As a homeowner, you want your home to be secure and well-prepared before vacationing. Whether you’re jetting off for a weekend getaway or an extended trip, taking the time to prepare your home for vacation will provide peace of mind and prevent potential issues while you’re away. Follow these expert tips to get your home vacation-ready.

Assess Your Home’s Security

Before you leave for vacation, assess your home’s security. Start by checking all doors and windows to confirm they’re securely locked. Install deadbolts or security bars for added protection. If you have a security system, double-check that it’s armed and working correctly. Get timers for your lights to give the appearance that someone is home.

Prepare Your Home for Vacation by Arranging for Mail and Newspaper Delivery

A pile of newspapers or an overflowing mailbox is a telltale sign that no one is home. Before you leave, arrange for a neighbor or friend to collect your mail and newspapers daily, or request a temporary hold from the postal service. This simple step helps deter burglars and maintains the appearance that someone is still home.

Set Thermostat and Appliances

To save energy and prevent mishaps while you’re away, adjust your thermostat to a slightly higher temperature in the summer or lower in the winter. You don’t want your air conditioning or heating system running unnecessarily. Unplugging non-essential appliances will reduce the risk of electrical fires or energy consumption.

Secure Outdoor Areas to Prepare Your Home for Vacation

When preparing for vacation, don’t forget about the exterior of your home. Trim overgrown bushes or hedges that could provide cover for potential intruders. Secure outdoor furniture and valuables, such as grills or bicycles, in a locked shed or garage. If you have a spare key hidden outside, now is the time to remove it or give it to a trusted neighbor.

Notify Trusted Contacts

In case of an emergency, it’s essential to have contacts who are willing to keep an eye on your home. Inform a neighbor, friend, or family member of your travel plans and provide them with your contact information. This way, they can reach out if they notice anything unusual or if an issue needs your attention.

Prepare Plumbing and Utilities

Take a few precautions before you leave to avoid coming home to a plumbing disaster. Turn off the main water supply to prevent leaks or burst pipes while you’re away. Turn off the water heater and unplug major appliances to reduce the risk of malfunctions or water damage.

Double-Check Alarms and Detectors

Before you depart, test all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and replace batteries if needed. This simple step will help protect your home and housesitter while you’re away.

Vacation is a time for relaxation, so don’t leave unprepared and spend your trip worrying about your home. By following these expert tips and taking proactive measures to prepare, you’ll enjoy your getaway with peace of mind, knowing that your house is secure and well-protected in your absence.

Prepare Your Home for Vacation FAQs

Is it necessary to inform my home insurance provider when going on vacation?

While it’s not a requirement, informing your home insurance provider of your travel plans is a good idea. Some policies have specific requirements or recommendations for securing your home while you’re away, and informing your insurer can cover you in case of an incident.

What should I do about my pets while I’m on vacation?

If you have pets, make arrangements for their care while you’re away. Consider hiring a pet sitter, boarding them at a reputable facility, or asking a friend or family member to look after them. Your pets need enough food, water, and necessary medications during your absence. Leave detailed instructions for their care and emergency contact information for your veterinarian.

What should I do about my plants while I’m on vacation?

If you’ll be away for an extended period, ask a friend or neighbor to water your plants. Alternatively, invest in self-watering planters or move your plants to a shaded area to reduce water consumption.

How can I protect my home from weather-related damage while I’m away?

Before leaving, secure outdoor furniture and valuables and trim overgrown vegetation that strong winds or storms could damage. Install storm shutters or reinforcing windows to protect against severe weather.

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