Tag Archives: holiday

Spring Break Is in Session! Ensure Safe Travels for Your College Student this Vacation

Believe it or not, spring break season has started. Yes, snow is falling in certain parts of the country, but colleges are already releasing their students for the week-long break. Some students may be headed to warmer weather and vacation destinations, while others are just coming home for a much-needed rest. Whatever the case, before your college-age child wraps up their studies and heads out on a trip, you may want to give them a few travel safety tips to study as well.

Be Prepared
When traveling as a family when I was a kid, I used to ask my mother to make a packing list for me so that I wouldn’t forget anything. Since then, if I do not make a packing list beforehand I will most likely forget one of the most basic items. (I have forgotten to pack socks. Socks.) Tell your child to write down or type up everything they need to remember to bring with them, and then have someone else look over the list for something they might have missed. This is especially important for common-sense items that you may not even think you have to write down, such as phone chargers or passports. Before they head out the door for the week, have your child go item by item through the list to make sure there won’t be any emergency pit-stops on the way home from the airport.

Keep an Eye Out
While keeping track of your belongings while traveling may seem like an unnecessary reminder, college kids can be scatterbrained and may be distracted by something particularly engaging on their phone or in a book. Suggest they hook a backpack or purse strap around one of their legs while sitting and waiting to board a flight or bus. That way, if anyone grabs their bag, they will know, plus they won’t forget it. Keeping a purse strap on their arm, and not leaving their phone sitting on a table can also prevent losing anything they worked so hard to pack up. Another area to keep an eye on is public Wi-Fi. While many airports, bus terminals and train stations provide customers with Wi-Fi, that can make devices vulnerable to hackers. Suggest to your child that they use a VPN whenever possible if they need to connect to free Internet access.

Know and Share the Route
Be it the trip to the airport, the bus connections, or the driving route home, make sure your child knows their travel plans before they actually head out—and that they share those plans with you. Remind them that they can’t always rely on their phone’s GPS! Service gets lost and sometimes a phone gets a location wrong. In addition to your child knowing how they’re getting home, encourage them to tell a friend about their route too, so if anything were to go awry, someone closer to your student may be able to help sooner than you. If possible, ask your child to share their phone’s location with you and a friend so either of you can keep track of their progress during the journey.

Speaking of Phones…
Most importantly, make sure they keep their phone charger on them and keep in contact with you! I once forgot to bring my phone charger with me to the airport, and thankfully had my laptop with me to message with the family member picking me up. Imagine if I hadn’t had any other devices, or if my laptop had also died!? Payphones are not as prevalent as they used to be, and not everyone carries change with them. Your child should, at the very least, let you know when they arrive at a new destination, such as the bus station or a rest stop on their drive.

Here’s hoping their spring break actually looks like spring, and the weather warms up for a well-needed rest from classes and cold. As for you as the parent, brace yourself. It doesn’t matter where the final destination is, college kids are still kids and may need a little extra assistance from you with their travel plans. Once they arrive, be prepared for their ridiculous appetites and sleep schedules, and appreciate that they got wherever they were going safely.

Porch Pirates Now Part of the Holidays: Here’s How You Can Fight Back

It must be the holidays, because porch pirates are in the news again! In the same day, I heard about porch pirates in my part of the country (the Pacific Northwest) and Jersey City, where police are planting GPS tracking devices in boxes that look like Amazon deliveriesin order to catch thieves.

Porch piracy on the rise
Sadly, porch piracy is definitely increasing during the holiday season. One report released says 25.9 million Americans have had a package stolen during the holidays. That number was 23.5 million in 2015. And since Americans are doing more shopping online and will continue to do so, those “porch pirates” have plenty of booty to grab from front porches.

