8 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Vacation

You’re getting ready to go on that vacation you’ve been planning for weeks or months. The bags are packed, the tickets are waiting at the airport, and you’re called to double check your reservations: you’ve thought of everything. Or have you? Whether it’s for a week or a month, there are steps you need to take to not only safeguard your home, but also make sure there isn’t something unpleasant—be it a bill or a mess—waiting for you.

Safeguarding Your HomePreparing Your Home for Vacation, TJ Woods Insurance Agency, Inc., Worcester, MA

A continually dark house is a potential signal to a burglar that there’s no-one home. Below are four tips that can help your house looked lived in, with a little help from technology or your neighbors.

  • Mail: newspapers and mail stacking up at your house is a sure sign of absence, plus it can lead to an unsightly pileup of papers or a full mailbox. Have your mail stopped or redirected to a PO box, or have the neighbors pick up your mail for you.
  • Lights: obviously you shouldn’t leave your house with all the lights on, but one or two strategically chosen lights can help ward off criminals. Get a motion-sensor adapter for your flood lights, and a timer for at least one of the interior lights so it can turn on after dark. There are even devices that can be paired with phone apps so you can turn them on remotely.
  • Car: make sure to park your car in the garage, to safeguard it from both the elements and theft. Ask neighbors to park in your driveway.
  • Social Media: watch out about putting your vacation dates and plans out on social media. Send those messages out to trusted friends, and never post them publicly.

Powering Down Your Home

Putting your home into hibernation can save you money and damages. No one wants to return to a house with burst pipes or leaks, or a massive power bill. These four tips can make your return to home as painless as possible.

  • Heating and Cooling: while leaving your thermostat at its normal ranges will leave you with a staggering power bill when you get back, turning it off can damage plants or freeze pipes. For summer vacations leaving the air conditioning threshold at 85 degrees, while for winter absences leave the heating around 35.
  • Water: turn off water to your appliances, or the main shut-off valve if you don’t have any devices that you need to keep running, such as sprinklers. Put your water heater in vacation mode, or turn it off completely, and check the pump settings on pools and hot tubs and dial them back accordingly.
  • Sanitary: no one wants their house filled with bad odors when they return. Take a long look at everything in the fridge, and consume, freeze, or throw out any perishables. Pour half a cup of chlorine or bleach into your toilets to prevent bacteria growth. Throw out (or give away) any opened items in your pantry to avoid pest issues.
  • Plants: while you’ve already seen to the animals in your house, plants need love too. For a short trip it might just be worth lending keys to a neighbor or friend, but for longer trips you may want to invest in self-watering stakes. For outdoor plants either make sure they are covered by your sprinklers, or have someone come by, and adjust your sprinkler settings accordingly.

Use these tips to keep your home safe and healthy. If you’re looking for more ways to safeguard your home, while at home or away, contact TJ Woods Insurance. We can help you insure your home and make sure you’re protected.