Going on vacation can be a great opportunity to spend time with your friends or family away from home, make long-lasting memories, and strengthen bonds. No matter where you head to in the world, it’s important that you and your loved ones stay safe and aware of your surroundings.
In addition to your own safety and security, you need to ensure that your home is secure before you head out on your adventure. The last thing you want is to be worrying about whether you’ve locked a window or door when you’re miles away from your property. So, to keep intruders away and give you peace of mind, here are 5 tips on how to prep your home when going on a long vacation.
Create a Home Maintenance Checklist
If you’re heading on a long vacation, it’s only natural that you’ll want to return to your home as you left it. Putting your property on autopilot and devising a home maintenance checklist will ensure you have everything covered. First things first, you should turn your air conditioning unit to 85 degrees, which will keep your home cool while you’re away from home. If you want to lower your energy bill, you may prefer to turn it off completely.
Regarding plumbing, make sure that you switch off your water at the shut-off valve. Your washing machine, dishwasher, and basins do not need water when you’re away, and should a leak occur, this can be costly to repair when you get back.
Make sure that your smoke detectors are working and have fresh batteries in, and if you have a pool, you need to check the pool pump to ensure that it runs while you are on vacation. As you will be gone for a long time, it’s best to ask a family member or friend to check on it periodically.
Clear the Kitchen
The last thing you want is to return home and find you’ve forgotten to take food out of the refrigerator. Spoilt food can leave a nasty smell that will linger around your property and could be difficult to get rid of, so any perishable food must be thrown out before you head out the door. If you are away for a long time, you should consider unplugging your refrigerator and keeping the door open which will reduce mold and mildew. Many homeowners put baking soda in an open container inside their refrigerator, which is used to absorb odors.
If there is any food waste accumulating in your kitchen sink, make sure that you wash it away as it could grow its own personality when you’re on a long vacation. For homeowners who have a pantry, make sure that you discard any opened food to reduce the risk of bugs. Most importantly, you need to ensure that the trash is taken out.
Protect Against Intruders
No matter where you live in the country or how safe you feel in your neighborhood, burglars can strike anywhere at any given time. Creating a checklist and taking precautionary measures will keep your home bulletproof and deter intruders from entering your home. Whether you choose to use a variable light timer to give off the impression you’re at home or use timers to water your lawn while you are away, there are lots of tips that can make it seem like you’re still in your property.
Your windows and doors should be left how they normally are. Should you close the curtains and blinds before you go on vacation, this may draw more attention than you would like. Any expensive items should be kept out of view from your windows as this will give burglars more of an incentive to break into your home. If you’re a social media user, try to refrain from posting about your vacation until you get home. Even if you trust your friends’ list, you can never be too sure about who is watching your posts. You can click here to learn more smart ways to protect your home.
Call in Favors
If your family members and friends live nearby, calling in favors and asking them to keep an eye on your property can be a big help. Your loved ones can pick up mail, open and close your curtains and blinds, as well as keep in contact with you should a home emergency occur.
While you may not want to hassle your close circle, it’s better to ask for help than have to deal with a break in once you arrive home. To thank them for looking after your property, you can purchase a gift from your vacation to give to them. There are lots of ways that you can stay connected with your loved ones while you are away from home.
Think of the Weather
Many of us love nothing more than to head to tropical destinations across the world and soak up the sun. If you’re dreaming of hot places, it’s just as important to consider what the weather will be like at home while you’re away.
If you have a backyard, there are items that may blow over should strong winds, hurricanes, and storms strike, so clearing your outdoor space to reduce the risk of storm damage is crucial. If you’re going away in the winter months, your pipes could potentially freeze, so make sure that you insulate them beforehand.
Whether you’re heading to another state, country, or continent, going on a long vacation requires you to get your home in order first. As a homeowner, you should take great pride in your property, so doing everything in your power to keep it in good condition while you’re away is critical.
Thieves are opportunists who will strike once they know a property is vacant, so make sure that you follow the advice above and put safety measures in place which will add an extra layer of defense and reduce the risk of intruders gaining entry to your home. Having time away with your loved ones should be something to look forward to, so prepping your home in advance will give you peace of mind and enable you to enjoy your vacation.