Vacations take tons of prep work. It involves booking flights, arranging accommodations, organizing activities, and maybe most important to remember, is to make sure your house is prepared for your absence. Depending on the length of your vacation, whether a few days (short term) or several months (long term), here are steps you can take to make your house safer and lower your utility bills and ensure your house is ready to be on its own.
Short-term: Turn up the thermostat to about 85 degrees. Doing so will still protect your plants, furniture and other belongings without running up your energy bill.
Long-term: Again, turn up the thermostat to about 85 degrees. Ask a friend or neighbor you trust to water your plants.
Short-term: Check your pool-pump settings before you leave to make sure they are where you want them to be. If you have a spa, turn off the heat.
Long-term: Do the above. Also, have a neighbor, friend or pool service check the pool periodically to make sure the pump is operating properly.
Short-term: Turn off water at the main shut-off valve, unless some household items require it to remain on.
Long-term: Do the same. While you’re gone, have a neighbor or friend turn on the water and run the faucets at least once a month.
Short-term: Set the temperature on “vacation” mode. Most new water heaters are equipped with such a setting. The water heater will run occasionally but not nearly as often as it does normally.
Long-term: Be sure to set the temperature on vacation mode.
Short-term: Pour a half cup of chlorine into the bowl (not the tank).
Long-term: Do the same. Have a friend periodically flush the toilets while you are gone.
Short-term: Turn off all lights except the ones you want as security measures. Put the security lights on variable timers.
Long-term: Do the above no matter how long you are away.
Short-term: Throw out perishables – such as milk – that will expire while you’re gone.
Long-term: You have two choices. One is to unplug the refrigerator and leave the door open to prevent mildew, odor and mold. The other is to keep the refrigerator running. Don’t let it sit empty, however. Fill it with bottles of water so it will run more efficiently.
Short-term: Throw away opened bags and boxes of food (or give to friends).
Long-term: Do the same. Also, check the expiration dates of unopened items.
Short-term: Mow your lawn and trim shortly before your trip.
Long-term: Arrange for a lawn service to take care of your landscaping while you are away.
One last way you can prepare for your trip is to sign up for Bags VIP luggage delivery service. Most luggage shipping services require your items be picked up days in advance and specially packed. But Bags VIP luggage delivery agents will retrieve your checked luggage same-day and deliver it within 100 miles of any destination so you can take care of what really matters – you and your home.