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Before You Jet: Essential Home Prep Tips for Travelers

Before You Jet: Essential Home Prep Tips for Travelers

Planning a trip is always exciting. The anticipation of new experiences, cultures, and landscapes can often overshadow important details, especially when it comes to preparing your home for your absence. Ensuring that your home is secure and taken care of while you’re away can provide peace of mind, allowing you to fully enjoy your getaway. Here are some essential tips to prep your home before you head off on your next adventure.

Secure Your Home

One of the foremost things to consider before you leave is ensuring your home’s security. Start by checking all windows and doors to make sure they’re locked. Don’t forget to double-check less obvious entry points like basement windows, garage doors, and gates. While it might be tempting to showcase photos on wall featuring vacation destinations, avoid publicizing your trip details on social media. Broadcasting your absence can make your home a target for potential intruders. 

Additionally, consider installing a home security system if you don’t have one. Modern systems often include cameras, alarm systems, and even smart doorbells that can give you real-time updates on your phone.

Light Up Your Home

A dark, vacant home can be a clear indicator to burglars that no one is home. Use timers to set your lights to turn on and off at various times throughout the evening. This will create the illusion that someone is home, deterring potential intruders.

Smart lighting systems can also be controlled remotely from your smartphone, allowing you to adjust your home’s lighting no matter where you are. Consider not only the interior lights but also exterior lights around entryways and walkways.

Manage Your Utilities

Before leaving, take steps to manage your home’s utilities. Unplug non-essential electronics to save energy and reduce the risk of electrical fires. This includes TVs, computers, kitchen appliances, and chargers.

Set your thermostat to an energy-saving mode. In winter, set the temperature to around 55 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent pipes from freezing. In the summer, set it to around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a smart thermostat, you can adjust it remotely based on weather changes or your return schedule.

Arrange for Mail and Deliveries

A pile of uncollected mail can be a clear sign that no one is home. Arrange for the postal service to hold your mail or have a trusted neighbor collect it for you. This also applies to newspapers and any scheduled deliveries.

Don’t forget to pause or delay regular subscription services, such as meal kits or magazines, until you return. This ensures that no packages are left unsecured at your doorstep.

Take Care of Your Plants and Pets

If you have indoor or outdoor plants, make arrangements for their care while you’re away. For shorter trips, you can use self-watering systems or place plants in a location where they will receive adequate light and moisture.

For pets, consider hiring a pet sitter or boarding them in a reputable facility. If you have a trusted neighbor or friend, they might be willing to check on your pets daily. Provide clear instructions and ensure they have access to all the necessary supplies.

Clean and Prepare Your Home

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Coming back to a clean home can be one of the best welcomes after a trip. Before leaving, take the time to clean out the refrigerator, throw away any perishables, and take out the trash. This helps prevent bad odors and pests.

Make sure laundry is done and stored away, and bedding is fresh. A quick vacuum and dusting can also go a long way. Consider enlisting a cleaning service for a thorough clean if you’re pressed for time.

Check Insurance and Emergency Contacts

Ensure that your home insurance is up to date before you leave. This can provide coverage in case of unexpected events like break-ins or natural disasters while you’re away.

Leave a set of keys and your travel itinerary with a trusted friend, neighbor, or family member. This ensures that someone can check on your home and reach out to you in case of an emergency. Make sure they know how to operate your security system and any other essential aspects of your home.

Final Walkthrough

Before you leave, do a final walkthrough of your home. Check that all windows and doors are securely locked, lights are set on timers, and appliances are unplugged. Ensure that all arrangements for mail, plants, and pets are confirmed and that your security system is armed.

Traveling can be stress-free when you know that your home is well-prepared and secure. With these essential home prep tips, you can embark on your journey with peace of mind, ready to create wonderful memories. Safe travels!

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