NBC NATIONAL NEWS — So, your dream vacation's coming up nd to prevent any shocking surprises when you return.
You've taken steps to keep your home secure while away.
You've stopped the mail, let neighbors know you'll be away, left a light or two on and asked police for a few extra drivebys
"If you can do something face-to-face with local law enforcement, that's ideal. But I think even just a phone call, letting them know the dates you'll be gone and your address will help quite a bit," said Sam McBride of SafeMart Home Security.
And, to prevent any surprises after you get where you're going travel experts say do your research especially when staying at a privately owned vacation rental.
"There's nothing better you can do to make sure that the property is what it says it is than to read the reviews." Jen Gold of FlipKey.com said.
FlipKey.com is the rental giant that hooks up thousands of vacationers with property owners every day.
"If they're claiming to be a block off the beach and they're really 3 miles off the beach, the reviews are gonna reflect that negative experience," said Gold
She says if you want to see more online of what the owner is offering, ask them to post more photos and for financial transactions, stay traditional.
"We tell travelers and owners never to accept or send by wire transfer or really any way, any other platform that's off the flipkey payments platform," Gold said.
Another sign of a recovering economy is that vacation rentals are up again this year.