How To Prepare Your Home For An Extended Vacation

Preparing your home for an extended vacation may be on your mind when you are preparing for your long vacation. You may be thinking about what to do when leaving home for an extended time and what not to do.

We have prepared a list that will help you think about what you should think about when you are preparing your home for a long vacation.

preparing home for an extended vacation

Secure your home

Secure your front doors

You should check all your external doors if they have secure locks. You should consider replacing docks that are old and not strong. You should consider replacing your locks with deadbolt locks like this one on Amazon that are stronger. 

Secure your windows

You should also check the locks on all your windows. Make sure the windows don’t have gaps between the frames so someone can use tools to lift or slide the windows. 

Secure your garage door

You should unplug your garage door so the remote control cannot be hacked. Hackers may be able to hack your garage door system or remote control so it’s best to turn off the power of the garage door.

Lock your side gates

Check your side gates to make sure they can be securely locked. You need to make sure that there are no items near the gates where someone will be able to jump and get in.

Smart sensor

There are smart sensors available that can be used inside and outside the house like the ones on Amazon. These will help you to know if anyone is trying to enter your house. You will find battery-operated ones and hardwired ones.

If you are going on vacation for an extended period of time then you want to get the hardwired one. The last thing you want is the battery to run out of your sensors while you are away.

Smart lights 

Lights are one of the best deterrents for any intruders. Your house should be well-led and you get a sensor light that will light up at night when the light detects someone close to your home. 

You can also get smart lights these days which you can turn on or off or set up a timer from your smart device using an app. You can set up the lights to be turned on at night and turned off in the morning. 

There are smart bulbs as well that have sensors built into the bulb. It is easy to install if you don’t want to install new sensor lights.

Smart doorbells

Smart doorbells have really come down in price and there is no excuse not to get one. If someone rings your doorbell, no matter where you are you will be able to answer the doorbell and no one has to know that you are not at home. 

Install wifi security cameras

When you are away from home, it is good to know if your home is safe inside and outside.

You can install home security cameras outside your home which have sensors and you should also install cameras inside your home which you can connect from an app using your internet.

You can get a security light that has a motion sensor and lights so you don’t have to get these separately. 

Smart plug

Smart plugs are handy. You can plug in any electronic device in it and you can control the plug wherever you are. 

Install a smart smoke alarm

Another smart device you should consider is to get a smoke alarm. You should not only want to know if someone has entered your house but you should also know if your home has any fire or gas so you call the emergency helpline or your neighbor to help.

Install a smart water detector

Similar to the smoke detector, you want to know if there are any water leaks in your home. If there are any leaks, you want to know about them as soon as possible so you can take action and call for help.

Cover fireplace flue 

If you have a fireplace, you should cover your fireplace flue. The cover will help to block animals from getting into the house. The last thing you need is an animal running around your home and destroying your place.

Clean your home

You should always have a clean home however it is more important to make sure that your home is clean when you are leaving the house empty for an extended period of time.

You want to make sure that there won’t be any infestation of cockroaches or foul smell when you return home.

Clean your freeze and throw everything out that you don’t need or won’t eat. You may want to eat out or take away food so you don’t have any leftovers. 

You also want to make sure to empty your garbage bins. You don’t want to return home with bins full of rubbish that smells. You can request your neighbor if you can use their bins for a couple of days so you don’t have any rubbish in your bins.

Also, don’t leave bins close to your home where people will be able to climb on it to enter your home. Bins are one of the easiest ways for people to get into your home.

Clean your clothes 

When you are packing your clothes, cleaning your clothes and emptying your laundry may not come to mind.

However, you should clean your clothes well before you go on your long vacation so you don’t have wet clothes which you don’t know what to do with.

Tree and plants

Have you considered how you are going to save your plants and lawn when you are leaving your home for an extended period of time? You don’t want to come home to see a dry brown lawn and dead plants. 

You should look at setting up a watering system so you can make sure your plants and your grass get the water they need.

If you have a good neighbor or if you can ask your family or friend, you should ask them to come around once in a while and water the plants. 

Also, consider trimming your trees and plants and moan your lawn so when you return home, your home won’t look like a jungle.

Take care of your car

You don’t want to come home and have a car with a flat battery. It’s just a hassle to call someone to charge the battery. 

If you are comfortable disconnecting the battery of the car, you can do that so the battery doesn’t go flat. 

If you are not comfortable then you can request your trusted neighbor, your friend, or your family to come around once every couple of weeks to turn on the car so the car battery doesn’t go flat.

Put things on hold 

While you are on vacation, you can put a few things on hold so you don’t pay for things that you don’t use. You should go through your bills and see what you won’t be using when you are on an extended holiday. 

Consider putting your cable TV on hold or perhaps your newspaper subscription. You can also downgrade your Internet subscription to save some money.

If you don’t need unlimited fast Internet while you are away, you can subscribe for a slower low download limit plan for a few months.

Take care of your mail

When you have your mail piled up in your mailbox, it is one of the signs that you are not home. You will be the target of burglars easily. 

You should have the plan to clean your mailbox when you are going on a long vacation. As your friend, your family, or your neighbors to check the mail for you and slide the mail inside your door or keep it with them. 

Take pictures and videos of your home inside and out

Before you leave for your extended vacation, you should take pictures and videos of your entire home. That way when you return home, you know if anything has been changed you will know about it.

Also, if something happens to your place or if things get stolen you can show evidence to your insurance company and police. 

Should you turn off the water?

If you don’t need water, then you can turn off the main water line before you go on your extended vacation. This way if there are any leaks in your pipe, your house will not be flooded when you return from your holiday. 

After you turn off the main water line, turn on your taps to make sure there is no water coming out of the taps. Also, flush the toilet bowls so they are empty as well.

If you have a sprinkler system in place, you may need the waterline. Unless you have a rainwater tank or any other water supply connected to your irrigation system, you may need to leave the water line turned on.

Should I turn off the water heater?

You won’t need your water heater while you are on an extended holiday. Depending on your water heater, you can turn it off or set it to a low setting. 

This way, you will save some money on your heating bill. 

Should I turn off all the switches and unplug everything?

If you are not going to be home, then you won’t need to leave your switches turned on. Turn off as many switches as you can see in your home. This may save you some money when you return home.

You should also unplug everything from the switches. Unplugging things like your television, computer, and toasters will save damage in case there is a storm or lightning.

If you need to plug in anything, make sure to use a quality power board with a surge protector.

Should I leave my curtains open or closed when away?

If you live in an apartment, you can leave some of the curtains open but close the windows so you let some sun inside your apartment.

If you live in a house, you should close your curtain so people don’t find you away. It’s best to install a smart blind that you can open and close using an app even when you are not home.

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Whether you are leaving home for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or even a longer time, leaving home for an extended period of time, you need to plan the best way to leave the house empty. 

Leaving your home for an extended period of time and preparing your home for an extended period can be daunting however we hope that we have helped you to prepare your home for an extended vacation and that you know know what to do when leaving home for an extended period of time.

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