6 Ways to Prep your Home for a Holiday Vacation
Whether you’ll be gone for a few days or a few weeks, there are plenty of things to do to ensure you can rest easy through the holidays– especially when it comes to your home. Here are six ways you can prep your home for a holiday vacation.
1. Lock up Your Home
There is a little more to locking up your home than just double checking the front door as you make your way out of the house.
If you have any hidden spare keys—no matter how well hidden—bring them inside while you’re gone. Also, check all of you external doors and windows. It’s easy to forget to lock a window and while you’re gone, trespassers will have plenty of time to find it.
If you have an alarm system, confirm that it’s in working order and has been activated. You can also contact your alarm company and let them know you’ll be out of town, so they can react accordingly in case of a break in.
2. Hold your Mail
One of the most obvious ways to alert others you are away for an extended period of time is mail and/or newspapers piling up in front of your house. It’s easy to contact your newspaper and have them put your delivery on hold so be sure to give them a call. When you get home, all you have to do is go in to pick-up the deliveries you missed and let them to know resume delivery.
Also, putting in a Request Hold Mail is hassle-free and a great way to stay organized and prevent identity thieves from tampering with your unattended mail.
3. Set-up Deterrents
Do you remember in Home Alone when Kevin planned an elaborate holiday party to deter the thieves? It’s really not a bad idea! If you’re going for a short trip, leave a few lamps on throughout your house so it looks occupied. For longer vacations, set up an automatic timer so that lights are turning on and off at staggered intervals.
You can also have a family member, friend, or trusted neighbor come over to turn on a few lights in the evening for you.
4. Prepare for the Weather
Regardless of where you live, there is always the risk of temperamental weather, so it’s best to expect the unexpected. Take a look at your yard, patio, and any other exposed area and secure items that could be damaged or cause damage in the event of strong winds, etc. You also, might want to arrange for someone to remove snow after storms, as well.
If you live somewhere where the winter weather is nothing short of frigid, you’ll need to protect your pipes from freezing. Insulate exposed pipes and leave a tap trickling to avoid a burst pipe if the temperature suddenly drops while you’re away.
5. Ready your Pets
Pets are part of the family so don’t wait until last minute to make plans for them. Make sure you hire a reliable pet sitter or find a reputable boarding facility that you trust. The holidays are a busy time with many people also going on a vacation so you’ll definitely want to book something well in advance.
Also, be sure to give detailed instruction and make sure your pet has plenty of their favorite toys, foods, and treats on hand.
6. Prepare for Your Return
Whether you are walking through the door in cheerful, post-holiday bliss or in frustrated, family-drama exhaustion, the last thing you want to face when getting home is a smelly or dirty home. So to prepare for your vacation, do yourself a favor and prepare for your return.
Throw out any food that will spoil while you’re gone, wash your dishes and/or run your dishwasher, and be sure to empty your trash. If you have time before you leave you can even wash and put your laundry away, change out your sheets, and plan for your breakfast for your first day back home.