Planning a Family Vacation - 10 Tips to Protect Your Home While You're Away


It's great fun to begin planning for a family vacation, but don't forget to make a list of what you need to do to keep your home safe while you are away.

1. If you can, have a trustworthy neighbor pick up your newspaper and mail while you are gone, as there is nothing that signals "family is away" more than a pile of newspapers or an overflowing mailbox. If you don't know of anyone who can do this for you, just cancel your newspaper for the duration of your trip, and have your mail held for you at the post office. You might consider starting this a few days before you are leaving just to verify it does in fact get stopped.

2. Test the battery in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to be sure they are working before you depart.

3. Some people change their answering machine messages while they are away to let people know to call them at another number, but I don't recommend this as it is just advertising that no one is home.

4. If you are going on an extended trip for more than 2 weeks and it is during the spring or summer, have a lawn service keep up with your lawn. It will not be so crucial during the winter.

5. Make sure your neighbors know that you will be gone, and be sure to leave your contact information with them in case of emergency.

6. If you are leaving your car at the airport parking lot, you should not leave your registration information in the car just in case it gets broken into or stolen.

7. It's a good idea to unplug your garage door opener when you leave on your trip in case of accidental opening.

8. Turn off and unplug appliances such as toaster ovens, TVs, computers, microwave ovens, and DVRs, although you may want to leave a small radio plugged and playing at a low volume (or use a battery-powered radio).

9. If you don't have one, purchase a timer to have your lights come on and go off at certain times.

10. If a pet sitter is coming by to care for your animals, ensure they do not have any magnetic signs on their car advertising their business, as this is a clear advertisement to people that you are not at home.

Use these tips next time you are planning a family vacation, and you can have a stress-free holiday knowing your home is protected while you are away.

More information on family vacation ideas and tips.