The time has finally come, you are so close to taking those packed bags and at long last getting (insert slow clap) OUT. OF TOWN. For more of us, it’s felt like way too long since that’s happened, and it’s so easy to run out the door not worrying about what’s on the other side of that vacation, BUT we don’t recommend it. It’s already hard coming home from sweet sweet vacation days, and coming home to a weird stench (or much worse), is not the way you want to re-enter normalcy. Below are some of our go-to tips on leaving your home for vacation, worry-free.
There is no better protection for your home while you’re gone than simply looking like you are NOT gone. For shorter trips leave a small light on. For longer trips, it’s worth buying a cheap automatic timer for lights to turn on at different points throughout the day. If you have a security system, alert them that you will be out of town, as well.
In addition, don’t forget about that spare key. No matter how tricky you think you are with your key placement, being gone with a key hidden near your home is a dangerous situation. Avoid the potential of those keys ending up in hands you don’t want them to, by removing the spare and giving it to a trusted friend or family member while gone.
On that note- be sure to stop the mail & paper. There is no better sign that someone isn’t home than letting a big pile of newspapers pile up!
Lastly, and it may seem obvious, but do you really always lock ALL windows and doors. Be sure to lock even the hard to reach windows or high patio doors. It’s not worth seeing if someone could reach those hard to reach windows when you could instead just go ahead and lock.
(Bonus Tip: Don’t announce on super public social media that you are leaving town, or at least the exact dates. That is dangerous information!)
Prep Your Kitchen
Avoid spoiled food and everything else that comes along by cleaning out your fridge before you leave. Bonus? Wipe down the shelves, and do a little organizing while there is less food in the fridge for a little post-vacation joy.
Potentially the easiest, yet most crucial, thing to do is to take out the trash! Nothing is worse than coming back to less than desirable smells and flies in the kitchen! In addition, use white vinegar and water in your garbage disposal and run for a minute to leave a clean disposal while gone.
It’s not smart to completely shut off your AC in the summer because of humidity (and potentially causing your refrigerator to overwork), but it is definitely your best bet to set the AC to 85 degrees to save on energy costs and wasting electricity for not being home. In the winter you can lower to 50 - 60 degrees, but going any lower risks freezing pipes.
Also good to note is that even when appliances are turned off, there is still an electrical draw. To save electricity, prevent the potential disaster of fire catching, and save electronics from electrical storms, it’s best to just unplug!
Turn Water Off
Because you will not be using water while you’re gone, your safest bet (especially for long trips), is to simply turn off your water with the main shut-off valve. The quick little shut off could save from extremely expensive flooding. (Hint: You can also put your water heater in “vacation mode” to save on energy).
However, don’t forget about your yard! If you have a yard that requires watering, make sure your timed sprinklers are on possibly, and if not, it’s probably worth someone coming to help your yard out while you’re gone!
There’s something to be said about coming home from vacation to a clean house. This isn’t for potential robbers, or lightning strikes, or saving energy … it’s just for you, and the bliss that is coming home to a clean house. Clear the clutter, and treat yourself to fresh sheets to ease yourself back into post-vacation life.