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Going on a trip can be fun, but in order to guarantee that everything goes off without a hitch and that you make it home safely, here are some things that you should do before leaving:

Photocopy your passport – and leave a copy at home with someone that can be trusted with it, and bring a copy with you as well. If your passport ever gets stolen, you’re going to have a world of trouble trying to get back into your country without any proof at all. When carrying your photocopy, make sure to separate it from your real passport so that you still have it if the original gets swiped.

Take out the garbage – even if the assigned garbage day for your neighborhood isn’t for a couple of days after you’ve left, try to take it out earlier so that it doesn’t stink up your house and grow maggots while you’re gone. You can either leave it out early, or see if your neighbors are nice enough to let you store it in their place until they can take it out for you.

Time your lights accordingly – home invasions often occur after perpetrators have scoped out your house to determine when you’ll be gone. If you’re away for an extended period of time, there are easy tells such as unclaimed mail, or an unmoved car. If you can time your interior and exterior lights to go on for certain periods of the day, make sure to do so to avoid getting your house broken in to.