All travel lovers tend to get excited about their vacation plans — especially when the getaway destination of choice is the attraction-loaded Grand Strand. But unfortunately, the travelers aren’t the only ones who get excited about vacations — as homeowners’ treks to exciting and faraway places also offer the perfect opportunity for thieves to break into resident-free homes without detection.
But there are a number of ways that homeowners can make their absences less obvious and their homes less inviting to burglars.
Consider these six ways to make your home less susceptible to thieves while you’re away:
Get a friend or neighbor to help: If you’ve got a friend or neighbor you trust to keep an eye on your home while you’re away, butter them up first (freshly baked cookies or brownies are never a bad idea), then ask if they’d mind checking in on the place every once in a while. If they’re up for the task, leave them with a spare key and the security code (if you have a security system), and ask if they’d mind bringing in the mail, taking the garbage out to the curb for pickup, watering the plants, etc. while you’re away. Note: A souvenir from the place you’re visiting makes for a great gift to thank your neighbor for his or her troubles upon your return.
Limit online signs of your absence: When you’re visiting a place as beautiful as Myrtle Beach, you’re naturally going to want to share your vacation photos and news of your adventures on your favorite social media sites. But think twice before making such online status updates while you’re so far away from home — in the wrong hands, this information can serve as a virtual invitation to thieves by letting them know you’re away. Save all of your photos and stories up for a larger update/photo album that you post to social media once you get back home. As an added bonus, spending less time on social media during your vacation will give you more time to enjoy the destination while you’re there.
Put your lights on a schedule: To give the impression to any passersby that you’re home, put a light or two in your home on a light-switch timer (or a lamp on an outlet timer) while you’re away. This way, you can schedule the lights to turn on for a while in the evening, then off again during the late-night hours — just as they naturally would if you were at home and on a normal work/sleep schedule. If you’re a tech-savvy homeowner, you can even purchase smart bulbs or a smart outlet that can be controlled via your smartphone (or other internet-connected device) and an associated app while you’re away.
Let the police know you’ll be gone: Especially if you live in a smaller community, you might want to call the police and let them know that you’ll be away on an extended vacation. In some cases, officers will patrol your neighborhood a bit more frequently if they know you’re away, and they might even go out of their way to double-check your residence for any concerning signs for the duration of your trip.
Place a hold your mail: If you schedule the service before you leave, the S. Postal Service will place a hold on your mail for up to 30 days while you’re away, then deliver it or hold it for pickup upon your return. During an extended absence, this prevents mail and packages from stacking up in your mailbox while you’re gone — a telltale sign to thieves that nobody is home.
Secure the spare: You won’t need your spare key anyway while you’re out of town. And especially when it’s stored in the usual spots — think above the doorframe, under the doormat, in the hanging plant by the door, under that fake rock by the walkway — it presents a clear risk of being found by thieves. It’s never a bad idea to remove that spare key before an extended time away from home — or to at least relocate it to a less-obvious hiding place.
After your worry-free day of enjoying some of the Grand Strand’s top attractions, head back to Long Bay Resort on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront to relax in your comfortable accommodations and pamper yourself with some of the resort’s wide-ranging on-property amenities. Book your Myrtle Beach getaway today — and get ready to make some long-lasting vacation memories on the Grand Strand.