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How to Prepare Your Home Before Leaving on Vacation5/25/2023



Everyone needs and deserves a nice vacation. It’s a chance to escape the daily grind, have fun with family and friends, and unwind. Whether you’re embarking on a fun-filled family excursion or a relaxing retreat, a lot of preparation goes into creating your perfect getaway.

As your vacation date inches closer and the excitement builds, it’s easy to overlook some last-minute household items to check off your to-do list. Preparing your home before you leave on vacation will help protect your property and provide a pleasant atmosphere to return to after your trip.

Ensure your home is vacation-ready with the following tips.

Prep Your Home to Appear Occupied

Whether you’ll be away for a few days or a week, it’s always wise to make your home look occupied as a deterrence.

  • Set Timers on Lights Inside & Out

Light timers are relatively inexpensive today and are an excellent way to keep your home looking lively. If you’re friends with Alexa or Google Home, even better. Spend a few minutes adjusting your light settings to ensure they function correctly while you’re away. If you don’t have timers, consider leaving a few lights on throughout the house during your trip.

  • Organize Your Mail

An easy way to let people know you’re out of town is with an overflowing mailbox or packages sitting on your doorstep for days. Either pause your mail service with the USPS or have a trusted friend collect your mail while you’re away.

  • Close Your Window Blinds

Whether your windows have blinds, shades, or drapes, keeping them closed while you’re on vacation is wise. You’ll avoid curious eyes, and it helps to keep your home cooler.

Plan for Bad Weather

Prepping your home for all weather conditions will help protect your property and make your home appear occupied. For example, an afternoon thunderstorm can blow cushions off patio furniture. Cushions sitting in your yard for days are a clear sign you’re not home.

  • Trim Trees & Shrubbery

Walk the perimeter of your house and trim any dead branches or overgrown bushes. Be sure to cut back any tree limbs near your windows.

  • Store Items That May Shift During High Winds 

If you have patio furniture that could cause potential damage to your home, secure it before you leave. Also, look for any decorations that could blow away.

  • Perform Necessary Home Repairs

If you’ve been putting off fixing that leaking window or dripping faucet, now is the time to take care of it. Minor repairs always have a way of growing into something much bigger when you’re away.

Clean Your Home

There’s no better feeling than coming home to a clean house and bed. Spend some time tidying up so your return is as pleasant as your vacation.

  • Empty the Dishwasher

Leaving dirty dishes in your sink for days invites unwanted pests. Nor do you want dirty dishes sitting idly in your dishwasher.

  • Clean the Bathrooms

Like dirty dishes in the sink, an unkept bathroom can invite pests while you’re gone. Ensure all your toiletries are closed with lids and unplug any unnecessary appliances.

  • Change Your Sheets

There’s nothing better than coming home to a clean bed. Wash your sheets and make your bed before you leave – it’s one task you won’t regret doing.

  • Do Your Laundry

Your suitcases will be full of dirty clothes to wash when you return. Make sure you have clean clothes waiting for you at home by doing a load before you leave.

  • Empty All Trash

Walk through your house and empty all your trash bins, especially in the kitchen. You don’t want to come home to unwanted pests or foul odors.

  • Clean Out Your Refrigerator & Pantry

Avoid buying many perishable foods in the days leading up to your vacation. Then, go through and throw out anything that will spoil while you’re away. Again, you don’t want to invite unwanted pests or create unpleasant odors.

Unplug or Turn Off Appliances

Reduce your electric bill by going through your home and unplugging any unnecessary appliances. Even when electronics are turned off, they still consume electricity when plugged in.

Suggested items to unplug include:

  • Televisions
  • Computers
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Bathroom Appliances
  • Home Office Equipment

Also, adjust your thermostat while you’re away. If it’s summer, move it up a few degrees to save energy. Lower your thermostat just a bit in the winter.

Schedule Your Bills

Don’t let your vacation be ruined by missing bills or loan payments. If you have payments due while you’re away, schedule them to pay automatically through Online Bill Pay.

It only takes a few minutes to set up your payments and will provide peace of mind knowing your finances are in order while you’re off having fun.

Secure Your Home

Before you embark on your trip, do a final check of your home.

  • Lock All Doors and Windows

Check all the doors and windows to ensure the locks are working properly. Sliding doors are among the most common entryways people forget to lock.

  • Remove Any Outside Hidden Keys

If you have keys outside to let friends or family into your home, it’s best to store them safely inside your house.

  • Double-Check Your Security System

Test your home security system before you leave. Make sure you can access and monitor the system remotely with the app or via your provider’s website. If you’re going to be away for an extended period, contact your alarm company. Many providers will put extra precautions in place should there be a disturbance or power outage.

We’re Here to Help!

Going on vacation is the perfect way to rejuvenate and alleviate stress. When planning your trip, use the tips discussed to create a pre-travel checklist for your home. It’s an excellent way to ensure you have peace of mind while you’re off having fun.

If you have questions about setting up online bill pay, we’re ready to help. Please stop by any of our convenient branch locations or call (949) 588-9400 to speak with a team member today.

Each individual’s financial situation is unique and readers are encouraged to contact the Credit Union when seeking financial advice on the products and services discussed. This article is for educational purposes only; the authors assume no legal responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the contents.

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