suitcases ready for traveling

Prepping Your Home Before Going On Vacation

As you get ready for your vacation, packing and organizing your travel arrangements may be on top of your mind. However, it’s crucial not to overlook the necessity of preparing your home before you leave.

While it may require some extra effort, ensuring your home is ready for vacation is key to maximizing relaxation at your destination. Think of this as your peace-of-mind checklist for a stress-free getaway.

Don’t Leave Any Clues for Thieves

Vacation season is prime time for criminals to make a visit. Take a few precautions to make your home look lived-in while you’re away.

  • Park at least one car in the driveway, so it looks like someone’s at home
  • Hold all mail and packages or ask a neighbor to bring in your deliveries
  • Bring in your spare keys
  • Put your lights on a timer to mimic your family’s typical schedule
  • Mow your lawn and trim hedges
  • Set up smart locks for helpful neighbors and pet sitters
  • Play it safe and don’t mention your travel plans on social media
Pre-Clean Your House

Returning home to a messy environment can dampen post-vacation relaxation. Take a moment to tidy up before you depart. That way you can come home and rest, instead of cleaning up a mess.

  • Clean out the refrigerator and freezer (before you take out the trash!)
  • Take out the trash — check every room
  • Vacuum, dust and wipe down counters and sinks
  • Make your bed, so you can sink right in when you get back
Set Everything to Energy-Saving Mode

If you’re gone for 3 days or more, take a vacation from your electric bill by dialing back your energy usage.

One common question that arises is: What’s the ideal thermostat setting for a vacation? While your intention might be to economize, it’s crucial not to shut off your HVAC system entirely. A minimal operation is still necessary to prevent extreme temperatures. 

During the peak of summer travel, the temperature inside your home tends to rise with the escalating heat outdoors. Without any air conditioning, indoor temperatures could easily surpass 90 degrees.

A good rule of thumb is to raise the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees higher than you usually do during the day without exceeding 85 degrees. This is the perfect compromise between reducing energy and protecting your home’s interior. 

  • If you use smart home automation, turn your thermostat off completely so it won’t turn on every time your neighbor brings in the mail. If you have pets staying in the house, keep the thermostat on and set at a comfortable temperature.
  • Unplug small electronics, especially chargers, which continually draw electricity and can increase your electric bill.
  • Close blinds and curtains to keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Then your air conditioner and heater won’t have to work too hard while you’re on vacation.
  • Put the water heater on vacation mode if it has that option, so it operates more efficiently and gets a well-deserved break (like you!)

Checked everything off? Then you’re all set. Enjoy your vacation and relax knowing you’ll come back to a happy home and lower energy bill!