Postcards & Passports

Getting Your Home Ready to Leave on a Trip

Leaving for an extended vacation can be challenging and exciting at the same time. You have to think about packing, getting your travel documents in order, and making sure your home is taken care of while you’re gone. And of course you’re also hoping to have a stress-free vacation. The last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your home is safe while you are gone. In this blog post, we’ll discuss tips for getting your home ready to leave on an extended trip.

Have someone look after your home 

Having someone look after your home is very helpful when you’re away for an extended period of time. Ask a friend or family member to come over regularly and check on your house. They should take out the garbage, water plants, collect any mail or packages that arrive, and keep an eye on the property in general. Having them pick up fliers or newspapers also helps to make your home look like someone is there. Arrange to have trash cans taken to the curb on trash pick-up day, and then returned to their place.

You don’t want your home to look empty while you are gone. You may wish to install a doorbell camera so you can see who visits your home while you are away. Another option is to set lamps on timers so it looks like someone is home in the evenings.

If you are unable to have someone check your home regularly, put a vacation hold on your postal deliveries or consider having mail forwarded to where you will be. This is only practical, however, if you will be gone more than two weeks.

Turn off your utilities

Before leaving for an extended trip, make sure all of your utilities are turned off or adjusted for “vacation” mode. This includes turning off the water heater, lights and unplugging electronics and appliances that may be plugged in but not used while you’re away. Set your thermostat to “away” mode. You may also wish to invest in a few smart plugs and a thermostat that can be controlled remotely from an app on your phone.

Check all your water faucets to be sure they are not dripping, and  confirm your outdoor irrigation is set to water only when necessary. This will help you save energy and money while you’re gone! Getting your home ready to leave means minimizing expenses and risks for problems.

Secure your home

Whenever you’re away, it’s important to make sure your home is secure. Make sure all your doors and windows are locked and double-check that they’re secure using deadbolts or other security measures. Additionally, you can install a security system like an alarm system or cameras to further protect your home from any unwanted visitors. It’s also a good idea to install motion-activated lights outside of the house. This will provide additional illumination around the exterior of the house when someone is on the property.

Consider storing valuable equipment and tools

If you have any valuable equipment or tools that could be damaged, stolen, or vandalized while you are away, it would be wise to invest in public storage units for them. Whether you choose to use a professional storage facility or simply store your items at a friend’s house, make sure the area is locked and secure. Ideally, your storage location should also provide some level of climate control to prevent rusting and damage due to humidity. If possible, get an itemized list of the items you plan on storing along with any associated serial numbers and photos so that they will be easier to claim if something goes wrong.

Check all appliances

Before leaving for an extended holiday, it is important to check all appliances, such as refrigerators, washer and dryers, dishwashers and stoves. Ensure all appliances are in good working order and that necessary repairs or maintenance have been taken care of. Check to make sure all doors and windows are securely closed. This will keep your home safe and secure while you are away.

Do you have pets?

If you have pets, you will also need to make arrangements for them, whether that is a pet boarding facility or the home of a friend or family member. Sometimes, it is better to leave your pets where they are comfortable and pay someone to care for them at your home. Stock up on all of the food and supplies your pet(s) will need while you are gone.

Last-minute things to do before leaving

Just before your vacation, there are a few more steps to getting your home ready to leave:

  • Empty all garbages
  • Use the disposal to eliminate any food that might be in your sink or drain
  • Put away all food so you don’t attract pests.
  • Water all plants, or set them in bowls of water so they can wick water as needed.
  • Close doors to every room in the house; this would slow the progression of a fire if there was one during your absence.
  • If using a firesafe for important documents, be sure to close and lock it.
  • Set alarms
  • Take phone numbers of friends at home you can call if necessary for help
  • Trust that you’ve done enough and go enjoy your vacation!


While there are many things to consider when getting your home ready to leave on an extended trip, you can make sure your home is secure and safe while you’re gone. Getting eyes on your home, securing doors and windows, turning off appliances, and storing valuables in a safe place will assure that your belongings are well cared for. By following these simple steps, you can be sure that your home will be ready for you when you return from your trip. There is nothing better than returning home after a long absence, to find that all is well there!

You may be interested in these related posts:

How to Plan a Trip (with free packing list printables)

Planning Stress-Free Family Travel

Make the Most of Any Family Trip Abroad

getting your home ready to leave getting your home ready to leave

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