When we’re on a vacation, we’re relaxing and taking a break from our usual worries. But enjoying your time away from home can be challenging when you can’t stop thinking about whether your home is safe. Constant worrying can easily ruin any vacation. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to ensure a happy homecoming. By taking a couple of extra measures, you can secure both the interior and exterior of your house from various issues, ranging from burglaries to costly energy bills. 

This guide will help you enjoy a worry-free vacation by showing you how to prepare your home before departing: 

Turn Off The Water

Turning off the primary water supply is the best way to make sure there is no flood damage in your basement once you come back. 

A lot of homeowners have experienced plumbing leaks. Occurring without warning, these destructive events can easily take place when you’re on a vacation. And when there’s nobody to deal with it, a major leak can be catastrophic. 

To prevent this from happening, find your home’s main water supply line and close the valve on it. After that, run your bathroom and kitchen taps until they run dry. By doing this, you’ll be ensuring there is no water in your pipes, preventing potential leaks in the process. 

Check the Sump Pump

In addition to leftover water in the pipes, rainwater can also cause trouble while you’re on a vacation. 

In case your sump pump fails during a thunderstorm, your crawlspace or basement may end up flooded. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that the sump pump is working correctly before you depart. 

Do this by dumping some water (a bucket of it will do) into the sump pit. You will have to call a plumber in case the pump doesn’t kick on. 

Set Your Thermostat

Setting the thermostat to 55 degrees is recommended for people leaving their homes in cold weather. By doing this, you’ll be keeping your house well above freezing temperatures and won’t have to worry about pipes bursting. 

If you’re living in a warmer region, on the other hand, make sure to leave your humidistat and air conditioner on. This prevents humidity-related issues, such as mold or mildew, from occurring. Set your humidistat to 35 percent and your thermostat to 85 degrees. 

However, all this is of little use if your appliances don’t run at peak efficiency. Have them inspected and serviced before you leave for a vacation. 

Empty the Refrigerator

You know the old saying - whatever is left inside the fridge for too long turns into a science project. 

Fortunately, preventing this from happening is fairly easy. All you have to do is remove the perishables, thoroughly clean the interior of the fridge, defrost it, unplug it, and leave it with its door open. 

If you don’t want to throw away your perishables, offer them to your neighbors or friends. Throw in some wine or steaks to maintain a good friendship. 

If you won’t be gone for too long and don’t want to completely empty and defrost your fridge, you can simply remove the perishables and add a couple of gallon jugs filled with water into the refrigerator. This will help the fridge maintain the temperature - these appliances work better with a cold mass inside them. 

Put Your Subscriptions on Hold

The mail is typically a neverending stream of magazines and advertising, with only a couple of important letters in between. When it’s left unchecked, mail can announce the homeowner’s absence by slowly accumulating beyond the mailbox’s capacity. 

Fortunately, halting mail delivery is an easy thing to do. Pay a visit to your local post office and ask for a form called “Authorization to Hold Mail”. Officially, the mail can be held for up to a month, but this period can usually be extended in smaller towns. 

Even if you stop the mail, circulars and magazines may still be dropped at your doorstep. To take care of this potential issue, ask a neighbor to check for any mail coming to your home and dispose of it. 

Unplug Electronics

Unexpected thunderstorms can easily mess up your electronics - from small appliances to televisions and computers. 

To prevent this from happening, unplug everything that’s not related to your alarm system. Even DVD players and toasters can be seriously damaged in a lightning storm. 

Moreover, keep in mind that a lightning strike can and will travel through the coax cable. In other words, you’ll have to disconnect every device that’s connected to the Internet. 

Even if your appliances are plugged into surge protectors, you shouldn’t risk the damage by leaving them plugged in. Just like all other devices, surge protectors aren’t perfect. 

Lock Everything

Minimizing the chances of home invasion is yet another thing you’ll have to do before departing. 

Lock your front door, back door, as well as the door between your house and the garage. Use security locks to lock all sliding doors. Lock any external entryways, such as windows and pet doors. Wherever possible, use deadbolt locks. 

Those with electric garage door openers should know that these are particularly vulnerable to burglars. Thieves use special garage door opener scanners, but you can defeat these by simply using a manual garage door lock. 

Removing hidden spare keys is just as important. Experienced thieves can easily find these, so it’s best to just give them to a friend or a trusted neighbor. 

Putting some time and effort into preparing the house for your departure is crucial. Don’t let the excitement of the trip distract you - take care of the things mentioned above and you’ll be returning to a clean, safe, and orderly house.