Ways to thwart thieves
Although you can insure packages in case they are stolen, what you really want is the package, right? That means you must take steps to thwart the pirates in the first place. Rather than risking packages getting delivered but never making their way to you, because someone absconded with them first, try these tips:

  • Use your home security system to see who is at your door and to unlock the door if it’s a package delivery. With the right home security setup, you can do this remotely—even while at work.
  • Choose to have your package delivered to a nearby Amazon locker, or have packages shipped to your local UPS store.
  • Have packages delivered to you at work or to a neighbor or family member who will be home when you’re not.
  • Look into getting your own P.O. Box at the post office.
  • Require a signature to confirm delivery.
  • Track packages while they’re en route and change the routing if you need to based on where you’ll be.

And now for the fun part…
The porch pirate topic isn’t all bad news. If you’d like to see someone get revenge on porch pirates, watch this 11 minute video of Mark Rober, a NASA engineer and YouTube star, doing just that. Rober spent 6 months designing and building a device that not only sprays glitter all over the thief when the booby-trapped package is opened, it also sprays fart spray and has four camera phones rigged to catch footage of the events while they unfold. Warning: If you watch the video, note that the thieves often use bad language when the booby trap goes off, although it’s all blanked out.

Porch pirates are now the new normal, but we can take steps to fight back…or maybe that NASA engineer will mass produce his booby trap, and we can put pirates off forever! We’ll only need a lot more glitter and fart spray…

8 Helpful Holiday Hints for the Last-Minute Mayhem

Although not everyone is in it for religious reasons, 90% of Americans celebrate Christmas, and that means the countdown is on. To help you stay safe (if not necessarily sane) during the last few days before Christmas Day, we’ve pulled together a list of eight posts you’ll find useful—but might not be thinking about because baking and wrapping is top of mind! 

1. Prepping your vehicle for road trips
If holiday travel is on your agenda and you’re headed over the river and through the woods, make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip—especially if you might encounter winter weather. 

2. Protecting your packages
Porch pirates are real: 23 million Americans have packages stolen from their front porch each year. Definitely read this post if you’re getting packages delivered and you’re considering ways to keep them safe, because you’ll get tips for thwarting the porch pirates who’d like to make your packages into their booty. Or find out if you need a service like Amazon Key or if your home security system will protect your packages for you. 

3. Getting teens to town safely
If you have college students who are homebound for the holidays by car, go over the safety advice in this post to ensure safe travels. If they are traveling by plane or train, see this post for excellent advice to share with them. 

4. Making sure Fido will be fine
If you’re traveling and your pets will need looking after, follow the advice here on finding a good pet sitter and ways to prepare your pet and your pet sitter before you leave. Read more…

5. Decorating with a safety-first mindset
This post offers holiday safety tips to use throughout your home as you’re decorating! Also see tips for keeping your Christmas tree fresh and less fire-prone. 

6. Staying safe if you’re still doing your shopping
Many of us are still shopping up until the last minute! Read the tips in this post to make sure you’re safe, whether shopping online or in person. Although the advice is specific to Thanksgiving weekend, it applies to the whole holiday shopping season. 

7. Taking safety into account when buying toys
All toys are not created equal and some pose a bigger threat than others. Before you start your toy buying, review the safety tips in this post to ensure the toys you give will be both fun and safe. 

8. Giving home security as the gift that lasts all year
If you’re stumped for gift ideas, consider home security. This post explains why it’s an excellent gift the whole year long. Read more…

Despite the decline in the religious reasons for celebrating the holiday, Christmas is still a major event for most Americans, making it a busy time of year that can lead to mistakes and missteps. Review this list of posts for reminders, and stay safe this holiday season and into the new year! 

Have Yourself a Greener Little Christmas…with Gifts that Last

The environment is top of mind for many this holiday season, after a year of horrendous natural disasters. That might mean we’re a little greener in our Christmas preparations this year. And even if wildfires and hurricanes aren’t pushing us to be greener, the rising awareness of plastic waste should be. As we switch to re-usable grocery bags and restaurants stop offering straws, we are paying more attention to that waste. And now is the time to do it, because the amount of trash we throw away in the U.S. increases by an estimated 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Yes, that makes the holiday season an excellent time to step back and figure out ways to make less waste of all kinds…starting with gifts. To help you get greener, we offer four ways to give gifts they’ll love—with less waste.

