mail boxes in snow

This is one of the travel tips that’s worth repeating with some regularity.  Especially, perhaps, during the holiday season when so many people are traveling away from home.  And there are folks among us, more unscrupulous than most of us, who are watching closely to see just which ones of us are away and leaving our homes vacant.  Because a vacant home can be easy pickings for a criminal mind.

A vacant home can be a magnet for burglars. Whether it’s to ransack your home and steal your stuff or to find information to steal your identity, you need to take steps to protect yourself while you’re traveling.

One easy way to do that is to have the postal service hold your mail while you’re traveling.  If it’s just a day or two, this probably isn’t a big deal, but if you’ll be away from home longer than that you don’t want mail stacking up and waving a flag telling people you’re not around.  This is critical if your mail is delivered to your home and either left in an unsecure mail box or slipped through a mails lot on your door, but it’s still important if your mail is delivered to a locked mailbox.

Your mail can usually be held for as few as three days and for as long as 30.  A form is available through your local post office, or use the online hold service.  The online service is not available in all locations, but it works works where I live and I use it all the time.

How about you?  Do you stop your mail?

Photo credit:  SXC