Going on a vacation is a wonderful thing. You’ve probably spent months planning it, putting aside some money so you can enjoy a bit of luxury and elegance once you get to your destination. This is the time when you forget about your job and all the stress and just enjoy the sunshine on the beach, or by the pool. However, while you’re out there relaxing and having fun, what about your home? Did you do everything to secure your house and yard before you set off? Here’s the ultimate check list before going on a vacation.

Here is What You Need to Do Before You Go on a VacationHide a pair of keys

You never know what can happen, perhaps you misplace your own keys somewhere in your suitcase, and now you stand before your door, desperate to use the bathroom. Or you remember you left the water heater or sprinklers on and you need someone to check it, but they can’t get in. for situations such as these you need a pair of spare keys. Of course, you shouldn’t leave these on a windowsill or hanging by the door, but rather hide them somewhere safe: under a rock, or a flower pot, or leave them hidden in the birdhouse. You can even leave a pair to your reliable neighbors or good friends.

Keep your house clean

Of course, when you get back from a vacation a couple of weeks later, your house will probably be covered in dirt, but if you don’t leave it clean you may find some dangerous bacteria too. Throw away any food that might go bad in the time when you’re not there, and take out the trash from every room – you never know when something will start stinking. Pour a half cup of vinegar and a bit of water into your garbage disposal and run it to clean it up.

Here is What You Need to Do Before You Go on a VacationPrecautions with plumbing and electricity

Leaving your appliances on while you’re away can become a costly problem when you get back home. Not only will they use the electricity needlessly, but they might break down while you’re not there.  Smaller appliances should be unplugged just as some of the electronic devices. Leave a couple of them on, though, if you want your house to look lived in. Turn the water heater off or put it in “vacation” mode if you can. Your sinks, dishwasher, and washing machine don’t need to use water for a while, so you can turn off their water valves.

Mind the temperature

Turning off your thermostat is not an option, regardless of the season. You don’t want your house to freeze during the winter or become too stuffy during the summer. However, heating your empty home in the winter, and cooling it in the summer is also a bad idea. Your thermostat should be set to a temperature that is relatively close to the outside temperature, meaning warmer in the summer, and cooler in the winter. This way, your plants, furniture, and pets will be protected too.

Here is What You Need to Do Before You Go on a VacationGet a house sitter

If you have a pet, it can be really difficult for you to organize a vacation without having to think about taking them with you or finding a kennel. Both of these can be incredibly expensive, and the pet can be traumatized by sudden change in environment. To avoid all this and save some money, you can opt for house sitting instead: offer somebody to live in your home while you’re away and to take care of your pet. This way, your home and your pet will be looked after, and you will not have to worry about spending thousands of dollars more.

Don’t make your home look empty

Burglars are a real threat, and a house that looks empty is the best target for such criminals. However, you don’t want to leave your lights and your TV on for a couple of weeks, do you? Luckily, you can make your house look lived in with just a couple of clicks. Set timers on lights and radio or a TV so that they turn on periodically and make your home look like someone’s there. With different smartphone apps, you can turn on lights and home appliances as you’re getting a massage on a beach and sipping a cocktail. Try not to use regular patterns though, if your home suddenly comes ‘alive’ every day at eight o’clock, it’s a sign that timers are used.

This probably seems like a lot of work, and you don’t need that much stress – you are going on a holiday. On the other hand, if you don’t take precautions you may find yourself worrying about things back home. You will catch yourself stressing over the alarm and whether you left the water heater on. If you make sure you have done everything you can before your trip you will be more relaxed, sleep better, and have a great time without stress.


Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Travel Tips & Hacks
  1. Life, Other Than 2 years ago

    Great advice. I can’t count the number of people I know who have had problems at their homes while they were away. Flooding is a terrible thing to come back to. It is definitely worth taking the time to ensure everything is in order first. House sitters are a great idea.

  2. LC 2 years ago

    Getting broken into is always my worry, I tend to hide all my valuables or give them to friends or family to look after if we’re away for awhile! A house sitter is a great idea – I would have loved to have had one to water my plants last time we were away! Maybe my orchids wouldn’t have died.

  3. Good advice! Would add Triple check doors and windows are locked. Detach battery in an old car so it’s not dead when you are back. Get someone to water plant if gone for a while.

  4. Tara 2 years ago

    Although it rarely happens, I love to give the house a thorough cleaning before we travel. There is nothing better than coming home to a clean house. I love the idea of a smartphone app to turn on/off lights while we’re away.

  5. Alice Teacake 2 years ago

    I had no idea you could use smartphone apps to control your lights back at the home…whilst you’re on the beach? That’s awesome! I agree housesitting is a good idea too because travellers like me love to do that job 😀

  6. Rob Taylor 2 years ago

    Funny that you mention not making your home look empty, as we always are sure to clean extra well before traveling. After some recent safety issues in our community though, we’ve started going the route of a house-sitter, which has been great and it feel good knowing things are safe while we’re gone.

  7. Lara Dunning 2 years ago

    Great tips. The last thing you want to worry about on vacation is your house. Hiding a pair of keys or giving a pair to a friend is a life saver. Being locked out of the house is the worst, especially if you are tired after a long day of traveling.

  8. Vyjay 2 years ago

    Interesting post. When we travel we focus on our travels and destinations and forget about our homes. You have provided some sensible tips to ensure you find your home as you left it when you return. The tip about hiding a pair of keys is very important 🙂

  9. Stéphanie Langlet 2 years ago

    I often forget to do a lot of these!
    This evening, I also learned from my internet / phone provider that I can suspend my subscription when I go to India for several months. It was good to know I could pay only 3€/month and not almost 60!!!

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