Give quality gifts
Choose a higher quality product if it will last longer, and most definitely avoid kitschy things that no one really wants anyway. (Hint: If it looks like it belongs a White Elephant party, it belongs at a White Elephant party.) Spend a little more and give a little less if you have to make up the difference in price. When you spend more for a higher quality product that lasts, you benefit in the long run by cutting down on waste.

Restrict your buying to local, independently owned shops
One way to cut back on waste is by driving less and spending more locally. It’s easy to go online and go on a splurge, buying things people might not need or want and generating lots of plastic shipping material that gets thrown away. Try shopping locally and you’ll make less waste while benefiting your local economy. (We are trying an experiment at our house this year: We are taking the money we saved for Christmas out of the bank as cash and only using that to do our Christmas shopping, forcing us to shop at brick-and-mortar stores and not online.)

Give gifts that keep on giving
It might not be glitzy but a gift like home security is a gift that keeps on giving without generating more waste. It’s something useful and much appreciated. It doesn’t take up any room or need storage, but it gives plenty of peace of mind. And it’s a gift that causes the recipient to think of you every time he or she uses it. Home security can be a priceless gift that keeps on giving. If not home security, maybe it’s a subscription to a publication, or a donation to a charity, or something else your loved one would appreciate.

Wrap naturally
Although we’ve been saving and re-using the same Christmas wrapping bows for years now (and admittedly, some are looking haggard and worn!), we are transitioning to all natural materials for gift wrapping. Check Pinterest for ideas, and you’ll see how gorgeous this kind of gift wrapping can be!

As our awareness of plastic waste increases, organizations and businesses are taking steps to decrease the amount of that waste. You can read updates on the fight against plastic waste at the National Geographic website. And you as an individual can take your own steps to reduce waste by going a little greener with gifts this season!

5 Christmas Tree Safety Tips–for Those of Us with Real Trees!

Lately the controversy has been heating up about which is the greener choice: a real Christmas tree or a fake one. If you really think about it, the real tree seems to be the greener choice, but surprisingly, over 80% of trees Americans will display in their homes this holiday season will be fake.

That still leaves about 20% of us committed to the real tree, and that means it’s worth reviewing Christmas tree safety tips. So our gift to you today: 5 Christmas tree safety tips.

1) Find a fresh tree—and keep it fresh
We live in an area surrounded by Christmas tree farms, and many trees are harvested well before Thanksgiving. Unless you’re cutting your tree yourself, check for freshness when you head out to find your perfect tree. Pull on the needles to make sure they aren’t falling off. Pick up the tree a few inches off the ground and drop it to see how many needles fall off. A few is okay. More than a few is not.

Buying your tree earlier in the season might help you to find a fresher one too. The longer the tree sits on the lot waiting to be sold, the more dried out it will get. We don’t put our tree up until right before Christmas but we buy it early, cut off the bottom 2 inches of the trunk, and keep it outside in a bucket of water until we are ready to put it up. We heat our house with a woodstove (because it was built in 1890 before central heating), and that can quickly dry out a tree, we learned the hard way. Keeping the tree in a bucket of water like just described has made a big difference in keeping the tree fresh.

2) Display your tree in a safe place
As I said, we heat our house with a woodstove, so our tree has to go in another room. All Christmas trees should be displayed far from woodstoves and fireplaces, as well as out of traffic areas where they might get bumped into by a toddler running through the house or a rambunctious big dog jumping about because he’s excited about a new toy. (I’m not going to say I’m speaking from experience here, but….)

