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How to Keep Your Home Secure While Traveling

AAA offers tips on how to secure your home when traveling over the summer.

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Photo: Ivan Hunter / Getty Images
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Returning to your undisturbed house is a plus of good planning.

Even if you're traveling for only a weekend, securing your home should be part of your planning. According to the Insurance Information Institute, summer—particularly July and August, the peak months of the travel season—is when burglars work hardest.

Your first line of defense is the easiest. Dead bolts on doors and windows can often be enough to deter a break-in. An alarm system that alerts police, fire, or other emergency services is a good investment—and might earn you a discount on your insurance.

Stow your valuables out of sight, in a lockbox if possible. If you have passwords posted in a visible area—a sticky note on your fridge, for example—hide them, too.

Make it look like someone is home by setting timers on lights and stopping your mail so it doesn't pile up in your box or inside your front door. Good neighbors can act as excellent deterrents against any funny business: Ask someone to keep an eye on things until you return, and possibly even sign for packages while you're away. If you're on an extended trip, consider hiring a yard service so the grounds look well maintained.

Do an insurance checkup by calling AAA at (866) 222-7868 to file an updated inventory, report any home security features you've added, and review your policy. You'll have one less thing to worry about while you're enjoying your travels.

This article was first published in Summer 2018. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.