Travel tips: How to prepare your home when going on vacation

Prepare your home and keep it safe and secure while traveling. Give contact information to friend or relative, have them check on the home.

It’s great to get away from home and take a vacation. To ensure that your vacation is as worry free as possible, make sure your home is safe and secure before departing on your trip.

Depending on the length of your vacation, it is a good idea to throw out all perishable items from the refrigerator and cabinets so that food won’t spoil while you are gone. In general, the refrigerator and freezer should be kept almost empty, in the event a prolonged power outage occurs during your absence which causes frozen food to defrost.

Travel tips: How to prepare your home when going on vacation

Empty all garbage and trash cans and wash all dirty laundry to reduce odors from building up while you are away. Give all houseplants a good soaking.
If vacationing in the winter, make sure the thermostat is set at a temperature that will prevent the pipes from freezing while you are away.

Before leaving home, make sure that all windows and doors are securely locked to prevent outside entry, and activate the alarm system if the home is equipped with one.

If the home is not equipped with an alarm system, it is a good idea to close all blinds and curtains to lower the risk of burglary. What a thief can’t see, he won’t try to take. Leave a few low wattage lights on in the home to make it look as it someone is home at night and also leave on at least one outdoor light.

If the home is equipped with a fireproof safe, all important personal papers and jewelry should be stored there before going on vacation. Make note of the combination for the safe to give a trusted friend while you are gone, in case there is any need to gain access to the safe.

Give the name, address and phone number of your vacation destination to a trusted friend or relative in case you need to be contacted while on vacation. Also give a friend or relative keys to any safe deposit box or other secured areas that contain legal documents such as wills, deeds, bonds, etc. Also give the friend a complete list of instructions that sets forth all of the steps that need to be taken to execute your last wishes in the event of a catastrophic event, such as your family’s death while on vacation.

It is always a good idea to have someone check up on your home at least once or twice a week while you are gone. Give the key to a trusted neighbor or friend and have them make sure everything is in order.

Don’t let mail or newspapers pile up in the mailbox, because this is a sure sign that you are away. Have the mail and newspaper deliveries suspended while you are away, or have a friend retrieve the mail on a daily basis.

If you follow these simple steps before leaving on a vacation, you can help ensure that your home will stay safe and protected while you are away.

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