As we get told daily by our friends and family and that annoying coworker, it’s bloody cold! Sadly, it’s only going to get colder, which means plenty of us Aussies will jet over to Europe for some more sun and much-loved heat.

Fun fact: 2.6 million Australians traveled across the globe during winter last year, according to the Australian Federation of Travel Agents.

Since heaps of us Aussies are travelling thousands of kilometres for warmth (or to escape that annoying coworker who keeps telling you it’s cold) while leaving our homes empty for weeks at a time, it’s only natural to share home security tips with you.

And, guess what? We’ve found the expert with the right advice!

Mark Fletcher, Managing Director at Ring, a smart home security company, has compiled a list of seven tips for you to follow before you jet off.

Eliminate Hiding Spots

While it’s nice to have some thick shrubbery and tall plants in the front and back yard to block out the prying eyes of your neighbours, unfortunately they also provide great hiding spots for burglars. Mark’s top tip here is to keep your bushes and plants trimmed enough so your home is highly visible from the street (and to your friendly neighbours!) Also, don’t be afraid to add some floodlights to help illuminate dark areas. Ring offers a Floodlight Camera that’s motion-activated, with HD, built-in siren and two-way talk.

Motion-sensors can pick up when people are lurking, catching them in the act. Image: Supplied

Get Your Mail Held Elsewhere

Firstly, it’s not a good look when your letterbox is overflowing with mail. Your neighbours will think your unorganised and the postman will have a hard time finding a gap to squeeze in your incoming mail. It also makes it obvious you’re not home. So why not pop over to your neighbour’s house and ask them to collect your mail and hold onto it while your sunbathing along the pacific? Alternatively, Australia Post offers a unique service where they can hold your incoming mail for up to 12 months.

Fill That Driveway

Are you giving Europe the flick and driving north instead? Perhaps you haven’t seen the parents in a while and deserve a road trip to their outback cottage? Or, perhaps, you believe it’s better to drive to the airport and stash the car in the long-stay car park. Whatever your case may be, our friend Mark implores you to fill up that empty driveway. Ask your neighbour to park their car in it. Or maybe get a friend to stay at your house and insist they park their car in your driveway.

Find A House Sitter

Whether you have pets, a pool, or a very needy garden, sometimes it’s best to let a friend stay at your house. That could even be said for if you just want to make sure the house is safe. If you can’t find a friend to house sit, then search around for Australian house sitting companies to help you out.

Keep Your Holiday Secret

I know, I know. How can you keep your holiday secret when you desperately want to share all your pics on social media? But social media oversharing could leave your home vulnerable to break-ins. Those selfies you’re planning to take on Copacabana Beach may impress your friends, but digital-savvy thieves can see you’re not home Mark recommends keeping your holiday snaps and stories for when you’re safe and sound back home. But, if you absolutely cannot wait til you get back home, then share on private platforms with friends, like group messaging, or make sure your Facebook privacy settings are in order before you upload.

Invest In Smart Security Technology

New technology, such as Ring Video Doorbells are making it easier to monitor homes whilst on holiday – providing motion-sensor alerts from anyone lurking around or of packages received whilst away. It’s even got Sir Richard Branson’s tick of approval  after he discovered how effective the video doorbell was when someone staying on his island directed a delivery man to leave a package via his Ring app on his phone.

Know when the delivery man arrives, even when sunbathing across the globe. Image: Supplied

Set smart home timers

Remember in that movie Home Alone, where the burglars were able to tell exactly when the Christmas lights would turn on? Today’s smart home timers are a step-up from this. Unlike standard timers, smart home timers allow you to set up your lights on alternating, random schedules, giving the impression you have a full and busy house, making burglars think you’re home.

We don’t recommend “accidentally” leaving your 10-year-old at home, hoping they’ll set up a strategic plan involving ingenious booby traps to get pesky burglars arrested while consequently destroying their older brother’s room. That’s best left for the big screen.

Sound of waves at the beach. Artist: SophronsineSoundDesign – source