As the excitement of an upcoming vacation builds, it’s easy to overlook the importance of preparing your home for your absence. Proper planning can help you return to a secure, well-maintained home. Here are some essential tips to prepare your home for vacation to give you peace of mind while you’re away.

Secure Your Home

Security is paramount when leaving your home for an extended period. Start by ensuring all doors and windows are securely locked. Consider reinforcing locks with deadbolts if they aren’t already installed. If you have a security system, double-check that it’s working correctly and activate it before leaving. Inform your security company about your absence so they can respond promptly if any alerts are triggered.

Manage Mail and Deliveries When You Prepare Your Home for Vacation

A pile of mail or packages on your doorstep is a clear sign that no one is home. To avoid this, put a hold on your mail with the postal service or arrange for a neighbor to collect it. If you’re expecting any deliveries, reschedule them or have them sent to a different address.

Maintain Your Yard

An unkempt yard indicates an empty house. If you’ll be gone for over a week, arrange for someone to mow your lawn and water your plants. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, ensure it’s set to the correct schedule and in good condition.

Adjust Your Thermostat When You Prepare Your Home for Vacation

Adjust your thermostat before you leave to save energy and prevent unnecessary wear on your HVAC system. Set it a few degrees higher than usual in the summer and lower in the winter. If you have a programmable thermostat, use the vacation mode if it has one. This will help maintain a comfortable temperature in your home without wasting energy.

Unplug Electronics

Many electronics consume power even when they’re turned off. Unplugging non-essential devices, such as televisions, computers, and kitchen appliances, can save energy and reduce the risk of electrical fires. For devices you want to keep plugged in, consider using surge protectors to guard against potential power surges.

Prepare Your Plumbing

To avoid potential water damage, consider turning off the main water supply to your home. If that’s not feasible, turn off the water supply to major appliances, such as the washing machine and dishwasher. Check for any leaks or drips before you leave, and ensure that pipes are well-insulated if you’re traveling during the winter to prevent freezing.

Clean to Prepare Your Home for Vacation

Returning to a clean home is much more pleasant than returning to a mess. Before you leave, take the time to tidy up. Empty the trash, clean out the refrigerator, and run the dishwasher. Ensure no dirty dishes are left in the sink, and do a load of laundry so you have fresh clothes when you return.

Use Timers for Lights

Using timers for lights can give the appearance that someone is home, deterring potential burglars. Set timers to turn lights on and off at various times throughout the evening. Consider using smart home devices that allow you to control lights remotely, giving you added flexibility and control.

Inform a Trusted Neighbor

Let a trusted neighbor know about your travel plans. They can monitor your home, collect mail or packages, and contact you if anything seems amiss. Provide them with your contact information and a spare key in case of emergencies.

Final Checks to Prepare Your Home for Vacation

Before you leave, do a final walk-through of your home. Check that all windows and doors are locked, appliances are unplugged, and your security system is activated. Ensure your pets are cared for, whether by a pet sitter or at a boarding facility. Finally, confirm that you have packed all the necessary travel documents and items.

By preparing your home for vacation, you can enjoy your time away without worrying about your home. With planning and organization, you’ll return to a secure, well-maintained, and welcoming space.


What should I do if I’m worried about a power outage while I’m away?

Unplug sensitive electronics, ensure your refrigerator and freezer doors are securely closed, and consider installing a surge protector or backup power system.

Is it necessary to inform my security company about my vacation?

Informing your security company is recommended so they can respond appropriately to any alerts or issues during your absence.

Is it beneficial to have a friend or family member stay in my home while I’m on vacation?

Yes, having someone stay in your home can help deter burglars and promptly address any issues.

What should I do with my house plants when I’m away?

Arrange for someone to water them, or use self-watering systems like plant watering globes or wicking systems.

Best Choice Inspections offers home inspection services in Knoxville, TN, and the surrounding area. Contact us to schedule an appointment.