3) Get the right size tree
As much as you might want something grandiose for displaying in your home, you don’t want your tree to be a hazard! So give your space serious consideration before you head to the tree lot. Our living room has ceilings that are 9-feet high, but our living room is small so the tree has to be skinny. It takes us a while to find a tall but very skinny tree! Even then, we end up trimming branches before we decorate, to make sure the tree is not sticking out and in the way at all.

4) Keep your Christmas tree watered—and watered, and watered
Once your tree is in the house, you’ll put water in the tree stand, of course, but you have to keep up with it. Your house is warm and that will dry out the tree quickly. Keeping the stand filled with water will help to slow down that process. And don’t let the tree stand go dry. If the bottom of your tree gets a chance to harden up again, you’ll have a hard time getting it to soak up any water. I make watering the tree part of my nightly routine, even when it’s soaking up less water after a few days.

5) Turn off the lights–safely
I don’t like turning off the lights on our Christmas tree. We only have it up for 3 weeks each year, so I want it lit up 24 hours a day during that time. That’s not safe, however. It’s not safe to have to climb under or around the tree to unplug the lights before bed either (something we are guilty of), so consider using a timer for your tree lights, or a surge protector with a switch, or something else that ensures you’ll turn the lights off when gone or in bed—without jeopardizing the tree.

I have to admit I was saddened by reading that only 20% of us are using real Christmas trees. There’s just something about the search for the right tree, the smell of the tree, the uniqueness of each tree every year…it would be hard to give that up. So for now, I count myself proudly among that 20%, using a real tree and following the tips above to keep it safe!

Review These Shopping Safety Tips Before You Whip Out Your Wallet This Weekend…

Thanksgiving is early this year. No, it really is. It falls on November 22nd, which is the earliest date it can fall on. So, it’s not your imagination. Thanksgiving did sneak up on you! And on us too, we admit, and because of that, we are all of a sudden realizing it’s time to talk about safe holiday shopping before the buying frenzy begins.

It’s going to be a big year for holiday shopping
And a frenzy it will be! Last year 174 million Americans parted with their money during the Thanksgiving weekend shopping, which includes Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can expect that number to be higher this year because the economy is booming and consumer confidence is high. As a result, eMarketer predicts 2018 holiday season will bring strong retail sales: offline sales are expected to increase 4.1%, while online spending will increase 16.2% to $123.39 billion.

Will you be one of the confident consumers coughing up cash this weekend? Before you whip out your wallet this Thursday, Friday or Monday, review these safety tips first, so your holiday won’t be more expensive than you’d planned.

While shopping online
More money will be spent online than in person this Thanksgiving weekend, so be ready to be safe for any shopping that involves your laptop or mobile phone:

  • When at a website, check the URL and look for https:// rather than just http://. You can also look for a lock or similar symbol, showing that the site is confirmed secure.
  • Change up your passwords on a regular basis.
  • Pay with a credit cardinstead of a debit card.
  • Have a plan for any packages that will get delivered to your house, so they’re not sitting on your front porch and easily stolen.

While shopping in person
Despite the allure of online shopping, many of us still like to go spend our money in person. If you’re going to be hitting the Black Friday sales, pay attention to these safety tips:

  • Don’t flash any cash and only pull out your wallet when you’re ready to pay.
  • Keep your purse close to your body or carry your wallet in a front pocket.
  • Only purchase what you can carry at one time.
  • Keep your phone charged.
  • Set up meeting times and places if you’re shopping with others.
  • Park under a light if you’ll be shopping until after dark.
  • If you put packages in your car and do more shopping, keep those packages out of sight by hiding them in the trunk.
  • Once you’re back home, don’t advertise expensive purchases. Don’t leave boxes on the front porch and break down large boxes as soon as possible to keep your buys to yourself.

Don’t spend what you don’t have
Although the buying and giving is fun, and these tips should help keep you and your property safer, we offer one caveat to all this: Avoid the debt. Consumer debt is set to reach $4 trillion by the end of 2018. You might think that’s unrelated to home security and safety, but when debt affects our physical health, marriages, and financial futures, it’s totally related. No matter how good the Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal might be, if you have to borrow to buy it, you’re going to end up paying more for it anyway.

