Summer Travel Survey Finds Travelers Feel They Could Better Protect Their Homes While on Vacation: Here Are Five Tips to Help
By Christine Cunningham
As half of U.S. adults have reported planning at least one vacation this summer, the 2023 summer travel season is shaping up to be as busy – if not busier – than before the pandemic. Following three years of uncertainty, including travel bans and public health precautions, travelers face a new array of concerns this summer. According to a recent summer travel survey from ADT, they are most worried about the cost of trips, flight delays or cancellations, and severe weather.
The good news, for now, is that during the recent Memorial Day Weekend, most travelers in the U.S. experienced minimal delays, cheaper fuel prices compared to last year and beautiful weather.
However, an overlooked concern for travelers is how they can protect their homes while away. Two-thirds of Americans planning to travel this summer felt they could better protect their homes while on vacation, and nearly half reported feeling nervous about leaving their homes to take a trip. This is an understandable concern, as about one in four reported having stolen packages, and one in five reported being victims of a break-in during past vacations. Meanwhile, only half of the summer vacationers have a home security system to monitor and help protect their homes while away (53%).
Beyond theft and break-ins, fire and water emergencies can also wreak havoc in the home and ruin a vacation. Despite most Americans reporting that they aren’t doing enough to protect their homes when away, preparing for these emergencies was not a high priority in the survey. Unfortunately, fire and water emergencies could bring highly detrimental and potentially prohibitive costs of losses to homeowners. State Farm estimated the average water pipe damage claim was $20,000 in 2022. Despite this exorbitant cost, only 14% of travelers are worried about water damage from a pipe breaking or flooding while on vacation.
So, how can homeowners better protect their homes and property so they can relax on their well-deserved trip? Here are ADT’s tips:
- Make your home smarter: Are you expecting a delivery while out of town? Not sure if you remembered to turn down the AC? Investing in a smart security system can help you alleviate these worries, and more so, you’re confident that your home is safe and secure on the road.
- Protect your home from fire and water emergencies: Adding flood detectors to your home security system will receive a notification about a potential problem before it becomes a disaster. Flood systems often don’t require a long lead time to set up, and many now offer DIY / self-setup options. Also, check that you have enough smoke detectors that are monitored. The National Fire Protection Association recommends placing smoke detectors in every occupied bedroom and every level of the home, including the basement. New and existing State Farm customers in select markets can now get a discounted bundle of security equipment, including monitoring, with the new ADT Home Security Program. The program is intended to detect and mitigate losses related to water, fire, intrusion and other homeownership-related risks.
- Set up an emergency plan for issues back home: To truly disconnect, take time before your vacation to create a list of home concerns and a game plan for managing them. Investing in a security system with functionality to designate trusted individuals for alarm notification will ensure that someone can handle an emergency, even if you are on vacation.
- Do not overshare on social media: If you are tempted to highlight your travels on social media, remember that making information publicly available — including when you are leaving, where you are going and how long you will be gone — can open the door for dangerous scenarios back at home, such as stolen packages or burglaries. It’s best to limit social posting, whether the types of content you’re sharing or limiting who can see these posts until you’re safely back home.
- Make a plan for tricking bad actors. Even if you’re not actively sharing your travels on social media, there may still be signs that you’re away – such as piling up mail and packages or cars that haven’t been moved in days. Before you take off, ask a neighbor, friend, or family member to help collect deliveries and move around cars to trick burglars into thinking you’ve been home the whole time.
About the Author: Christine Cunningham is Director of Emerging Markets at ADT