Vacations are meant to whisk you away from the drudgery of real life for a while. You may be going on an exciting, activity-filled adventure or you may be looking forward to some much-needed relaxation. Preparing for your trip, however, can be anxiety-inducing, especially if you’re leaving for more than a couple of weeks. Not only are you trying to anticipate everything you might need to pack, but you may also want the peace of mind of knowing that your home is secure while you’re away. Consider these tips:
Choose an Emergency Contact
Designate someone you trust to keep an eye on your home while you’re away. They can monitor the goings-on and let you know if anything is out of the ordinary. They’ll also be available to handle anything that you may think of while you’re gone.
Unplug Electronics and Appliances
Anything that’s plugged into your wall outlets is using electricity even if the power isn’t on. So, when you’re not at home, lighten your electric bill by unplugging any unnecessary electronics and appliances. Toaster ovens and coffee pots are particularly important to keep unplugged, as they pose more of a fire risk.
Install a Video Doorbell
The video doorbell is a great technology to have when you’re away from home. Get one with the motion-activated feature to alert you when someone comes to your door. You can see what’s going on at your door from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. You can also talk to whoever is at your door. Perspective burglars will think you’re home when you’re not and move on.
Install a Keyless Entry Door Lock
Install a keyless entry lock on your door so that if you have an emergency and need someone to check on your house unexpectedly you can give them the code for access. It also avoids having to have multiple keys made and distributed.
Install a Wi-Fi-Enabled Thermostat
Save energy and money by getting a Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat. These high tech thermostats can be set manually or programmed for certain temperatures at certain times of the day. You can control them from your phone or another device from anywhere that you have an internet connection. You’ll probably want to keep your home warmer than normal in the summer and cooler in the winter than you do when you’re there. This will save energy, but will still keep your home at a healthy temperature.
Use Wi-Fi-Enabled Outlets
Connecting some of your lights (or even a television or radio) to Wi-Fi outlets helps to reduce home break-ins. You can control these outlets from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. Some also have a timer function so they’ll automatically come on at certain times. Turn them on and off randomly for the appearance that someone is home.
Clean Your House
Empty trash cans, wash dishes, empty the dishwasher and clean counters to avoid foul odors and to keep ants and other household pests away. If you’re afraid something is going to spoil while you’re gone, clean out the refrigerator. Make sure wet laundry is dried. Carpet cleaning is a great way to ensure that you’ll come home to a clean, fresh-smelling house. You might want to wash your bedding so that you come home to nice clean sheets.
Hold Mail and Newspapers
Thieves will often target homes where they see mail and/or newspapers piled up. Ask a neighbor to pick them up every day or have the mail and newspaper service put on hold.
Continue Yard Maintenance
Make sure that your lawn maintenance continues while you’re gone. Have someone cut your grass. Clean your gutters to avoid flooding or roof damage during heavy rainstorms.
You’re on vacation to relieve stress. Make sure to give your house a good cleaning before you leave and to maintain the appearance of an occupied home while you’re away. Being organized in the way that you leave will go a long way toward guaranteeing that everything’s in order when you return.