By Diana Smith
Finally getting a chance to go on vacation is undoubtedly something to look forward to. It’s important to make the time for relaxation and rest, as much as it is to work diligently and be responsible. When it comes to said responsibility, your luggage is not the only thing that you need to pay attention to before you take a trip. A big part of your preparations is tending to your home. In order to enjoy your well-deserved rest worry-free, you can prep your home so as to minimize all the potential risks of an unattended residence. If you’ve never been in a situation that requires leaving your home for a long period of time before, take a look at the following tips.
If there’s no one home, there’s no reason for your appliances to be plugged in, is there? You’ll see later that there’s an exception to this rule, but when it comes to kitchen appliances and gadgets such as the TV, computer and even the air conditioning, leaving them plugged in will only waste energy. What’s more, the worst case scenario may seem too far-fetched, but you can never be too sure whether there will be some kind of an electrical mishap and consequently, possible accidents.
This is the abovementioned exception from the “unplug everything” rule. If you don’t have the latest alarm system installed, which most people don’t, you can actually use your sensor lighting or programmable appliances to create the appearance of an occupied home. For example, you can program your lights to turn on and off occasionally, or have a radio or TV turn on from time to time as well. In case that you don’t have the option to use this trick, simply leave one light on. Make sure to leave a specific light on, so that it can be visible from outside. That way, potential burglars will be under the impression that there’s someone at home all the time.
Get rid of food
You don’t have to throw away your canned goods, but anything that can go bad shouldn’t be left at home while you’re away. Therefore, try your best to use up all the food in your fridge as well as your fruits and veggies. If you’re not too fond of throwing away food when it’s still fresh, but there’s no way for you to consume it all before the trip, you can give the remaining food to your neighbors or at least treat some of the neighborhood cats and dogs. It’s very important that your unplugged fridge is empty during your absence.
Another great sign that you’re out of town is piled up mail and newspapers. Even if there’s no risk of theft, you don’t want your important mail sitting in the mailbox or outside. Therefore, don’t forget to call the post office and delivery services so that they can stop the deliveries for you. Don’t worry, they will hold all your mail for you, so you can safely pick it up once you return from your vacation.
Store your garden tools/furniture
In order to protect your garden from unpredictable weather conditions, make sure to store all your garden tools inside a garage, shed, basement or even hallway. Also, if you have an open-air patio, make sure to store all the furniture as well. That way, you’ll avoid possible damage due to rain and/or snow. Check your garden space as well. Is there anything that requires your presence and care? Plants need some love too, so definitely prep them as well, so that they’re well protected even without you around.
Call for a sitter
In case you have pets, you can choose to leave them at a pet boarding place or find a pet sitter. In some instances, you can even get the best of both worlds and have a pet sitter keeping your home safe as well. This is actually a great investment if you’re willing to make one. Even if you don’t have pets, house sitting can save you a lot of trouble, especially if you’re unsure that you’ll be able to tend to absolutely every single thing before you leave. Of course, always go for reputable sitting services, which are known for their professionalism.
Don’t be afraid to ask for additional advice regarding the preparations of your home before a vacation. Just make sure that you actually ask for advice from someone you can trust with the knowledge that your home will be empty for a while. Most importantly, even though you may feel really happy and excited about the vacation, refrain from sharing that joy with everyone around you. The less people know that you’ll be away, the better. You’ll have time for exciting and interesting stories once you get back.
Image Credit: http://search.creativecommons.org/
Author bio: Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls and a passionate traveler. In her free time she enjoys exploring new destinations with her family.
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