The Home Owner's Checklist For A Worry-free Vacation

It's the season for vacationing. With lower air fares and reasonable gas prices, many Americans are headed out of town this summer. Planning a trip means more than just pulling out a map and taking off from work. It also should include a "vacation checklist" of things to do to protect your home and valuables while you are away.

Regardless of how long you'll be gone, it's important to be sure that your home has a lived-in appearance. Tell-tale signs that invite burglars or vandals include overgrown lawns, piled-up newspapers, a full mailbox and no lights at night.

This checklist will help you enjoy your vacation with the knowledge that you haven't forgotten to take the proper steps to protect your home.

Neighbors, relatives and police are your best friends when you're away. If you remember too late that you left the iron on, you can call the friend who has your key instead of turning around on the freeway! And when it's their turn for a summer vacation, you can return the favor.