Top 10 Tips Before You Go on Summer Vacation

Top 10 Tips Before You Go on Summer Vacation

You’re heading off on vacation, ready for two weeks of rest and relaxation in your favorite environment. But, is everything safe back at home? What could you have done to prepare better?

Join me as I go over my Top 10 Tips for preparing your house before you go on vacation! At the end of the article, I’ve made a printable checklist of these items. Feel free to use it as you’d like!

Top 10 Tips:

I. Find a House Sitter

The best way to make sure your home is in good hands while you’re on vacation is to ask a trusted friend to check in while you’re away. They can water plants, collect the mail, and check on things after any extreme weather.

II. Find a Pet Sitter

If you have pets, prepare for them accordingly. Whether this is making accommodations to bring them with you, for a pet hotel, or an in-home pet sitter, your animal companions shouldn’t be forgotten. Remember that a house sitter isn’t automatically a pet sitter. If you're looking for one person to be both, be sure to ask that up front.

III. Suspend Service Visits

Contact and suspend any recurring service visits to your home, from landscapers and cleaning services to water delivery services and more. Having professionals working on your property when you won’t be around for days is one thing, but packages piling up on your doorstep is an easy way to invite theft.

IV. Set Smart Devices

Schedule your thermostat and any smart devices to account for the house being empty. There’s no need to keep the AC blasting in an empty house, though it’s still recommended to keep things from getting too hot.

V. Unplug Vampires

Any power cords with a box, either at the outlet or further along its length, constantly consume electricity. It doesn’t matter if they’re charging anything, they’re still drawing power (and dollars) from your outlets. Likewise, turn off any power strips and PC power supplies that won’t be in use while you’re away.

VI. Secure Your Garage Door

If you have an automatic garage door, be sure to close the door and disable the motor before locking it in place. If you have a manual garage door, there’s usually a locking bar and places for padlocks along the rails.

VII. Shut Off Water Sources

There’s nothing worse than coming back from vacation to a flooded home. Turn off your outdoor water sources, like hoses and sprinklers, unless there will be someone checking in regularly. Even with someone regularly checking in, it's a good idea to drain and turn off the water supply line to the washing machine. Many inspectors I know credit those hoses as the cause of the biggest disasters while homeowners are away on vacation.

VIII. Clean the Fridge

Before heading away for days or weeks, clear out your fridge of anything that will expire by the time you get home. If you can plan a week or two in advance, you might even be able to use up all your perishables instead of throwing them out.

IX. Take Out the Trash

After you clean out your fridge, take out the trash. If you won’t be able to line things up with garbage day, make sure your cans are secured – wherever they are. Industrious critters will do their best to get into garbage, even when the cans are in the garage.

X. Lock Up

The last thing on the “leaving for vacation” checklist is to lock your windows and doors. You don’t want to go through all that effort to then let someone walk right in your front door or climb in through the bathroom window.


A Bonus Tip:

While you gear up for your vacation, and even while you’re away seeing the sights, it’s generally not the best idea to post all over social media that your home is empty. All those “I’m packing for my trip – look at what I’m bringing!” style posts are an invitation to burglars. Pictures and hour-by-hour updates of the trip are confirmation that your home is still empty. Unless you have someone checking on your home regularly, and hopefully also trusted neighbors, it’s safer to save those stories for after you’re back.


These have been my Top 10 Tips for preparing your home before you go on vacation, plus a bonus tip of what not to do. Have you ever gone on a vacation without taking any of these steps and regretted it when you got home? Do you have other pre-vacation tasks on your Top 10 list? I’d love to hear about them!

Thank you for joining me this week for another home care conversation! As always, I aim to provide you with information that’s both interesting and relevant. Do you have any real estate or home ownership questions you’d like to hear my take on? Please reach out and let me know!


Top 10 Tips Before You Go on Summer Vacation

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His extensive knowledge of Chester County and broad experience in real estate is an invaluable advantage to his clients. Representing and consulting with clients either buying or selling new or resale homes, residential investment properties, building lots, and raw ground, he is dedicated to accomplishing his clients’ goals ahead of all others.