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Tips to Prepare Your Home Before You Leave for Vacation

Before You Leave for Vacation

There are two near certainties when you take your annual family vacation, you’re about to create lasting memories, and the planning is hard work. It really doesn’t matter if you’re planning a cross-country RV road trip, traveling to an all-inclusive beach resort, or a European get-away. Vacation planning can be challenging. There is just so much to do before you leave for vacation.

Typical vacation planning involves buying tickets, making reservations, coordinating schedules, packing and checking delays. That alone will keep you busy. It’s no wonder many vacationers forget to prepare their homes before leaving.

No one wants to come home from travel to discover unexpected household surprises. Let’s save you some headache, here are a few tips for prepping your home before you leave for vacation.

1 | Organize and clean before you leave

Before you leave for vacation, it’s a good idea to clean up and make sure the home is organized. No one wants to come home to a disorderly or dirty house, especially after hours of travel. Don’t underestimate how good it will feel to come home to a clean, organized home.

You don’t need to be Martha Stewart, just make sure your home everything is tidy.

There are practical reasons to clean up the house before you leave. For instance, if you leave without cleaning and organizing, you may leave fruit out to spoil. This could invite unwanted bugs or pests, not to mention unpleasant odors.

2 | Take our the trash and clean the fridge

As part of your cleaning and organizing, you’ll want to lookover the food in the fridge. What leftovers or carry-out are being stored, and what foods may spoil while you’re away? Make sure toss out all the foods that will spoil or go bad while you’re away. This will help control 

While you’re cleaning the house, take a look in your refrigerator for any leftover food that may go bad in your absence. Carry out or leftovers may become rotten or create a bad smell after sitting in your fridge for days.

It’s also a good idea to take out the trash. Forgetting to remove the trash is another way to invite unwanted bugs, pests and smells into the house.

3 | Mitigate fire risks

When many think of fire, their head normally goes to wildfire. However, electrical fire is even more likely for the average home.  In fact, in a recent study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council, they determined that a quarter of the average home’s energy consumption comes from idle electronic devices. This means, you can mitigate risk simply by unplugging your electronics devices before you leave for vacation.

Unplugging devices while you’re on vacation will not only save money on electricity, it will also decrease the risk of an electrical fire while you’re away.

In fact, the National Fire Protection Association, reported that the second leading cause home fires was was due to electrical failure or malfunction of household devices. So, before you leave for vacation, unplug your electronic devices – you may save more than just a few dollar on home insurance.

4 | Set the thermostat

A cool and fashionable device for the modern home is the smart thermostat. It’s also a great way to save money on electricity. Moreover, the smart thermostat will allow you to control the temperature of your home from a mobile device.

Having remote control of your thermostat will allow you to pre-condition your property before you return. This always makes it more comfortable after a long trip. It also allows you give the HVAC system a break while you’re away from the home.

Don’t have a smart thermostat yet? As long as you have WI-FI at home, you can get a good smart thermostat for between $100 and $250 dollars.

5 | Schedule your lighting

Thieves are typically bypass your home when you’re there. When you’re away on vacation, the trick is to make it look like you’re home. A simple trick to deter potential thieves is set your lights with timers.

If you’re on a budget, you can accomplish this with analog timers. However, for a small investment you can upgrade to smart bulbs. These work directly from your mobile device.

By setting some strategic timers around the home, you to create the illusion that someone is always home. For those who want to go the extra mile, certain smart-home devices can even program your TV to turn off and on to a set schedule.

6 | Arrange for your mail to be collected

Before you leave for vacation, ask a friend, neighbor, or family member to get your mail. If your mail is piling up or your mail person continues to skip your home, this may alert intruders that you are away on an extended stay.

7 | Confirm all your doors and windows are locked

When you’re rushing out the door to your flight, it’s easy to leave a window or door open. Be sure to check all of your windows and doors before you leave. You don’t want to leave your house exposed to potential trespassers.

8 | Install a smart doorbell

Another fashionable smart home device is the smart doorbell. These devices are equipped with video cameras, motion sensors, and two-way audio. They all will notify you on your mobile device when someone comes to your door. For a small fee, most devices will allow you to setup video recording movement detected or the people who come to the door.

A smart doorbell will not only give you some peace of mind, but it may the the subtle element that discourages potential thieves.

9 | Install a security system

This may be the most obvious recommendation, but an increasingly affordable solution for the average home owner. In fact, there are many DIY security systems and cameras that can help you achieve above average home security.

What do surveillance or security system help you do? Well, they allow you to keep an eye on your property while you’re away. If you do have an intruder while you’re on vacation, a security or surveillance system can notify local authorities. They can even dispatch police. This will undoubtable add a layer of protection while you’re away on vacation.

As an added bonus, security systems frequently provide home insurance discounts.


This list may seem overwhelming. However, if you want to avoid unexpected surprises upon returning from your vacation, you may want to take the time to complete each task.

Lastly, and this is without saying the most important one to us, you should make sure your home insurance (or renters insurance) is paid and your coverage is correct before you leave. If you want to get an online quote, you can review your coverage today – just in time for you next vacation.

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