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It is almost time. That bucket list trip to Italy is just a few days away. All you have left to do is pack, as you daydream about the alpine adventures in Turin, the rich Renaissance history in Florence, the awe of the Vatican City in Rome, and the serene waters of Venice. Suddenly, a friend sends you a link detailing the dreaded tales of homes burglarized while the residents are abroad.
Your daydream is ruined, and you consider the potential horrors of traveling. You realize that you have two choices: Spend the entire trip worrying or mitigate the threats.
Before You Go
Check for COVID restrictions and regulations. Of course, these days the very first thing you should do when planning a trip is make sure the nation, city, or area is open to travelers. If it is, check their COVID-19 safety protocols and make sure you have everything you need to follow and meet them.
If you have a home security system, test it. Make sure all batteries are in working order. If your security system works through Wi-Fi, make sure your network is up, and the bill is paid through your return. If you don’t have a home security system, you can easily install a couple motion-controlled cameras.
Do not tell your driver your destination. They will ask, and it will seem like they are just making conversation, but do not share. You should also consider departing from somewhere other than home, unless you have arranged for a friend or family member to see you safely to the airport.
Ask a neighbor for help. A neighbor can call police or a nearby relative if anything seems suspicious while you are away. Also, it never hurts to have someone you trust do a periodic drive-by if they are in the area.
Rethink stopping routine services. While travel sites often encourage you to stop your mail, and it can be tempting to save a buck by stopping your garbage pick-up, or paper delivery, you may want to consider an alternative plan. Your trusted friend or neighbor might be the best option to retrieve your newspaper.
Review the U.S. Department of State’s Traveler’s Checklist. While this will not protect your home, it will help protect you and ensure your safe return. Be sure to review the Emergency Assistance information for contacting the U.S. Consulate in the country you are visiting.
While You are Away
Use social media sparingly. Save your pics, status updates, and tales of your awesome adventures for sharing once you get home.
Take precautions when going online. Security breaches abound, and while simply using the internet abroad may not result in a burglarized home, it could result in other types of theft. Increase security on any accounts you access from your device if you will be using Wi-Fi abroad.
Check the room for bed bugs. This is something you should do before you unzip your suitcase in any location, domestic or abroad. It is as simple as lifting the corner of the sheet to inspect the mattress. It can save you from the nightmare of having them in your house once you return home.
Have an agenda but use it sparingly. Know where you want to go but be realistic about what can be accomplished with your time and budget. Purchasing advance tickets for travel, entry to venues, seats on tours, etc. is a great way to save a few dollars, but be aware of travel times to each location to avoid overscheduling yourself and wasting your money.
Using these tips can help you have a seamless, stress-free trip. Whether you are headed to Rome or elsewhere, do not let lack of planning ruin your vacation.
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About the author
Emma Grace Brown lives her life by her rules; and it works! When she is not snuggling puppies, Emma promotes female empowerment through her website. Her mission is to help those who live with self-doubt to realize they do not have to mold themselves to conventionality.