Here are a few tips to keep your residence and your possessions safe when you leave for breaks:
- Always, always, ALWAYS lock your door. Before leaving for break, double- and triple-check your doors and windows. Place a wooden or metal bar in the track of the door as well.
- Make sure you have sufficient lighting around all of your doors, especially those not visible from the street. Buy a motion-sensitive light or a timer that automatically turns on exterior lights at a predetermined time.
- Don't hide spare keys outside.
- Keep your valuables out of sight. Don't leave a game console or laptop lying around in full view of the windows or doors.
- Make sure all of your windows are secure and have curtains on them.
- If your neighbor is staying in the area while you're away, arrange to have them watch over the house from time to time.
When you're actually on your vacation, there are a few more steps you can take to ensure that your trip will be a fun, happy one with no unpleasant surprises:
- Check the Department of State's travel advisories and warnings before you choose your destination.
- Know the local laws. It might be a simple matter of brushing up on the laws another state, or the slightly more complicated matter of browsing through the laws and ordinances of another country.
- Bring your health insurance card, and carry it with you.
- Look into the services provided by International SOS
- Do not carry large amounts of cash with you.
- Always travel in groups of three or more, and don't let members of your group go off alone.