Here’s a “to do” list for your home before leaving on your fabulous vacation this summer. These simple and free steps will give you peace of mind while you’re away, could save you big money, and they’ll make your homecoming more pleasant besides.
Turn off your water main.
Leaks happen. Since nothing ruins the afterglow of a fabulous vacation like returning to a flooded home, turn off your main water supply, especially if you’re going to be gone for a week or more. If you’re taking a winter vacation, however, and live in freezing temperatures, you’ll need to keep the water on to prevent your pipes from freezing.
Unplug all electronic devices.
Yep, your electronics are energy vampires even if they’re not on. You’ll save on your energy bill, and you’ll also help prevent an electrical fire while you’re away.
Invest in a timer.
Nothing screams “Come rob me!” like a house with its lights off for days. You can further deter burglars by putting timers on lights in different rooms of your home, and set them to go on and off at various times throughout the night. No one will know you’re not actually there!
Stop your mail or have a trusted neighbor collect your mail and newspapers. Nuf said.
Adjust your thermostat to save electricity.
If you live in a place where air conditioning or heat is a must while you’re away, set the thermostat a few degrees higher than usual during summer and lower than usual during winter. It’s critical to keep your home warm enough to prevent pipes from freezing while you’re away.
Pour baking soda down your drains and toilets.
If you do, you’ll avoid the “What’s that smell?” game when you arrive home. If you add vinegar, even better! Baking soda provides natural and safe odor absorption, and vinegar prevents the development of bacteria.
Seal all food carefully.
You’ve heard the saying, “When the cat’s away, the mice will play.” You can stop them from playing in your pantry by ensure that all cereal boxes and dried goods are sealed tight.
Clean your home for “Future You.”
I know, I know. But your post-vacation self will thank you for taking out the trash, vacuuming to prevent a critter invasion, and, if you want to be really kind to Future You, put fresh sheets on your bed, too!
Inform your bank that you’ll be traveling.
Letting your bank know that you’ll be away can avoid having your credit cards blocked during a trip.