When you go on vacation, you should be able to leave all of your responsibilities behind, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of responsibilities to deal with before you get in the car and head to the airport!
Most people spend a lot of time thinking about all the things they should do before they leave, but it’s just as important to understand what NOT to do before you go on vacation.
Leave windows and doors unlocked
You’re probably thinking, “Duh! Of course I’m going to lock everything up before we leave!” but there are many locks that get overlooked.
Many people get careless about locking upstairs windows, but burglars aren’t afraid to sneak in through an upstairs bedroom window. Do you lock the door between your garage and your home? Most people don’t, but it’s actually pretty easy for a thief to get into your garage. You also need to spend time considering pet doors. They definitely need to be locked and secured!
Forget to ask someone to check in at home
It’s easy to turn all the lights off, lock the doors, and be on your way, but don’t forget to ask someone to check in on your home while you’re gone!
Even if you have a home alarm system, it can only do so much. Burglars keep their eyes open for porch lights that don’t get turned off, windows blinds that remain open day and night, and mail that piles up in the mailbox. If you ask someone to check in every once in a while, they can pick up the mail, open and close curtains, and they can even turn off lights that may have accidentally been left on. If you really want to go above and beyond, hire a house sitter!
Tell everyone where you’re going and how long you’ll be there
There’s no denying that escaping to go on a relaxing vacation is exciting, which means you’ll want to share all the juicy details with your friends and family. Unfortunately, with the age of the internet and Facebook, those aren’t the only people who are able to learn that you’re away from home.
Don’t tell everyone where you’re going, how long you’ll be away, or post pictures on Facebook during your vacation. You’re just asking for an old acquaintance or even a stranger to take off with some of your belongings while you’re gone. Instead, inform only a few close family members and neighbors of your trip. That way, they can keep an eye on your property and they’ll know when to expect you home. You’ll feel more comfortable knowing that shady acquaintance from college has no idea where you are or what you’re doing.
Keep everything plugged in and running
There’s a lot that stays plugged in and running in the house while we’re in and out throughout the day, which means you’re likely to forget about them when you leave. However, you’ll enjoy greater peace of mind on your vacation if you spend some time unplugging and resetting home appliances so you don’t have to worry if you remembered to turn your hair straightener off.
Unplug unessential items, like phone chargers, televisions, hairdryers, and anything else that you won’t be using while you’re gone. That includes turning off power strips.
Reset your thermostat. There’s no reason to keep the interior temperature comfortable if you’re not at home! You may also want to consider turning off the water, if your pipes are prone to freezing when you’re traveling in the winter.
If you really want to make sure that your home is protected while you’re out of town, consider installing a home security system.