Britons should ‘purchase long-life milk’ to keep house secure during holidays

The best way to keep stress at bay when holidaying abroad is by “making sure your home and vehicles are prepared safely and are left in perfect condition for your return,” according to experts at A-Plan Insurance who recommended eight clever ways to keep the home and car safe.

Overall maintenance

To prevent burglars from targeting the home, there are a couple of things that “can make sure your home still looks like it is occupied”.

Mow your lawn: An overgrown lawn is “a huge indicator that your home is empty”, so before you go, make sure your front lawn is freshly cut, the experts suggested.

Turn off any outside lights: Any home with its outdoor light on all day, every day, is “wasteful in electricity and can open questions as to whether the home is vacant,” they warned.

Avoid post build-up: This is a “potential giveaway, so make sure your post box is empty, or there is no way you can see the state of your mailbox through any windows”. Travellers should also “avoid any deliveries to be made to their home while they are away to be left outside”.

Kitchen preparation

Empty out your fridge: No one wants to return home from a holiday to the smell of mouldy and gone-off food so throwing out any food set to go off during the holiday and freezing any food travellers may want to keep is essential. The experts recommended: “To avoid wasting milk, purchase long-life milk from the supermarket before you go away, as this will last longer and still be useable on your return.”

Stock up on snacks: Adding a few long-life snacks to the cupboards or ready meals into the freezer to indulge in when people return can also be very useful, the insurance gurus suggested. 

Schedule a food delivery for your arrival home: Scheduling a food delivery for the day after the return will allow holidaymakers more time to unpack and reset.

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Home preparation

The experts explained that there are steps travellers can take to make tidying up the home easier the days before heading abroad.

Clean one or two rooms a day: On the lead up to the holiday, “make sure you eliminate stress by hoovering, disinfecting, and generally tidying up each room at a time; this way, you don’t have to leave it all till the night before, and your home will be squeaky clean when you return”.

Unplug all unnecessary appliances: Finally, a very effective way “to rack up your energy bills while away is by leaving your devices plugged in or on standby”. By unplugging them, people also reduce the risk of electrical fires, “which will easily put your mind at rest,” the experts commented.

Utility Preparation: Similarly, travellers can avoid unneeded spending on bills while they are away by switching off their water. “Although new homes are less likely to have leaky taps, it is always advised to turn off your water system in your home while you are away. This way, you will avoid any chance of flooding and leaking, which will waste water and money,” they explained.

The insurance experts also recommended checking the boiler. “Many new homes are equipped with a more energy-efficient holiday mode that allows you not to have to turn your boiler off for the few weeks you are away.”

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Vehicle preparation

Apply a steering wheel lock: This method of protection against vehicle theft is “one of the easiest and cheapest ways to avoid this crime”. The experts explained this offers “an obvious deterrent to any thief and a locking system that prevents the turning of the wheel, which means if they do manage to get into your car to steal it, they won’t get far”.

GPS Tracker: A tracker is a great way to ensure people know the vehicle’s whereabouts at any time. They can be connected to a smartphone, so holidaymakers can easily use it from abroad.

Wheel clamp: Another visual deterrent that will prevent the car from going anywhere is a wheel clamp. “It will also put off any chancing thief as it would take a long time for them to try and remove it, posing more risk of being seen or stopped by neighbours and passers-by,” the experts explained.

Key signal blocker: One of the most common ways vehicles are stolen is by duplicating and cloning the signal from the key fob, the insurance gurus explained. “To reduce this risk, you can purchase a key signal blocker lined with special isolation that prevents the frequency of your key from being duplicated, reducing the risk of your vehicle being stolen.”

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