And on that note, have fun, buy smart, and stay safe this Thanksgiving weekend!

Protect Your Passport! 6 Passport Safety Tips

Do you have a passport? Having one is a good idea for U.S. citizens. It’s identification, it’s proof of citizenship, and it’s necessary for traveling outside of the U.S. In some cases, however, it’s not just necessary for international travel any longer. In nine states, a passport is now required to fly domestically, because the driver’s licenses issued by those states are not compliant with TSA standards. And because the wait for a passport can be several weeks, it’s probably a good idea to get one even if you’re not planning on travelling abroad or you don’t live in one of those nine states targeted by TSA.

Regardless of the reason for needing a passport, you need to keep it safe once you have it. Passports can be lost and they can be stolen to be sold on the black market. And if you’re without a passport in a foreign country, you could be in a very bad way.

To practice passport safety, follow these six tips:

  1. Photocopy your passport and keep the copy separate. That way if your passport is lost or stolen, you have the duplicate for proof of your identity and to speed up replacement. Better yet, make two copies. Keep one with your luggage and one with you—but separate from the original, as in keep it in a different bag or pouch. And to be extra careful, make a third copy to leave with someone back home.
  2. Scan it as well for a digital version. This you can keep on your smart phone.
  3. Keep your passport with you when traveling—and we mean close with you. Don’t tuck it into a backpack or purse that’s easily stolen, but carry it where a pickpocket can’t get it, like in a money belt or a neck wallet that you wear under your shirt.
  4. Regularly make sure you have it with you when traveling, but not in an obvious way. If you do lose it or it gets stolen, you want to know right away.
  5. Don’t hand it over to anyone else, not the hotel staff or tour guide. Keep it with you.
  6. If you’re going somewhere or doing something that makes hanging on to your passport impractical (like bungee jumping or scuba diving), lock it up in your absence.

Are you heading somewhere that requires a passport this summer? I am! And I am looking forward to the getaway! I have my passport and my neck wallet, but I will also be following my own advice and making copies both paper and digital, plus practicing diligence while out of the country. We will have some of our adult children traveling with us too for the first time internationally, and everyone will be getting these safety tips above as we practice what we preach. I hope you will as well, for passport peace of mind!

12 Days of Safe Holiday Decorating: How to Avoid Decor Disasters This Season

Would any holiday comedy be complete without at least one decorating mishap? Whether it’s a scene showing Dad falling off the roof while hanging lights or Mom plugging too many lights into one electrical socket causing sparks to fly, safety isn’t exactly a staple in these films.

Accidents might be funny on-screen, but the last thing you need to add to your holiday to-do list is a trip to the emergency room or a call to the fire department. In order to survive this holiday season without any scrapes or bruises on you or your home, follow these 12 tips to get into the holiday spirit, safely.

