We all love getting back to nature, but what about the things we leave behind?
These days, it’s difficult to unplug for even a few hours, let alone long enough to truly get away into the great outdoors. But it can be done. And, for the sake of your sanity, it must be done.
There is nothing like spending a few days with Mother Nature to put everything back into perspective. Tranquility can be impossible to find, however, if you spend half your vacation worrying. But with a few simple steps, you can leave it all behind and know that everything will be fine when you get back.
Set up Home Security
If you’re a homeowner or a renter, worrying about your house and belongings likely tops your list of concerns when you’re away. The best advice is to get a house sitter. This might be overkill if you only leave for a weekend, but if you plan to take a week or more away, have someone drop by a few times to check up on everything.
Presumably, you already have homeowner’s insurance, but this is a good time to double check. And if you were planning to get a security system, now might be the time. In the same vein, be careful about posting a detailed itinerary of your trip online. It’s one thing to post about your plans to head out to Yosemite National Park, but don’t offer up the dates and times you will be gone.
You should also unplug your computer, TV set and small appliances. This way, if lightning strikes, you don’t have to worry about a power surge.
Have Financial Security
What happens if an identity thief strikes while you’re away and your bank account is empty by the time you find out? Well, whether you’re just going away for a weekend or setting off for a six month thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail, you can enroll in financial monitoring before you leave all the trappings of modern life behind so you know your accounts are secure.
Additionally, before long trips, make sure to switch over to paperless account statements so your financial records aren’t just sitting idly in a mailbox where any evildoer can find them.
Protect Your Pets
As with your home, the best way to care for your pets while you’re away is to find a good friend or trusted relative to watch them.
If that’s asking too much, find a good kennel or dog walker who makes house calls. Just be sure to choose someone who comes highly recommended or through an accredited online service. You don’t want to leave man’s best friend in the wrong hands.
Tell People Where You Are
Even if you do nothing else before you leave for your outdoors trip, make sure you tell somebody — anybody — exactly where you are going. Campers and hikers get lost or injured even on well-marked trails in heavily trafficked national parks, and one of the biggest differences between being rescued and never coming home is whether or not authorities know where you are headed.
Leave a detailed itinerary with a loved one before you go. That way, if anything goes wrong, rescuers know where to look. It can literally be the difference between life and death.