When you have booked for a vacation, the excitement starts to build up in the months leading up to your much-needed trip.
With a wide array of activities that you can enjoy while away from the house, your focus should be on making the trip your best one yet. But before you lock up your home and hit the road, there are some important things you need to do to prepare your home.
If you are going on a quick weekend getaway, then you probably don’t need to do much preparation. But if you will be away for a minimum of three weeks, then you definitely need to ensure that your idle home will be secure and clean while you are happily on holiday.
Ways to Prepare Your Home Before Going on a Vacation
Below, we give you a simple vacation preparation checklist so you have one less thing to worry about when going on a long holiday:
Give a Spare Key to Someone You Trust
If you have a neighbour or relative that you trust wholeheartedly, give them a spare key to your home so you have someone you can instruct to enter your home in case of an emergency. That a neighbour or relative can also check in on your place or simply water the plants while you are away.
It will give you peace of mind to have someone trustworthy to keep an eye on your property when you can’t be there.
Inform the Alarm Company
Letting the alarm company know that your home will be idle for weeks will prompt them to provide a quicker response if the alarm is tripped.
The procedure for alarm companies is to immediately dispatch an alarm response car to your home when the alarm goes off to investigate whether a break-in occurred. If in fact, there was a break-in, police will be contacted to come to the scene.
If you are travelling overseas, it is important that you leave local contact so the alarm company can get in touch with someone you trust in case they need access to your home. In this case, you can leave the contact number of the person with whom you left your spare house key.
Another option is to have a call list and to leave instructions to the alarm company to contact the numbers down the list rather than calling your number first.
Set the Water Heater
Standby heat loss accounts for a large percentage of energy usage in your water heater, so if you will be away from home from an extended period, the best thing to do is to turn the dial to vacation setting. This will keep the water heater pilot on, and prevent the appliance from coming on when there is no need for heating water.
As such, you get to save energy during the few weeks that you will be gone. When you get back, simply set the heater back to the warm setting, so you can have a full tank of hot water again.
Schedule Lights on a Timer
You and very close people to you in the neighbourhood may know about your vacation, but this fact should not be public information.
In order to prevent your home from being noticeable to intruders, put some lights around your house on timers. This will avoid any suspicions to outsiders as it will appear as if someone is home.
Unplug Electrical Appliances
There are potential hazards to keeping appliances plugged when no one will be home for a few weeks. If a short circuit or an unexpected power cut occurs and your appliances are plugged in, there is a possibility that some of your appliances will be damaged by the voltage spikes when the power comes back on.
Here is a list of electrical appliances that you must disable or adjust before you leave for a long vacation:
While you should not turn off your air conditioning unit to remove the humidity from the air, it is not recommended to leave it in the thermostat that you normally set when you are at home. Instead, set it around 83 to 86 degrees.
This will allow the unit to remove excess humidity and prevent mould and musty smells from building up.
Burglars often target empty homes, so it makes sense to keep some light on even when you are away to minimize the risk of being targeted. But if you are concerned about saving energy, a smarter solution is to set your main lights on timers to make it look like there are people moving around the house.
One light in the hallway that is on will not make a burglar believe that someone is home, so you want to set lights to turn off and on several times a day. For example, you can program the downstairs lights to turn off around 9:00 pm when you usually head upstairs.
Router and Modems
These electronics are always on and consuming electric power. Make sure to unplug these before leaving your house and you’ll certainly save energy cost, on top of preventing your WIFI from getting hacked while you’re away.
There’s nothing more stressful than coming home from a relaxing vacation to a house that is disorganized and full of clutter. So before you go on a trip somewhere far, make sure to clean the house as best as you can. That way, you have a welcoming house to come home to.
If you are time-crunched because of all the preparation you need to do, consider seeking the expertise of house cleaning service to get the job done without tiring yourself.
Letting professional cleaners do the cleaning relieves you from unnecessary worry days before your most awaited trip. This also allows you to focus on other important things you need to accomplish before going on vacation.
Lock Up Everything
Locking up every possible entrance to your house should be on the top of your to-do list before leaving for the trip. Everything from the windows to your fence should be locked. Double-checking everything before stepping out of your premises is important in order for you to enjoy your vacation without any worry about your house’s security.