Tickets booked, bags packed, house… cleaned? Sometimes, it’s the most obvious things that are the most effective in keeping your home safe while you’re away. There are a few simple things you can put into motion before heading out of town that will act as an intruder deterrent, starting with:

Clean It Up!

Now we know you haven’t even left yet, but imagine arriving home to clean floors, tidy rooms and fresh sheets. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Just a bonus to cleaning up inside and out before you leave. The real reason to mow the lawn and clean up yard tools and stray kids’ toys is because nothing tells strangers “nobody’s home” like yard debris that hasn’t moved in days and an unkempt lawn. Not to mention you’ll immediately notice if anything is amiss when you return if things are in order before you go.

Windows & Doors

You’d think this one would be obvious, but locking doors and windows isn’t something everyone remembers; especially if you’re in a ‘safe’ neighbourhood. Consider placing a blocker in the sliding door track to prevent forced entries, and deadbolts on the doors are always a good idea as extra protection.

Perimeter Check

A well-lit entryway isn’t a thief’s best friend, but it is yours. Whether on timer or not, perimeter lighting tends to make intruders shy away. Checking out the the view of your home from the street or yard is worth the extra five minutes. Can you see expensive electronics and artwork? Consider securing your most valuable belongings out of sight. Another trick is to unplug the power to your automatic garage to prevent thieves from using a universal remote and gaining access that way, and always lock the door into the garage from your home.

Make It Appear That You’re Home

Resist the urge to share those all-important vacation details on social media! Same goes for outgoing answering machine messages broadcasting no one’s home. They’re a virtual “welcome” sign to criminals to break in. Alert neighbourhood watch by entrusting a neighbour you know to keep your stoop clear of newspapers and pick up the mail. If your trip happens to coincide with trash day, have them put out and pick up the containers again; left out too long, and it’s a dead giveaway no one is home. You can also install timers for indoor lights, radios, and televisions.


Whether a few days or a few weeks, the same rules apply. The more you can prep beforehand to make it seem like someone’s home, the better chances you have of returning to your home the same way you left it. Safety first!




Cruising is one of those vacations you either love -- or you don’t. Big ships, quarters smaller than a Vancouver condo, and you better like your travel companions and the gentle lull of waves to sleep every night. It’s also one of the best ways to see some of the most amazing sights in an immersive experience.


Five Cruises That’ll Take Your Breath Away

Sip and savour as you explore the legendary land of wine, truffles, and cognac centered around Bordeaux, France on Viking’s Châteaux, Rivers & Wine excursion. This 8-day cruise along the Dordogne, Garonne, and Gironde Rivers offers 6 guided tours with extension options to stay in the Loire Valley or Paris.

If you’re seeking a little more adventure, the South American travel experts of Rainforest Cruises will guide you through Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, the Galapagos islands and Panama, depending on where your tastes lie. Spend three nights in the Treehouse Lodge in Peru, or choose from one of the smaller luxury catamarans for a romantic cruise through the Galapagos; the possibilities are extensive. 

If famed Japanese restaurant Nobu for room service and on-board piano lessons sound more like your bag, Crystal Cruises offers a wide variety of world-wide options. Travel up the North American coast from New England to Canada, or visit Europe in the lap of luxury. 

See the world a little differently with Regent Seven Seas Cruises to India, the Middle East and Africa from aboard a luxury vessel. From extraordinary landmarks to the beauty of Cape Town, the all-inclusive cruises offer a view of history and culture like you’ve never experienced. 

For a once in a lifetime experience, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines is going Around the World in 108 nights. Stopping in 88 ports, this cruise departs from Southampton, United Kingdom January 3rd, 2017 and returns April 21st. Princess Cruises also has World Cruise excursions. Just to say you did it.


We’d love to hear about your favourite cruising experience! Share with us on Facebook.


Whether it’s catching some waves, rays, or whatever adventure is around the next bend, there’s  a beach getaway for every taste.

1. Barbados boasts 60 beaches to choose from. Surf’s up on the east coast whereas true R & R seekers will prefer calmer waters on the west coast. Besides being one of the most sophisticated tropical islands in the Caribbean--dressing up for dinner is an honoured tradition--Barbados offers spelunking and reef diving for thrill-seekers and rum plantation tours for history enthusiasts. There’s also a Food, Wine & Rum Festival mid-November for the foodies. 

2. Tried and true, Hawaii has something new to offer on Oahu’s North Shore. A Courtyard by Marriott has set up shop for easy-access to some of the best stretch of beach on the island. Historically a world-class surfing mecca, the North Shore hosts the world’s premier surfing competitions during peak, winter months. Too much sun (if there’s such a thing), surf, and sand? The Polynesian Cultural Center is close by.  

3. Avoid the bustle of more frequented European beaches for Lanzarote, easternmost of the Spanish Canary Islands, this jewel is steeped in art-based history and known as the Island of Eternal Spring. Host to Europe’s first underwater museum, a perfect homage to artist and architect Cesar Manrique’s birthplace, Lanzarote also features El Diablo; a restaurant atop an active volcano. In case the beach wasn’t hot enough.  

4. Arguably one of Canada’s most famous spots, Long Beach, Vancouver Island is host to pristine beaches, ancient rainforests, abundant wildlife, and indulgent spas. A UNESCO biosphere reserve, Long Beach is also best for storm watching during the winter months; the perfect cozy activity from inside one of the island’s premier resorts, the Wickaninnish Inn.     

5. We’re just heading into peak season at Ngapali Beach, Myanmar. Lasting through March, the “winter” here offers idyllic palm-lined white sand and clear blue water beaches. Off the Bay of Bengal, Myanmar’s premier beach getaway is the get-away-from-it-all spot. Caught between fishing village charm and world-renowned accommodations, Ngapali appeals to sunbathers, peace-seekers, and watersport aficionados alike.


Where’s your best beach getaway spot? Share with us!

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