How to prepare your home before you leave on vacation


By Krista

Travel & Tech Writer

how to prepare your home before you leave on vacation

All your bags are packed and you’re ready to go. Or are you?

Getting yourself and your family ready for a trip is one feat, but preparing your home for your absence is quite another. Learning how to prepare your home before you leave on vacation is crucial for any traveler.

When travelling on shorter trips, you likely only need to worry about immediate security for your home (think: appliances are unplugged and doors are locked). However, the longer the absence, the longer the checklist of tasks to consider to ensure your home is safe, and give you the peace of mind needed to relax and enjoy your time away.

Overnight and Weekend Trips

When leaving on vacation for just a brief time away, it doesn’t take much to prepare your home. Focus on anything that would observe daily if you were just leaving the house for a day at the office or to run errands.

• Unplug electronics

• Lock doors and windows

• Check smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, etc. 

• Adjust thermostat (be sure to keep it warm enough that your pipes don’t freeze and cool enough that your refrigerator motor doesn’t burn out)

Week-Long Trips

Preparing your home for a week-long trip requires slightly more forethought to consider things that might need tending or attention, such as watering your plants or bringing in your packages. Include the tasks that would be on your to-do list once or twice a week.This is the time to chat with your trusted neighbours so they know you will not be home. Ask them the favour of helping out or letting you know if they see anything suspicious around your home.

• Water plants

Pause deliveries

• Bring out garbage

• Secure valuables

Multi-Week Trips

Month-long or multi-week trips are when long-term safety of your property should really be given additional consideration. Think about anything that might indicate that your home is unoccupied and create a false projection that someone is still at home. Additionally, longer absences might cover times of inclement weather and cause electricity to fail, which could potentially mean minor inconveniences (like spoiled food) or major issues (like flooded basements). 

• Check on fridge/freezer

• Prepare basement with functional sump pump

• Set timers for lights

• Arrange for lawn care

• Secure outdoor items (patio furniture, barbecue, etc.)

Extended Vacations

This one is for the Snowbirds, the remote workers, and anyone leaving their homes for months or entire seasons at length. In addition to the above suggestions, pay attention to outdoor items that might need to be secured (think: barbecue, patio furniture, etc.). It’s also a good idea to pause any services that are not needed at your home address to save yourself from paying for unused products, or paying double to cover your residence away from home. 

• Secure alternate phone number or a travel eSIM card

• Cancel or switch billing for cable and internet

• Shut off water to prevent leaks or flooding

• Ask a friend to drive by your home to ensure everything looks okay

Whether it’s a short trip or a long holiday, knowing how to prepare your home before you leave on vacation is a great idea to enjoy your time traveling and ensure you’re arriving back to a house in the state in which you left it.