  1. A partridge in a well-watered tree: If you love the smell of a live tree in your home, keeping your tree watered is a must. A healthy, hydrated tree will be less flammable in the case of a string light breaking. Also be sure to keep any greenery away from heat sources, such as fireplaces or radiators.
  2. Fake it ‘til you make it: Maybe a live tree isn’t the best option for you, and you prefer to buy artificial. Although you won’t have to worry about keeping it hydrated, do be sure that it’s labeled “fire resistant,” just to be safe.
  3. Three is not a crowd: Your decorating team should include you, your ladder and someone securing the ladder for you. When you’re hanging decor out of reach, make sure the ladder is sturdily grounded and your partner has a good grip.
  4. Check your cords: Not your caroling chords, but your extension cords. Use heavy-duty extension cords, and only use outdoor-use cords outside the home. When setting up your lights, don’t plug in more than three sets of standard cords to one extension to avoid overloading.
  5. Not just the stockings should be hung with care: Prevent electrical damage by avoiding nails or tacks when hanging lights. Instead, opt for hooks or insulated staples indoors, and clips to safely attach lights to the house outdoors.
  6. Rearrange those lights: Indoor lights should be kept away from curtains, furniture and carpeting.
  7. Turn it off before you turn in: Power down any lights indoors before you go to bed or leave your home, and use a timer for outdoor lights.
  8. Careful with those candles: Provide candles with a sturdy base to prevent tipping, and never leave a lit candle unattended.
  9. Reduce, reuse and recycle that paper: Instead of burning wrapping paper in the fireplace, which can cause a chimney fire or give off toxic fumes, either recycle or reuse it. Of course, if you do choose to reuse it, that means no ripping that paper to shreds come present-opening time!
  10. Arrange ornaments the smart way: Place fragile ornaments higher up and unbreakable ornaments closer to the ground. For any ornaments that plug into a bulb to light up or spin, use no more than two per strand, or check the manufacturer’s directions.
  11. Purge poisonous plants: Although poinsettias are beautiful and festive, they are also toxic when consumed, so keep them out of reach of pets and children. Another option is to go artificial and skip the real ones altogether.
  12. Speaking of kids and pets: Try to avoid any decorations that look like candy or food, since these can be easily mistaken for the real thing. You don’t want to end up with a glass ornament in a little one’s mouth because it looked like a tasty snack. (We are speaking from experience here.)

You’ll find more holiday safety tips at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Whether this season fills you with holiday cheer or holiday fear, at least home safety will be something you can check off your list. Maybe check it twice, just in case though.

The Least Relaxing Weekend of the Year Is Here: Here’s How to Stay Safe While Shopping

With Turkey Day over, many of us would like to fall into a food coma while someone else finishes the dishes in the kitchen. Some of us want to watch football with our family. Others, however, start gearing up for the next few days of shopping: Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

Since 30 percent of all retail sales happen between Black Friday and Christmas, it’s no surprise that millions of Americans will be retiring to bed early on Thanksgiving so they can get going first thing the next morning.

But all that shopping comes with some risk, and you know we are all about mitigating risk! So here’s your guide to staying safe every day of this holiday shopping weekend…

Black Friday

  • Do your research. If you check out the layout of the store beforehand, it’ll be easier to head straight for the deals you want and avoid the wandering crowds.
  • Don’t get up too early, since 8:00 a.m. may be the perfect time for your Black Friday shopping. All of the super early risers will have left already, and those wanting to sleep in will still be in bed. As long as you aren’t looking for a specific big-ticket item, arriving at a reasonable hour may benefit you by keeping you out of the chaos.
  • Check the web. Sure, you can wait until Monday (we’ll get to that later), but some stores have their Black Friday deals online too, meaning you don’t have to go to the brick-and-mortar location.
  • See other Black Friday safety tips here.

Small Business Saturday

  • Do make sure that all doors and windows are locked before leaving home (or check remotely from your phone once you’re out and about). On a more relaxed day like this Saturday, you may be out even longer than usual strolling around town. Making sure to secure everything can help with your peace of mind.
  • Don’t leave packages outside after you return home, and don’t advertise expensive purchases. Break down large boxes as soon as possible to keep recent pricey purchases like televisions or appliances a secret from curious eyes…and we don’t mean just those of your family, but the curious eyes of anyone else.
  • Check your car. Lock all doors and roll up all windows in the parking lot, even if you only leave for a bit. Make sure to double-check they’re locked, just in case a sale notification pops up on your phone and distracts you.

Cyber Monday

  • Do use a credit card. By using a credit card as opposed to a debit card or a third-party payment service, you release less information about yourself. The less information you give out online, the better. Credit cards are also easier to deal with if fraud happens, and may even provide a “zero liability” policy in case you are the victim of fraudulent charges.
  • Don’t reuse your passwords. If someone gets hold of your password to one site, make sure they aren’t able to use it on every other site as well by changing up your passwords. This includes using different passwords for sites such as your bank or email than you would for shopping sites.
  • Check for an “s.” To be sure that the site that you’re shopping on is secure, check for https:// rather than just http://. A lock or a similar symbol may also appear to confirm the security of the site.

