Not every trip is a long one, but even going away for a few weeks over Christmas can cause issues as to how to secure your home.
I have come up with the ideal list of “lock and forget” housing for the frequent traveler.
- Decent neighbourhood – it helps not to be concerned about gang warfare breaking out while you are away, help to keep your insurance premiums down.
- Right insurance company – make sure you know how long you can leave your house unoccupied for before you notify them to avoid them voiding your policy.
- Non-existent or low-maintenance gardening. I must admit gardening isn’t my thing, but unkempt grass is a not only a fire-hazard in some climates but an advertisement that the house is unlived in
- Secure large letter box. Even if you hold or divert your mail you are likely still to get local newspapers and junk mail appearing regularly.
- Neighbours who don’t travel, or not as much as you, are handy too, they can keep and eye on your place, clear the mail, park their car in your drive etc.
- A house in a live on a cul-de-sac or deaden road. The neighbours will know who belongs and who doesn’t and it seems to enhance security greatly.
- Don’t have lots of pots and planters. These dry out very quickly. Move them out into the rain, or group them and get them covered by your irrigation system. Or get a neighbour to water them.
- Indoor plants survive a few weeks if placed in a bath with an inch or two of water in it. They need to be getting natural light at the same time too.
- Ideally an apartment or flat in a block will solve a lot of issues for you. The supervisor or management company can probably manage your mail, the grounds are maintained and the flat is secure.
- Alternatively a townhouse in a small group will give you similar security and you are more likely to know your neighbours.
- Friendly climate – a climate with long periods of sub-freezing temperatures present a whole lot of different issues to prevent both your car and your home freezing solid. A super hot climate is not quite as bad but your plants very well not survive.
- Secure garage for you car. If you don’t have one it might be worth it, and even cheaper on the taxi fares, if you park it at the long-term parking at the airport.