Always have a Safe Home

11 Ways to keep your home safe.

It's the eve of your departure -- you've been dreaming of for months, the day before you depart that long-overdue holiday. However, before you embark on your journey, there are some important steps for you.

And there is one matter that is very important. "Be sure you have sufficient available credit on your credit cards," said Tammy Levent, CEO at Elite Travel Management Group.

  1. Alert your credit card company. - To ensure your credit card works while you're traveling, your credit card company should know your travel plans. If you have waited this long however, you may have to call rather than submitting an online form.

  2. Get in touch with your mobile phone company. - Traveling overseas? Call your service provider that will assist you set up the cheapest plan for making calls, sending text messages, and accessing Internet from your smartphone. Many mobile phone companies -- including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile -- provide affordable day moves to U.S. clients for International conversation, text, and information plans.

  3. Notify your house security system operator. - "If you are leaving two weeks or longer, it is a good idea to inform your local police department you'll be gone," Levent explained. "If you ask, they may do additional runs by your house." If you don’t have one then here you can learn how to secure your home when on vacation.

  4. Confirm all reservations. - Double-check all of your bookings: your flight, hotel, car rental, restaurants, attractions, and any other services or experiences you've planned. You don't want any surprises in a check-in counter. If you have access to a printer, then it's not advisable to print out confirmations. If you don't, write down confirmation numbers (and customer service telephone numbers) and maintain the newspaper easily accessible in your pocket or carry-on.

  5. Make advance payments on invoices which have due dates throughout your trip. - Do not need to get hit with late fees? Make sure all credit cards, home expenses (e.g., lease, utilities), along with other monthly bills will be paid in time.

  6. Check the weather. - This can seem to be an obvious one, but "many travelers neglect to take action," said Levent. When you'll be returning, check the forecast, and pack.

  7. Eat, throw out, or give away any perishable food. - The very last thing you need is to go home into a leaky fridge. Also, run the dishwasher, then remove the trash, and clean out the sink to make certain that there's no food at the drain that could rot or attract germs as you're away.

  8. Leave an itinerary. - Your emergency contact needs to have a duplicate of your trip programs, Levent guides.

  9. Clean out your wallet. - Sift through your pocketbook and remove any items you do not need on your trip. Leave loyalty cards, gift cards, extra charge cards, and some unnecessary contents in your home.

  10. Put a hold. - If you are going away for over a few days, this is a intelligent move, Levent says. As an alternative, you can arrange for a neighbor to collect your mail till you get home.

  11. Bring in outside furniture. - Don't leave any outside wares (e.g., patio seats, cushions, pool gear ) unguarded, particularly lightweight items which are easy for thieves to steal.

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