If you have a home alarm make sure to set it before you leave on your trip. If a neighbour needs to access your home for emergencies or to water plants, feed animals or fish then make sure they have the number for your alarm. Most alarms are programmable so that you can enter an additional security number to add just for this purpose that can be canceled on your return. This way your original alarm number will not be compromised.

Use automatic and programmable timers to turn lights and radios on and off while you're away. Stagger the times the lights go on, and set the radio to a talk-show station. The Voices and lights will help deter burglars.

If you have newspaper deliveries, either cancel them or have a neighbor take them in for you on a daily basis. Have your neighbors pick up your mail and any flyers, or alternatively have the post office hold the mail for you return.

We have found that a UPS mailbox is particularly good for this purpose as they will hold the mail for you and there is no evidence at your home that you are away.

If you get along well with your neighbors or have family and friends close by have them check the house regularly and even park in your driveway so it is not evident that you are away.

If its winter and there is likely to be snow arrange to have your snow cleared from your driveway, even using a prepaid service if necessary.


Leave the radio or television on in your hotel room when you leave for the evening. Put the "do not disturb" sign on your door when leaving. None of this works during the day as the maid will come in to service the room and turn it off, but it does work well in the evenings.

Do not use the "Please make up the room" sign as this is an indication you are not there. Keep possession of the room key with you at all times. Most keys are cards these days, but do not hand a key in unless it is too big to carry then it cannot be handed out to someone else.

Use caution when using the elevators and hallways at night. If you are uncomfortable with anyone in the elevator pretend you have forgotten something and go back to a public floor like the lobby or restaurant. Do not go to your own floor where they can follow you to your room or scout out your room number for later.

Use the room safe for any valuables including your passport, house and car keys and your laptop if it will fit.


Be careful in crowded tourist areas, airports, bus-stations, train stations, subways, markets, festivals, etc. These places are very popular with pick-pockets. Be aware of loud arguments, bumps and other activity that may be staged to distract you while someone else steals your wallet or hand-bag.

Check out where you are going and stay away from questionable areas, all cities have them. Remember! There are probably areas in your own hometown you would avoid or visit with caution

Take an organized day or night city tour. This can introduce you to the main tourist areas but also enable you to decide which areas you may want to re-visit or avoid.

If using public transportation sit near the driver or conductor and with companions.

Author's Bio: 

I am originally from England and now a Canadian Citizen, I have over 35 years experience in all aspects of Travel and Tourism, including running an online agency for over 15 years. I hold a CHA (Certified Hotel Administrator) an internationally recognized accreditation and in 1996 hosted the president's wives luncheon for the G7 conference.

I have co-chaired Atlantic Canada Showcase an International Travel Trade Show, managed 450 volunteers for the Tall Ships Visit in July 2000, and was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. In 1988 I founded the Country Inn Association in Nova Scotia still going strong today. I have been involved in numerous Travel and Tourism volunteer activities throughout Atlantic Canada and across Canada.

As an experienced speaker I have spoken and presented seminars to large and small audiences for many years on subjects ranging from Marketing and Sales and Life Skills to Tourism, Travel and Real Estate, and operating an online Travel business.

Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or travel inquiries.
Avril Betts CHA - Travel Agent & Tour Operator