If you happen to be one of the 100 million people scouring for deals before dawn, you could probably use a helping hand. While this post can’t help you carry all your bags to your car, it can give you some new tips to help keep you and your belongings safe this crazy weekend.

Traveling for the Holidays? Be Prepared to Pinpoint Your Perfect Pet Provider

Halloween is over and while some may already be looking forward to tree-shaped cookies and the smell of gingerbread, the rest of us are thinking of turkey and cranberry sauce. Our winter holidays are a time of eating good food, seeing family and most of all…traveling.

Since 68% of U.S. households own a pet, chances are you may be leaving a critter back home this season when you travel. Before you run knocking on all your neighbors’ doors asking for their help looking after your favorite fur ball, check out these tips for finding the right pet sitter for you.

Before You Choose That Pet Sitter…

  • Start looking early. Finding a pet sitter is not a task you want to rush. This is someone who will be entering your home, caring for a furry member of your household, and taking on a lot of responsibility. Starting your search sooner rather than later can guarantee finding reliable care for Fluffy and Fido.
  • Check their services. See what the different options of sitters have to offer. Some pet care can include multiple visits during the day to feed, walk or play with your pet, while others can stay in your home so your pet isn’t alone. Many even offer to bring in your mail or water your plants while you’re away.
  • Ask around for referrals. Your perfect pet sitter may be just a question away. Friends, neighbors or even your veterinarian may know of some great pet services they’ve used in the past and can tell you about the not-so-great ones to avoid as well. If your pet has special dietary or behavioral needs, your vet may be the best resource for finding a pet sitter who will work for you.
  • Have a list of prepared questions. While searching, know which questions you’re going to ask potential sitters. These questions can be as simple as their hourly rate or how many visits they can do each day, but they can also be specifically tailored to you and your pet’s needs. The Humane Society has a helpful list of potential questions you can use if you’re not sure what to ask.

 

Preparing Your Pet Sitter…and Your Pet

  • Schedule a meet and greet. Before you leave your pet alone with your chosen sitter, introduce your furry friend to their caretaker while you’re still home. This can provide a more comfortable transition for your pet, as well as allow you to explain any special requests to the sitter while you’re face-to-face.
  • Reserve for the holidays ASAP. Many pet sitter businesses offer their services on holidays, but those days can fill up fast. Be sure to plan with your sitter well in advance if you need someone watching your pet while you’re away this holiday season.
  • Leave more than one key. Have two spare keys, one for the sitter and one for a trustworthy neighbor. If the sitter gets locked out, they have a backup, and if something happens and they can’t stop by your home, it enables your neighbor to step in and help. Also have your pet sitter and your neighbor exchange phone numbers so they both know whom to contact.
  • Show them around. Make sure to show your pet sitter your home’s safety features such as the circuit breaker or security system, in case of an emergency or just accidentally setting off the alarm.
  • Buy extra supplies. You never know what might happen while you’re traveling, especially around the winter holidays, so stock some extras that your pet may need in case you’re gone longer than expected. This could be food, medication, doggy bags, kitty litter, or even some water jugs in case of an emergency.

Wherever your travels take you this holiday season, rest assured that your furry family is safe and sound back home with a pet sitter you trust–especially if the rest of your family can’t be trusted to keep their fingers off the turkey.

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Customer Reviews

I feel so much better knowing my family is protected! I spoke with SafeStreets USA in the evening and a technician was able to come install the system for me then for my parents first thing the next morning. Very impressed with his knowledge and care!

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We had our ADT system installed by SafeStreets USA and were really impressed with the service we received from our technician. He was very friendly and answered all of our questions on the system and how it worked. He set everything up in a couple of hours and was a real pleasure to talk with []

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