It’s time to leave the stress of work behind for a little while and soak up some sun (or whatever you’re into). But wait! Before you head out to catch your plane, we’ve got some vacation prep you should definitely do.
Tell Your Neighbours
You’ve just returned from your vacation, tanned and relaxed. You pull into the driveway, start unloading some luggage, and haul it up the steps. But, what is that noise? It sounds like running water. You open the door and see water flowing down the stairs to a pool of foot-high water engulfing the main floor of your home.
This is the nightmare scenario you want to avoid. While it’s hard to know when disaster will strike (like a pipe bursting), having a neighbour check on your home while you’re away will help ensure everything is okay, and limit the damage if it isn’t.
While asking your neighbours to stop in, you can also ask them to park one of their vehicles in your driveway while you’re away. It will help your home appear lived in.
Take Out The Trash
If you’re going to miss garbage pick-up, you may also want to ask someone to take it to the curb for you.
However, what we really mean is not letting the trash sit in the house the entire time you’re away. You might attract a few unwanted guests or a few unwanted smells!
If you’ve invested in turning your house into a smart home, use that to your advantage.
Have different lights turn on and off at different times of the day, so it looks like someone is always home. You should also set your thermostat to conserve energy and save money. You can always set it to warm up or cool down the house a half day before you arrive!
Don’t Close Your Blinds
This might sound counterintuitive, but many insurance companies recommend against it.
Closing your blinds so would-be thieves can’t see any valuables sounds like a good idea, but if you’re away for a long time it’s basically just advertising that you aren’t home. The better idea is to leave the blinds how you normally have them and hide or lock up valuables out of view from the windows.
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Pause Mail and Newspaper Delivery
While fewer and fewer people actually receive a newspaper anymore, the mail is another story.
Anyone passing by your home and seeing two newspapers on the driveway and a handful of uncollected mail in your mailbox will quickly connect the dots. Halt any deliveries while you’re away, or ask if someone could collect them every few days, so it doesn’t pile up.
Adopt A Fake Dog
If you’re really worried because you’re going to be away for a long period of time, head over to your nearest fake pound, and adopt a fake dog!
In all seriousness, we actually mean making it seem like a dog lives in your home. While a “beware of dog” sign is a good start, take a few extra steps. You could put a big bowl by the window and mark it up to look chewed, or put a worn-down chain in the front yard.
For the smart homes out there, Alexa has a “guard dog” feature that will bark and growl on schedule for that added authenticity.