5 tips to help keep your home and packages secure while you’re on summer vacation

(BPT) – Ready to take that long-awaited summer vacay? Before heading out for fun in the sun, make sure you’ll be able to fully relax and enjoy your break by taking a few steps to help keep your home secure — including deliveries that might be made while you’re gone.

Here are some tips and tools to help increase your peace of mind while you’re away from home.

1. Alert your neighbors — but not social media

Before your trip, chat with trusted neighbors to let them know you’ll be on vacation. Those extra eyes on your home can help you feel better about taking off. Just don’t post about your trip on social media — there’s no need to let the world know you’ll be out of your house.

2. Help make your deliveries safe

Instead of worrying about a package arriving while you’re gone, use Amazon Key In-Garage Delivery, a convenient, secure way to receive Amazon packages and groceries. With In-Garage Delivery, drivers scan your package to receive one-time access to deliver inside the garage. No need to give out garage codes or let the driver in yourself. Porch pirates don’t stand a chance and it also helps protect from weather damage, so you can keep any packages secure until you’re home.

Amazon Key is free for Prime members and easy to set up. Plus, it gives you more flexibility and control over your Amazon deliveries by allowing you to select a preferred delivery method and choosing when and where you want your packages delivered — inside your garage or to your doorstep. At checkout, just select In-Garage Delivery and Amazon Key will take care of the rest. You’ll receive real-time notifications every step of the way, and by adding a Ring Camera (sold separately), you can even watch your packages be safely delivered in real-time.

3. Monitor your home while you’re away

You can set up Motion Alerts to notify you when there’s activity at your front door with a Ring Video Doorbell or near one of your Ring security cameras. You’ll be able to see what’s happening in real-time and choose to use Two-Way Talk as needed to chat with someone on your property. For additional whole home protection, the Ring Alarm Security Kit works on any house, condo or apartment. You’ll have peace of mind that your home is always protected, so you can just relax and enjoy whatever you’re doing, wherever you are.

“With services like Amazon Key-In Garage Delivery and the Package Detection feature on Ring Video Doorbells, you can worry less about deliveries going missing while you’re away,” said Paul-David Shrader, Head of Amazon Key for Consumer. “Many customers say just the sight of a video doorbell or camera is enough of a deterrent in getting trespassers to leave their properties.”

4. Set timers for lighting

Another important tactic while vacationing is to use lighting to make it appear someone is home. You can connect smart lights to your home security cameras to have lights turn on/off, or set up light schedules with Alexa to turn lights on and off at certain times each night. Even if you just set one lamp near a front window, it will look like someone is home.

5. Pre-set your HVAC

Completely turning your HVAC off to save money can be a bad idea. Not only will it look like nobody’s home if your AC unit isn’t running while it’s sweltering, but you could also damage internal structures of the house due to excessive humidity. On top of that, your AC unit will have to work non-stop to get the temperature back down when you return, eliminating cost savings you hoped for by shutting it off completely. A good rule of thumb is to raise the temperature about 5 degrees from your usual setting when you leave town. To be able to adjust the temperature while you’re away, consider installing a smart thermostat that you can control remotely.

Following these few simple steps, you can ensure your home and packages will be safe and secure, whether you’re on the road or on the beach.