A vacation can be the perfect way to unwind, de-stress, and even get a new perspective on challenges that normally occupy your mind. However, getting away for a while isn’t as simple as booking a flight and packing your bags. If you want to enjoy peace of mind – and protect your most important investment – it pays to think ahead so your home will still be in great condition when you get back.
Most of us know to lock the doors and double check that we haven’t left the stove on, but there are many other things you could, and should, do to protect your house while you’re on vacation. Here are a few of the most important:
Enlist the Help of a Neighbour
It’s always a good idea to let at least one trusted neighbour know that you’ll be away, so they can keep an eye on your home. You may even want to give them a key to your house, in case they need to get inside in the event of an emergency.
Consider Installing an Alarm
A home alarm system doesn’t have to cost much, but they can take a weight off your mind. Not only will your home and property be safer from intruders, but many modern systems let you look through cameras inside your home from tablets and other devices while you’re away.
Have Someone Look after Your Landscaping
Weeds and pests can take over your property in a remarkably short amount of time if you aren’t there to tend to your yard. If you plan on being away from your home for longer than a week, it might be worth it to have someone come and look after your landscaping.
Close the Curtains
You probably don’t want strangers to be able to see inside your house while it’s unoccupied. And closing the curtain reduces the risk that excessive sunlight will bleach or damage furniture and rugs.
Protect against Freezing
In some older homes, it can be necessary to drain pipes before turning down the heat and going on a longer trip, as water can freeze, damaging your plumbing and leading to expensive repairs.
Pay Your Bills Ahead of Time
You don’t want to find yourself paying late fees (or worse yet, having services cut off) just because you decided to go out of town for a while. If you aren’t set up on an automatic withdrawal system, pay any important bills ahead of time so you won’t have to worry about them while you’re away.
Make Sure Your Pets Will Be Cared for
It’s a good idea to have your pets boarded, or to get a neighbour to look after them, even if you’re only going away for a weekend. Animals may become frightened if they don’t see family members around, and might run away in search of you.
Clean out Your Fridge
This is an easy one to overlook, but the last thing you want is to come home to the smell of rotting food. Take a few minutes on the day of your departure to throw out anything in your home that’s likely to be spoiled by the time you will return.
Be Sure to Lock up and Turn Everything off
You already knew to do this, of course, but you might want to make yourself a final checklist before you leave and cross items off before you walk out the door. That way, you won’t find yourself sitting on a plane wondering if you forgot to take care of something important.
Follow these tips and you’ll be able to stop worrying about your home while you’re on vacation and be able to truly relax in peace!