How to Prepare Your Home for Your Absence during Summer Travel

By Lyle Weischwill | May. 19, 2023 4:47 am PST

When you get ready to leave for your summer vacation, don’t forget to prepare your home for your absence. Keep your house and everything in it safe from potential damage, flooding and theft by following these helpful tips. You’ll be able to fully enjoy your vacation without worrying about your home.

Have a House Sitter Take Care of Your Home

When you’ll be gone for more than a week, it’s a good idea to have a house sitter stay in your home – or at least visit and check your home periodically during your absence. Having a person physically monitoring your home will give you the peace of mind that everything is okay (or that someone is there to handle any situation that arises). A house sitter is a must when you have pets and or plants that need care during your absence. Many plants can survive a week without being watered but will begin to wither if they dry out too much.

Make sure that the house sitter is a responsible person that you can trust to help you keep your home safe.

When you use a house sitter, you may be able skip many of the items discussed below.

Install Smart Devices to Monitor Your Home

You may already have some smart devices installed in your home such as a video doorbell or security cameras. If not, adding smart devices can help you remotely monitor your home while you’re travelling. Monitoring your home via smart devices will give you the peace of mind that everything is okay in your home when you’re not there – or that you’ll know immediately if something is wrong.

Here are the top smart devices to help you monitor your home while you’re on vacation:

  • Video doorbell. This smart device will give you a view of your porch and notify you when anyone rings your doorbell while you’re away. Video surveillance of your front porch is valuable for your peace of mind when you’re vacationing.

  • Security cameras. Setting up smart security cameras along with motion-detection security lighting deters theft. Knowing that your house is safe or immediately seeing potential threats while you’re away will keep you from worrying and wondering if everything is okay at home.

  • Smart AC thermostat. A smart air conditioner thermostat such as Nest will help you monitor and control your HVAC settings while you’re away. You see the temperature inside your home and set the AC controls remotely through your phone to control the environment inside you home. Using a smart thermostat you can save money and prevent your home from getting too hot or humid while you’re away. You can also start up the AC to cool things down just prior to your arrival back to your home. Entering a nice, cool home will top off a restful vacation.

  • Water leak monitoring device. This smart device is an excellent gadget to have installed to help you immediately know about a water leak so you can take immediate action to prevent home damage. Installing a leak monitor with an automatic shut-off valve will provide even more protection and peace of mind.

  • Gas leak monitor and shut-off valve. Just as with the smart water leak detector, installing a gas leak monitor and shut-off valve will help protect your home when you have gas appliances such as a water heater, gas dryer, gas stove and gas furnace. When you have this device, you’ll know immediately when there’s a gas leak in your home and the gas supply has been shut off by the smart valve.

  • Smart light switches and electrical outlets. You can easily turn on and off lights in your home remotely using these devices. This tactic helps deter theft while you’re away.

Setting up some or all of these smart devices will help you control what’s going on in your home while you’re on vacation. You’ll be able to relax and enjoy your travel with less worries.

Image of a technician servicing an appliance

Prepare Your Appliances

The best way to prepare your appliances for your vacation is to have them professionally cleaned and maintained by a Sears Technician. A Sears Technician will clean and check all of your appliances for problems. Get your washing machine fill hoses checked before you go on vacation. Have a technician check all of the gas lines in your gas appliances during a Sears Cleaning & Maintenance Service call. Save money by bundling all of your appliance maintenance checks into one service call.

As you leave for vacation, consider turning off the water supply to the washing machine and dishwasher to prevent any chance of water leaks while you’re away. If you have gas appliances, you may also want to shut off the gas valves to those appliances if they won’t be used during your absence. Unplug appliances that won’t be used while you’re away.

Get the Yard Ready

Mow the yard the day before you leave unless you have a yard service that mows it regularly. If you do your own lawn, have a yard service provider mow the lawn if grass will overgrow by the time you return.

Water plants and the lawn the day before you leave. Plants will likely be okay if you’re only gone for a week. If you’re gone for 2 weeks, the lawn and plants may suffer without water. Consider having someone water them for you.

Prepare the Kitchen

Use up or dispose of any foods that will expire during your time away. Empty the trash before you leave to prevent smells and bugs from invading your kitchen while you’re away. Cover fruits and vegetables that you store outside of the fridge to prevent fruit flies from building up in your kitchen.

Take Security Precautions

Make sure that your home and possessions are secure while you’re away. Lock up important papers such as passports and wills in a fire proof box. Leave an interior light on while you’re gone. If you have smart switches, change which light is turned on. You can also use a timer or timers to turn lights on and off while you’re away so that it looks like your home is occupied.

If you have a monitored security system installed in your home, notify the security service that you’ll be away. Make sure that all security cameras and devices are working properly before you leave.

Have a neighbor or family member pick up any deliveries or packages that will arrive at your home during your trip. Let trusted neighbors know where you’ll be. Give them emergency contact numbers if appropriate. Let your family know where you’ll be and when you expect to return.

Taking these precautions and making sure that your home is thoroughly prepared for your absence will help make your vacation smooth and enjoyable. Vacations are for relaxing with no worries or problems.

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