1. LOCK IT UP:
You probably lock your front door when you come in and out on a regular basis, but before heading out of town, check your other doors too: back, porch, garage, and any others. Check those windows as well; you’ll want to lock ground floor windows to prevent easy access to your home and second floor windows to prevent precipitation from getting in. Finally, if you have a fireplace, close your flue — you don’t want furry or feathered friends camping out into your home when you’re gone.
2. LIGHTS ON TIMERS:
Put a few of your lamps on timers so your house isn’t dark all the time —a sure sign that no one’s home. Instead of having them all turn on and off at the same time, stagger them so it’s not too obvious that they’re on a timer. Consider installing switches that you can manage from your cell-phone. These applications allow you to create different programs to avoid predictability.
3. MAIL AND NEWSPAPERS:
If you’ll be gone for more than a week, call your post office to stop mail delivery until you return. You also can have a trusted friend stop by to collect your mail, but you’ll want to make sure they do so every day. If you subscribe to your local newspaper, stop delivery of that too.
4. TELL THE NEIGHBORS:
It’s a good idea to let a neighbor or two know that you’ll be gone and ask them to keep an eye on the place (and let you know if anything seems amiss). Give a trusted neighbor your key so they can check up on your home every other day, just to make sure everything’s as it should be.
5. ADDED SECURITY:
Many of us have hidden house keys somewhere near our home, but if you’ll be out of town, you’ll want to bring those inside. If you’re genuinely concerned about someone breaking into your home, consider installing a camera-based security system or a camera doorbell with motion sensors to see who approaches your house when you’re not there.
6. LAWN CARE:
If it’s lawn mowing season, you’ll want to be sure your lawn doesn’t become overgrown when you’re on vacation — a sure sign that no one’s around! If you’ll be gone for a week or less, make sure you cut the grass before you go. If your trip will be longer, make sure that you secure lawn care to keep your property looking like it’s being cared for.
7. ADJUST YOUR THERMOSTAT AND WATER:
If it’s summer season, bring your thermostat up to 78 while you’re gone to save energy and energy costs. You might also turn your water heater down, though you can both save money and avoid any unchecked leaks by turning off your water altogether or at least having someone check your lawn for broken sprinkler lines.
8. CLEAN THE REFRIGERATOR AND PANTRY:
It’s great to come back home after a trip, but not if your kitchen is full of spoiled food. Clean perishables out of your fridge, and check your pantry for items with a shorter shelf like (like bread, which will surely be a bag of mold if you return after more than a week). If you really want to plan ahead, stash a quick meal in the freezer that you can make right when you get back home.
Power surges can damage your electronics, and there’s no need for most electronics to be plugged in while you’re not at home. Before you head out, unplug your computer, TV, and any other appliance that doesn’t need to run while you’re gone.
9. DON’T BROADCAST YOUR PLANS:
OK, technically this isn’t preparing your home, but it’s still very much worth mentioning that you should not talk about your upcoming trip on social media. This is especially the case if your account is public, but even if it isn’t, it’s probably not a great idea to tell everyone you’re connected with that your home is about to be vacant. Keep your plans off your feeds, and post your photos when you return.
Don’t forget to book your Ground Shuttle to get you to the airport on time and without any hassle. Let us do the driving!