Prepare Your House Before You Go on Vacation

Prepare Your House Before You Go on Vacation

Prepare Your House Before You Go on Vacation

If you’re going on vacation for a week or more, you’re probably doing tons of planning. However, it’s also necessary to spend some time preparing your house for your absence. Otherwise, you might encounter some nasty surprises upon returning home. Those surprises could be really serious, such as burglary or fire, or slightly less serious but still quite unpleasant, such as rotting food or unnecessary power expenses. Use these preparation tips before leaving for vacation to avoid nasty surprises upon your return.

Hold the Mail. Place a hold on mail and newspaper deliveries, or ask a neighbor to collect them daily. A mailbox overstuffed with letters or a porch littered with newspapers lets burglars know that the house is unoccupied.

Pretend Someone Is Home. Invest in one or two light switch timers. This device turns a light on and off according to a schedule that you punch in. You can install one in the living room and another in the kitchen or a bedroom. The result is that certain lights are regularly going on and off, so the house appears to be occupied.

Be Careful with Social Media. If you have thousands of friends and acquaintances on Facebook, it’s probably not a good idea to post that you’ll be away from your house for two weeks. It’s also not a good idea to record a special voicemail greeting announcing that you’ll be out of town.

Lawn Upkeep. Ensure that the lawn is mowed, hedges are trimmed, and flower beds are watered immediately before you go away. Use a lawn service to keep things looking fresh and well-groomed while you’re out of town.

Clear Out Fresh Food. Unless you wish to be greeted by a strong odor when you return, take the time to dispose of perishable food and all garbage before you depart.

Save the Spare Key. If you hide a spare key under a flowerpot on the front porch or above the door frame, retrieve it. If a burglar is clever enough to figure out that your house is unoccupied, it won’t take him long to find a key stashed in one of the usual hiding spots.

Notify Your Credit Card. Communicating with the credit card company should ensure that they do not disallow charges and purchases made at your destination(s). And if you have a home security service, they should also be informed so that they can properly interpret data from your address.

Unplug Electronics. The more devices that are unplugged, the less possibility of fire. Also, most devices use some power even when they’re not turned on, so unplugging them saves you money. However, this means that you’ll need to reset electric clocks and reprogram entertainment electronics when you return.

In Case of Emergency. Make sure a trusted neighbor or friend has your contact information. If, despite all your precautions, something unfortunate happens at your property while you’re away, you’ll want to learn about it sooner rather than later.