Who doesn’t love a good vacation? No matter how short or long it is, it’s a perfect way to de-stress and get away from your busy life. Before you finish packing and head for the airport, however, be sure to secure your home. An empty home is a tempting target for burglaries. Household tasks left unfinished are sure to cause problems when you come back. With that in mind, here are some basic preventive measures to help keep your home safe and vacation worry-free.
Cleaning might be the last thing you’d want to do before going on your trip, but cleaning your house before you leave will benefit you in the long run (when you get back).
Clean Out Your Pantry and Fridge
Get rid of anything that could spoil while you’re away. You don’t want to come home to a smelly house and find unwelcome visitors like maggots or insects coming from your spoiled food.
Do Your Laundry
Make sure not to leave any wet clothes in the washer or dryer unless you want to see mold on your perfect clothes.
Change Your Sheets
Change your bed sheet and pillowcases before you leave and your future self with thank you for it. There’s nothing like coming home from a trip and lying down on a fresh set of sheets.
Take Out the Garbage
Unless you want to deal with a swarm of house flies after returning from a vacation, take out the garbage and recycling for pickup by the garbage truck.
Prevent Stagnant Water Odors
Sprinkle some baking soda in your toilet and down the sink drain before leaving to avoid the smell of stagnant water.
Pest-proof Your Home
Whether you’re leaving during the warmer or rainy months, it’s a good idea to have your home checked for any pest problems before you leave. If you don’t have any, take precautionary measures by ensuring no drafts in your home, fixing any leaks, storing food, and sealing any possible entryways for pests to get in. If you find any problems or come back to find a part of your home infested with insects, call pest control right away to get rid of the problem before it gets any worse.
Mow the Lawn
If you’re going away for more than a couple of days, ask someone to mow your lawn for you. Grass grows very quickly, and an untidy lawn can signal an unoccupied house, making it a potential target for burglars. By doing this, your home will appear lived in, and you’ll have a tidy lawn when you come back.
The best place to hide your valuables depends on their size. For storing larger and expensive items, use an element-proof safe that can attach to a wall. Hide these safes somewhere it can’t be easily seen, like in a closet. If you want to go a step further, you can buy a smart safe that relies on biometric access to open. These safes can send an alert to your smartphone if there are any signs of someone trying to break into it. For smaller, portable safes, place them in unsuspecting places like inside a garbage can or among other items.
Unplug Small Appliances
You don’t want to come home after a vacation and see your bill costing more than your trip. Unplug minor appliances like coffee makers, microwaves, TVs, DVD players, and other gadgets that you won’t be using while you’re away. This is to make sure that they don’t suck up any extra electricity while you’re away.
If you’re nervous about leaving your home for an extended period, keep tabs on your home by installing smart security cameras. The good thing about smart cameras is that you’re usually able to check in on what the cameras see through your smartphone. These cameras also have motion and sound detectors that send you alerts when it senses movement or sound.
Ask a Friend to Help
It’s always a good idea to have someone check on your house now and then make sure that nothing goes wrong. If you’re not comfortable hiring a housesitter, try asking a friend or a trusted neighbor for help. They can help with daily tasks like watering your plants or getting the mail, and this can scare off intruders who might be scoping the house to see if anyone’s home.
Hold Your Mail
A surefire way to let people know that you’re out of town is by letting your mail pile up. Ask the post office to hold your letters and packages, and they’ll be happy to do so for up to 30 days.
Pay Your Bills
The whole point of a vacation is to de-stress, and you can’t do that if your bills are almost due. If you don’t pay your bills online, schedule your payments before you go. If you pay them online, make sure to use secure connections and not public Wi-Fi when you’re logging into your bank account or any site with your personal details.
Let Your Bank Know You’re Leaving
There’s nothing more stressful than arriving at your destination and hearing your credit card was denied. To save yourself from the hassle of calling your bank in the middle of your vacation, let them know about your travel plans, whether it’s in or out of the country.
Protecting your home is the first step to a great vacation, and there’s no reason to put off any preventive measure while you’re away. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip with peace of mind.