorbell, you can install a cheap doorbell camera that acts as both a ringer and a video camera. Read up on some of the features of a video doorbell camera:
- Video Recording: These inexpensive devices can record every interaction that happens on your front porch during the day and night. You can also see the time and date a mail has been delivered (by viewing it remotely or check it in the cloud storage).
- Motion Detection: Most products also come with motion detection, so it will instantly start recording when the slightest movement is picked up. Check out Protection 1.
- Two-Way Communication: The best security feature of doorbell cameras, however, is a microphone for two-way communication. Even when you’re gone for your trip, it allows you to answer through an intercom system that’s linked to your smartphone. With a video doorbell system, you can also talk with visitors and make them think that you’re at home, when in fact, you’re on holiday travel.
Read up on my review on the best wireless video doorbell camera, as well as four other top competitors. Take a look and see for yourself how inexpensive these products are and how easy it is to install them.
Pro Tip: To keep your home safe, make sure that the batteries of your doorbell camera system is in good working order and charged while you’re gone. You can also install a ptz camera outside for extra protection.
3. CCTV System
If you have a CCTV system installed in your home, you can easily see what’s happening using your mobile phone. So you can also check what’s happening in your home from time to time.
Make sure to check that you’re CCTV is working properly before leaving. It also helps if you put up security signs surrounding your home that a CCTV protects your property.
This is not just a smart move while you’re gone, but nowadays, it is a wise investment to put a CCTV for your home’s security.  Place as many cameras if possible, this includes the front yard, outside the garage door, or even indoors.
Pro Tip: Do not commit the mistake and unplug your cameras. When you unplug this along with all the other appliances, you won’t be able to see anything that’s happening when you’re on vacation. You can also turn your laptop into a security camera.
4. Install Smart Door Locks
To ensure a complete sense of safety and security during your next travel, consider installing a smart lock. Smart door locks are unlike your traditional locks where thieves have mastered the art of picking them.
That is why smart locks are one of the top devices that can make you feel secure while on vacation. Here are some reasons why:
- Smartphone Compatibility: You can remotely control your smart locks while you’re gone using your mobile phone or tablet. A smart door lock can also alert you via the mobile device if, and when, the lock is opened.
- Controlled Remotely: You can also lock and unlock it no matter where you might be in the world, as long as you have an Internet connection and have the lock set up properly.
- Real-Time Notifications: You can protect your home from any suspicious activity detected by a smart door lock. It will send a real-time notification on your phone. Or you can program it to alarm to notify neighbors that something is going on in your house.
If you don’t have a smart door lock in your house, check out my article review on the best and affordable smart door locks.
Pro Tip: These smart locks come with a battery, so don’t forget to check the battery power before leaving. Lastly, do not make the mistake of leaving spare key lying around. This is a big no, no.
Recommended Article: How to Secure a Door from Being Kicked In
5. Scare The Burglars With Your Smart Devices
Now, this is a funny way to protect your house. Using your remote CCTV access or if you receive a notification on any suspicious activity in your home, you can scare the burglars with your smart devices.
Since smart devices can be remotely accessed using your phone, you can trick them and make them believe that you’re actually in the house. You can turn on the smart sprinkler controller and soak them wet.
Or turn on the HVAC system through your smart thermostat, to trick them that there’s someone inside. Or use the two-way communication system of the doorbell camera to scare them away. These security measures may sound hilarious, but these are effective ways to protect your house. It will be better to install a full home security system too. You might want to check our review for Time Warner Intelligent Home.
Pro Tip: Also, make sure to call the authorities first before scaring the burglars away, so that the authorities could catch them.
6. Lawn Maintenance
If you’re going on a month-long cruise, what needs maintenance the most? It’s your lawn. Do not leave your home without making any arrangements regarding this.
An unmaintained front yard is a red flag for your home’s security and a sign for burglars indicating that your home is empty.
My suggestion is you contact a trusted person (friends, family members, or ask a neighbor) to cut the yard’s grass every week if possible.
To make it easier for your friend to mow your yard, let them use an electric lawnmower. Of course, make sure to leave the key to your friend where you store your equipment.
Pro Tip: I strongly advise against hiring a lawn mowing service. You don’t hire people you don’t really know, right?
This is an additional safety and security tip to make sure that no unauthorized person goes anywhere near your home. Don’t forget that the safety and security of our home is the top priority.
