By now you have figured out that I love traveling and vacation. When I am not on vacation, I am mentally planning the next one… thinking about when and where. Are you looking forward to your next vacation? If you’re like most people, you can’t wait to get away for a bit. Vacations are amazing, but it takes a lot of preparing before you can actually leave, and one of the things you need to do is make sure your home is protected.

Most people begin making lists of items to pack, but in the frenzy of things to be done, a lot of people forget to stop their newspaper and mail delivery while they’re away. As soon as you book your vacation, you need to start planning for the adventure. Check out these tips to learn how to protect your family’s home while you’re on vacation.


Install an Alarm System

If you don’t already have one, you should definitely install a home alarm before you leave for your trip. The systems available will depend on where you live. Do some research. You will find an alarm like one from available in your area. You should make sure the alarm you choose has sensors on all windows and doors. Some alarm companies also offer glass break sensors. Additionally, you should consider installing motion-sensor lights, and security cameras outside your home to deter people from coming on your property.

If you currently have an alarm, make sure the sensors are in working order. Then, make sure you set the alarm before you leave for your trip.


Put a Hold on Your Mail & Package Delivery

Piled up newspapers, an overflowing mailbox, and packages on your porch are sure signs to thieves and vandals that you are away. They know by just glancing at the house that no one is home and it’s an easy target. Head over to the USPS site and put a hold on your mail. You can set when delivery should stop and when it should start again. And you can choose to either have the mail carrier bring all of your mail when you get back, or you can pick it up at your local post office. This will also hold any packages that you may get from USPS.

If you also get packages from UPS and Fedex, put a hold on this with each carrier. You can do this right on their websites. And just in case, ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your porch for things that may slip through the cracks.


5 Things to Do to Prepare Your Home Before Your Vacation


Put Lights on a Timer

It’s important to make it look like someone is home because thieves and vandals are less likely to target a house that people are in. So before you leave, put your inside lights on timers. You can put multiple lights on a timer, setting a time for them to turn on and off. You can even stagger the times. For example, you might have your living room light turn on at 8 pm each night and off at 11 pm, but have the light in your bathroom turn on between 6 am and 7 am. The goal is to use the lights to make it appear like your family is home, so consider your normal daily routines when choosing settings for your lights.

If you are old school, pick up some outlet timers at the store. If you are new school and have a smart home you can accomplish this with Philips Hue or Samsung SmartThings. Ask me how!


Ask Your Neighbors to Watch Your House

If you have a neighbor or neighbors you trust, let them know you’re going out of town so they can keep an eye on your home. This way, if they notice anything unusual while you’re gone, the authorities can be contacted immediately. If needed, you can even have one of your neighbors go in your house once or twice for a more thorough check.


Avoid Posting Vacation Pics on Social Media

All of the precautions you take to make it look like you’re home during your trip are completely pointless if you spend the entire time you’re away posting vacation pictures on social media. So take as many pictures as you like, but wait until you’re back home to post them. This one is tough for me… I love to post in the moment!


Preparing for your upcoming vacation doesn’t need to be difficult, but it is important. Take the time to prepare your home for the time you’re away so that you don’t have to worry during your trip.