Going on vacation is exciting, but it’s essential to ensure your home is secure and well-prepared before you leave. Proper preparation helps protect your property and gives you peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy your trip fully. Here are some of the best ways to prepare your home for vacation.

Secure Your Home to Prepare Your Home for Vacation

Ensuring your home is secure is the first step in preparing for a vacation. Check all doors and windows to make sure they are locked securely. If you have a security system, make sure it is activated and functioning correctly. Consider installing timers on lights to create the illusion that someone is home. Inform a trusted neighbor or friend about your trip so they can keep an eye on your property.

Manage Your Mail and Deliveries

Unattended mail and packages are a clear sign that no one is home. Arrange for your mail to be held at the post office or ask a neighbor to collect it for you. Pause regular deliveries, such as newspapers or subscription boxes, to avoid a pile-up at your doorstep.

Adjust Your Thermostat

Adjusting your thermostat can save energy and reduce costs while you’re away. Set your thermostat to a temperature that will keep your home safe but not waste energy. Set it to a lower temperature in winter but high enough to prevent pipes from freezing. In summer, set it a bit higher to save on cooling costs.

Unplug Electronics While You Prepare Your Home for Vacation

Unplugging non-essential electronics is a good practice to prevent potential fire hazards and save on energy costs. Devices like televisions, computers, and kitchen appliances can be unplugged to avoid electrical issues and protect electronics from power surges.

Take Care of Your Plants and Pets

Arrange for someone to care for your plants and pets while you’re away. Whether it’s a neighbor, friend, or professional service, ensuring your plants are watered and pets are fed and cared for will give you peace of mind. Consider setting up a watering system on a timer if you have a garden.

Tidy Up

A clean home is a welcoming sight upon your return. Empty the trash, clean out the refrigerator of any perishables, and run the dishwasher. Doing laundry and changing the bed linens before you leave will make your return more comfortable.

Prepare for Emergencies

Leave emergency contact information with a trusted neighbor or friend. Provide them with details on how to reach you and any other essential contacts, such as your utility companies. Make sure they know where to find essential items, like the circuit breaker or water shut-off valve, in case of emergencies.

Check Your Insurance When You Prepare Your Home for Vacation

Ensure that your home insurance is up to date and that you have adequate coverage while you’re away. This is especially important if you will be gone for an extended period. Review your policy and make necessary adjustments to cover potential risks during your absence.

Final Walkthrough

Before leaving, do a final walkthrough of your home. Check that all windows and doors are locked, electronics are unplugged, and the security system is activated. Make sure your thermostat is set to the appropriate temperature and that all perishables have been removed from the refrigerator.

Properly preparing your home for vacation can make a significant difference in your peace of mind and the security of your property. By taking these steps, you can ensure a worry-free vacation and a welcoming return to a well-maintained home.


How can I ensure my security system is functioning correctly before I leave?

Test your security system to make sure it’s working correctly. Update your contact information with your security provider in case of alerts.

What steps can I take to avoid a pest problem while on vacation?

Clean your home thoroughly, remove all trash, and seal any food in airtight containers to avoid attracting pests while you’re away.

What should I consider if I leave my car at home during my vacation?

If possible, park your car in the garage or ensure it’s locked and parked in a well-lit area. Ask a neighbor to move it occasionally to give the appearance of activity.

What precautions should I take with my garage before leaving?

Ensure the garage door is securely closed and locked. Disconnect the automatic opener to prevent it from being hacked. Store any valuables out of sight.

Dave Holt Home Inspections offers professional inspections to homebuyers and sellers in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Contact us to schedule our services.