Going on vacation is a wonderful way to recharge your batteries, get out of the everyday routine and reconnect with yourself and those you love (or at least like.)
To truly be able to let go, plan a little in advance, and have confidence in that you can return to a home that is as you left it.
Here are six ways to protect your home so you can relax on a well-deserved vacation:
Stop Mail and All Deliveries:
With an increase of people shopping on-line, plan ahead so that no deliveries arrive at your home while you are away. You can stop the mail - but what about that order you placed with Amazon? Will it be sitting outside your house for days, getting wet and attracting attention to your home? Arrange for a neighbor to pick up any late or unexpected packages.
Keep it Real with the Lights:
Leaving a few lights on is always a great idea, but if the same lights are left on for the entire duration of your trip, it may only be drawing more attention to the fact you are gone. If you do not regularly leave lights on and suddenly your house is lit up like Las Vegas at 3:00 am- someone may take notice. Timers are a great solution to this but be sure to test them before you leave.
Remove Outside Keys:
If you have children who are not capable of keeping track of a key, having a hidden key to get in is critical. That said, you should remove the key while away and leave it with a trusted neighbor. You want to be sure that someone can get in if necessary but leaving a key around in an obvious place (which is often required with children) is increasing your chance of theft.
Technology is doing wonders with such issues, as the usage of smart locks is on the rise. For guidance on what lock is best for your home, check out a recent article for Wirecutter on the Best Smart Locks.
Keep Up with Snow Removal and Lawn Care:
You can have all deliveries stopped, lights going on and off via a timer and a smart lock, but if you are away during a snowstorm and your driveway is not plowed as usual, it is pretty clear you are gone (especially during a school vacation week.) If you typically shovel or snow blow your own driveway, be sure to arrange for a plower to take care of treating your driveway while away. If not, you may as well put a large sign on your driveway saying - "Hey no one is home!"
The same is true if you mow and landscape your own lawn. Though not as obvious, if you are meticulous about your lawn and then it suddenly looks like a meadow - chances are someone will take notice.
Disconnect from Social Media:
Everyone loves to brag about their cool vacation on social media, blasting to the world that they are not home. If you cannot resist, do so once you return home.
Don't Rush out the Door:
Have you ever sat down on a plane only to ponder if you turned off the stove, shut the bathroom window or left the garage door open? These stressful thoughts are in the anti-vacation mindset. If you plan ahead, you can take a moment to go through every room and ensure everything is as it should be. This ensures you can completely let go and relax and most importantly - enjoy your vacation!