Whether you’re itching to take the vacation of your dreams or you’re ready for a fun getaway with the whole family, summer is perhaps the best (and most popular) time of year to travel. But leaving your home for any period of time comes with some precautions that you should take to ensure your property remains safe and sound while you’re away. Here are some tips for prepping your home for a summer vacation.
Clean your home
Cleaning your home is a fantastic way to get ready for a vacation because it all but guarantees you will be comfortable when you return after your trip. Sweep and vacuum the floors, clean all of the major surfaces, and do any outstanding laundry before you leave for your summer getaway. If you’re only able to get a couple of things done around the house before your vacation, take out the trash and clean out your fridge to prevent any food from spoiling while you’re away. If you want to do yourself an extra favor, wash and change the sheets on all of the beds in your home so you return from your trip to an extra clean and cozy space.
Adjust your thermostat
We recommend adjusting your thermostat no matter the time of year you plan to travel, but this can be especially imperative in the summertime. Before you leave. Set your thermostat to a higher temperature than you normally would. Your energy bill will be higher if the temperature inside your home is significantly cooler than the temperature outside, so keep an eye on the forecast and adjust your thermostat accordingly. Depending on where you live, you can turn off your thermostat completely when you are away. However, if you live in a significantly hot and/or humid climate, it’s still a good idea to make sure your thermostat is running to protect the interior of your home, such as wood surfaces and furniture. For extra comfort upon your return, you can schedule your thermostat to adjust to a lower temperature a few hours before you expect to return home.
Don’t give the impression that nobody is home
No matter the length of your trip, you should make your home look lived in so that it doesn’t look empty while you’re away. This means doing things like putting lights on a timer (or leaving a couple lights on while you’re away) and handling your mail. Ask a trustworthy neighbor, relative, or friend to regularly check your mail during the time you’ll be done so that no newspapers or deliveries lie dormant. Unattended mail can be a signal to burglars that a home is empty. If you’re able to, you can also contact your local post office and ask that your mail be put on hold for the duration of your trip. For extra safety, ask someone you trust to check on your home regularly.
Take safety precautions
Overall, there are a few extra safety precautions that we recommend taking before leaving on a trip, especially a summer vacation longer than a week. To protect your pipes from leakage during your time away, you can turn off the main water supply for your home. You can also put your water heater on “vacation mode” to lessen your bill while you’re gone. To protect your home from fires and lessen your electric bill, unplug all unnecessary electronics. Make sure all of your smoke detectors are working properly in case of an emergency. And finally, if you have a home security system, alert the alarm company that you will be out of town and let them know who will be checking on your home while you’re away.
Karen & Henry Seale