7. Examine the Exterior
The first thing you should do to ensure your home doesn’t become a target for burglars is to examine the exterior from a criminal’s point of view.
From the street, pay extra attention and stare at your house. Find any good valuables, appliances, or equipment you can see through the window or lying around outdoors.
If people passing by can see these types of belongings, so can a burglar.
Before leaving for vacation, pack up any expensive equipment outside your home and store it indoor. Do not leave any jewelry or valuable item on plain sight where everyone can see it.
Also, move anything of value indoors away from being seen outside. This is one of the best safety precautions to leave your house when on vacation.
Pro Tip: Close all curtains and blinds if possible, so people passing cannot see any valuables inside your hope.
Related: Recommend driveway alarms and sensors
8. Secure Sliding Glass Doors
The unfortunate thing about sliding glass doors is that you can’t add easily add a deadbolt to them, thus compromising safety.
Pro Tip: To keep your home safe, find a 2×4 that has been cut to the right length, and stick it inside the door track. This will prevent the door from being slid open if a criminal does pick the lock, especially for French doors.
9. Use Light Timers
An easy way to make it seem like you’re home, even when you’re not, is by putting your interior lights on a timer.
A cheap device like this plugs into your power outlet and then controls the lights that are plugged into it.
As a safety precaution, you can always set up a daily schedule for the light system to switch on in the evening, and then turn off during the wee hours in the morning.
Some products even give you the ability to add additional on/off times to create the illusion that it’s real.
Pro Tip: For example, you could set up a timer to flip your lights on at 2:30 a.m. for about 15 minutes. Any criminal who is casing your home can witness this and then think someone must be home because it’s such an odd time for lights to come on.
10. Enlist the Help of a Neighbor
Do you have a neighbor that you trust? Ask help from a neighbor or some friends to look after your house while you’re away.
Let your friend know that you’re going on a vacation and ask for their help convince like someone is still home. The main goal here is safety and to eliminate any clues that look like you’re not at home.
Here’s some reason why you should have someone look over your house:
- Take Out Your Trash: Ask this trusted neighbor to put your trash containers out on the curb of your house for trash pick-up day and return them after the truck has made its rounds.
- Visitor: If possible, have this person randomly park their car in your driveway to make it look like a visitor has stopped by in your house at unexpected intervals.
- Collect Your Mail: If you haven’t put on hold your mail, free newsletter, or newspaper subscription at home, simply enlist this neighbor to collect your mail for you, so they don’t stack up at the mailbox or on your front porch. You don’t want to leave your front porch stacked with all this mail.
- Give Them a Spare Key: If you have a smart home lock, you can always leave a physical user code for your trusted neighbor or friend. If it’s not too much, they can water the indoor plants or turn on the lights from time to time. Sharing an access code or spare key with your trusted person is also a good idea, especially during an emergency.
- Postpone Package Delivery: Also, don’t forget to request all delivery from your postman to be put on hold while you’re away. Packages left on your porch might be stolen too.
You must also reciprocate the help your neighbor has done by doing the same while they’re on vacation. Of course, don’t forget to pay your neighbor a nice dinner or any gift for looking after your house.
Pro Tip: Another option is to reroute your mail to your office at least weeks before your vacation. Or better yet have all bills and newsletters sent in your email.
11. Keep A Low Profile
As much as possible, do not post any information online or on any social media platform that you’re away for a vacation.
Nowadays, you can’t really trust your friends or other people following you on social media. If you’re sharing your travel plans, you invite burglars to target your house.
Words spread fast, and it would be unfortunate if the news reaches intruders. Do not give away a reason for thieves to find and target your house.
Any information like a post on Facebook, a tweet on Twitter, an Instagram story, or a quick snap on SnapChat can compromise your home’s safety.
Your whole neighborhood doesn’t need to know that you’re away for the whole Christmas season. It will just give the thieves the information they need and more time to plan their robbery.
Pro Tip: Upload all your travel photos after the trip, not during.
When in Doubt… Install a Security System
By following the precautions stated in this article, you can keep your mind focused on your vacation without worrying too much about what’s going on back at home.
After you followed the tips above and you’re still not satisfied with the security of your home, it might be best for you to have a home security system installed.
While home security systems are not cheap, they do give you a level of peace of mind that no other tip or trick can do. And this is highly important when you’re on vacation. Have a safe and enjoyable trip.