Summer is almost here and for many Americans, it’s prime time for vacation. vacation should be a relaxing, stress-free time not one spent worrying about your home. Follow our tips to prepare your home for vacation and one you’re at your destination sit back and relax.
Keep up appearances.
Make it appear as if someone is frequenting the house at different hours of the day. Stop mail and newspaper deliveries for the duration of your trip and set timers on your lights to go on and off. Mow the grass and clean up the yard; if you’ll be gone for longer than a week consider having someone maintain the grass for you. Park your car in the garage, if possible, to deter thieves or damage. Ask a trusted neighbor to stop in your home once or twice during your time away to check on things, pick up any packages that may be delivered by overnight carrier, and make sure doors and windows are still locked.
Prepare your home.
Before leaving, unplug all appliances that won’t be in use during your trip. Set your thermostat to a temperature that will reduce the use of air conditioning. Most hot water heaters have a setting for vacation or non-regular use. Turn off the water valves directly under sinks, the dishwasher, and washing machine. If you have a pool, check the water levels before you leave and treat as necessary. Make sure your filter runs at least 8 hours a day while you’re gone; for this a filter time is an inexpensive investment. Clean out your refrigerator of any food that many spoil while you’re gone and take all trash out before you leave to prevent unpleasant smells from developing or attracting pests.
Let a trust neighbor or a nearby relative know of your vacation plans and an alternate way to contact you in case of an emergency. Notify your home security system company of your plans as well of anyone who has been given access to your home in your absence. Some local police departments will have a patrol officer drive by your home during your vacation to make sure things don’t look out of place, others will simply take note of your contact information in case there is an emergency while you’re gone.
A few small but proactive steps will go a long way to ensure you have an enjoyable summer vacation.