Prepare Your Home for a Stress-Free Vacation

home prep family on vacation in car

It can be difficult to relax and enjoy a well-earned vacation if you spend all the time worrying that something might go wrong at home. Burglary is the most common concern, but there’s plenty of other issues to worry about as well – unpaid bills, floods or some sort of electrical malfunction.

It’s best to be prepared and make a list of all the things that need to be taken care of before you go. Safety should be your number one concern. Also, take care of maintenance and in the end make sure that there’s someone who can stop by the house and help you out if something actually happens.

Avoid an empty house look

Burglars usually scout the place for a while before they break in. Houses the look empty are the most obvious targets. Motion detection sensors or timers could be used to turn on the lights or other appliances from time to time. Ask your neighbors to park in your driveway and collect your mail and newspapers. Trim the lawn before you go and ask someone to do it again if you’ll be gone for a longer period of time.

Yard and garden

There are no universal solutions. The amount of work you’ll need to put in depends on how long will you be away and the kind of garden you have. If you’re going away for a week or less, you don’t have to do anything. However, if you’re going on a longer trip – pull the weeds and soak the lawn before you go if you don’t plan on mowing it. Unlike the fresh cut grass, longer grass can withstand the dry weather better. If you have any plants that require a specific watering schedule, make one for your house sitter – those things aren’t common knowledge.

family holding hands on beach vacation


The garage is usually the weak point of any security system. If you’re leaving the car at home, park it outside. That way it’ll be visible and it will prevent easy access to the garage. Lock the car and the garage door and store a door opener far away from the car. In the end, unplug the opener completely (it’s located in a box unit on a garage ceiling). It might be a good idea to install a small camera on the door as well. You can use any smartphone to check up on your driveway whenever you feel like it.

Plumbing and electricity

Set the thermostat at a temperature closer to the outside temp (turn it up if it’s summer, or down if it’s winter) – that way your plants will be fine and you’ll be saving energy. Unplug small appliances and shut down the water heater. Turn off the valves of the sink, washing machine, and the dishwasher. The fridge should obviously stay on, but put a box of baking soda in it, to prevent unpleasant smells. Make sure all the pipes are properly insulated and if you’re worried that they’re not – organize house sitting, especially if you’re traveling during winter.

bags packed for home prep vacation

Prepare for your return

Coming home after a great vacation can be a bit depressing. Make sure everything is prepared for your return, so you can get back to you daily routines as soon as possible. Make breakfast that you can easily heat up, have a pair of clean sheets ready, as well as some comfortable and clean clothes. It’s also a good idea to tidy up your home so you don’t have to do anything as soon as you return.

There’s a lot that can happen during a vacation so it’s best to prepare your home for any scenario. That way you can relax and enjoy knowing that everything is fine back home.


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