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Prepare for going out of town

Tis the season for holiday travel to start to appear on everyone’s mind. Thanksgiving is around the corner and that means people from far and near will be traveling to see their families. This is the perfect time to review some of the most basic things you can do to make sure your home is vacation safe so you can sit back and enjoy your time away.

1. Place Mail & Deliveries on Hold

USPS has a very easy to use online mail hold form that is available for most addresses.  If you don’t have the online option, you can fill out a form at your post office or ask your postal carrier for a form.  If you’re expecting a UPS or FedEx delivery, contact them with your tracking number and they should be able to hold your packages for a limited time at one of their facilities.  Also place other deliveries like newspapers, water, or food on hold.

2. Outside Your Home 

Do a cleanup of the outside of your home.  You want it to look lived in, not abandoned.  See if you can set up your exterior lights on timers.  Especially if you have holiday lights.  If you might get snow while you’re gone, ask a neighbor to walk around your door and property so they leave footprints.  You can even ask a neighbor to park in your driveway while you’re gone.



3. Tell a Trusted Neighbor 

If you have a neighbor who you know and trust, let them know when you’ll be gone and ask them to keep an eye on your property.  Leave your contact information so they can reach you if there are any problems.

4. Interior Lighting 

Place light timers on some lamps.  I like the ones that have a random setting so that it’s more realistic when you’re gone.  There are some that will use a set time and then vary it by a random 1-30 minutes so it’s not coming on at the same time every day/night.  These can be found at your local home improvement store or even online.

5. Dishes 

Don’t leave any dirty dishes sitting around while you’re gone.  You don’t want to come home to any mold or stink!


6. Food & Garbage 

Empty out your fridge of any perishables that could rot while you’re gone.  Also get rid of any fruits or vegetables that may be on your counter.  It’s a good idea to take your garbage out just before you leave too.

7. Unplug Electronics

Go ahead and unplug most of your basic electronics and appliances (tv, toaster, computer, etc).



8. Thermostat 

Adjust your thermostat so you can save money on heating or cooling when you’re gone.  Take into account that you don’t want to go too extreme on your settings.  We like to set our heater to 50-55 degrees when we’re gone.  We don’t have air conditioning, but I would suppose you could set it to 90 degrees in the summer.  Keep in mind that if you have any pets, you’ll have to keep your thermostat at a more moderate temperature for them.

9. Check All Your Windows 

Make sure they’re all locked and close the blinds/curtains.




Do you have any other tips you do each time?  Let us know in the comments below.