Taking off on vacation? Prepare your home before you go.


Itineraries are set, reservations are made, and your bags are packed. But before you take off for vacation, get one very important thing checked off your to-do list: making sure your home is ready, too.

Nothing ruins vacation zen faster than coming home from a nice, relaxing getaway to a home disaster. Protect your home—and give yourself some peace of mind on your getaway—by securing your property while you’re away. Our checklist makes it easy.

Secure Your Home

Lock All Doors and Windows: Before you walk out the door, doublecheck all windows and doors to make sure they’re locked. You may also want to consider adding extra security, like deadbolts or smart locks.
• Protect Your Home From the Elements: If you’ve been procrastinating on sealing leaks and gaps around windows and doors, now is the time to do it: the last thing you need to welcome you home after being away is water damage caused by a faulty seal.
• Activate Security Systems: If you have a home security system, activate it before you leave and let your security company know your travel dates so they can monitor your home while you’re away.
 Install Timers for Lights: Create the illusion that someone is home by setting indoor and outdoor lights on a timer—and randomize the schedule to avoid patterns that could be detected by potential intruders.
• Have Someone Check on Your House: Ask a neighbor or friend to check on your property to make sure nothing goes wrong, water plants, and bring in the mail and packages so they don’t pile up on your front stoop, letting intruders that no one is home. Be sure your house sitter knows how to reach you at your destination and leave them with a list of emergency contacts, like your preferred plumber or electrician, in case they need to call a service provider.
• Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re functioning properly and replace batteries if needed.

Manage Utilities

 Set the Thermostat to Save Energy: While you don’t need to maintain the same temperature that feels comfortable while you’re home, it’s a good idea to leave your AC running when you’re on vacation to avoid damage from excessive heat or humidity. Setting it to around 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit will protect your home while saving energy.
• Turn Off the Water Supply: Shut off the main water supply to prevent leaks—or at the very last, turn off water to the washing machine, sinks, and toilets.
• Unplug Electronics: Unplug non-essential electronics like TVs, computers, kitchen appliances, and chargers to protect them from power surges and to reduce energy consumption.

Take Out the Trash

 Clean Out the Refrigerator: Dispose of leftovers and other perishable items that could spoil while you're away and place a box of baking soda in the fridge to absorb odors.
• Take Out the Trash: Empty all the trash cans so you don’t come home to unpleasant smells and pest issues, and make sure outdoor trash bins are secured so animals can’t get into them.
• Run the Dishwasher: Run and empty the dishwasher before you leave so mold and odors don’t develop while you’re away.
• Store Outdoor Furniture: Put patio furniture, grills, and garden tools in a shed or garage so you don’t have to worry about them blowing over or getting stolen while you’re away.

Take Care of Last-Minute Details

• Pause Mail and Deliveries: Contact the post office to hold your mail and pause regular deliveries, such as newspapers or subscription boxes.
• Prepay Bills: Prepay any bills that will come due during your trip.
• Make a Record of Important Documents: Snap a photo of important documents and make a video of your home’s belongings and valuables for insurance purposes in case of theft or damage while you’re away.
• Walk Through Your Home: Before you leave, do a final walkthrough of your home to make sure everything’s in place

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for educational and informational purposes only. Homeowners should always consider safety precautions before starting any home improvement project.  While we strive to offer accurate and helpful advice, Frost King does not assume responsibility for any actions taken based on the information provided or for any consequences resulting therefrom.