Things to do before leaving for vacation

Heading on vacation? Here at the things to do before leaving for vacation, to make sure your home is safe and secure before your trip.

When you’re planning a vacation, the only thing you can think of is finally getting some rest. But for the holiday to go smoothly, you need to eliminate all potential problems first. And securing your home from unexpected damage is definitely one of them. 

Whether it’s plumbing, AC, security, or electrical system, you need to make sure the house is in tip-top shape. Check everything before leaving to prevent breakdowns, save money and keep your home looking its best. And take a look at our ultimate pre-vacation maintenance checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything.

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Before you go on a long vacation, it’s best to make an appointment with a plumber to do a general walk-over and see if he can find any leaks or damage. This is especially important if you’re going on winter break and live in a location that gets a lot of harsh weather. It’s probably best to shut off your water altogether when you’re gone and pour some antifreeze into places where water collects – like the toilet or sink. 

This is why it’s a good idea to keep the heater on and have a trusted house sitter who will come and keep on top of things when you’re gone. If you live in a location that gets cold weather, it’s best to fix any surfaces that can leak heat – like garage doors or windows. See if you can find a good garage door repair service in Portland, Chicago or Detroit – cities famous for their cold weather. This will spare you any unpleasant surprises when you come back from vacation – from leaks to a family of raccoons that exploited a broken garage door. 

Electrical Systems and Alarms

It’s always a good idea to have alarms installed, but it’s especially important when you’re gone for a while. 

Things to do before leaving for vacation

Attic and Garage

The attic and garage are often ignored, but you should never forget to take care of them as well. Check if you have any leaks or damage in the ceiling or walls. If you have a detached garage, check if everything is secured and locked. 

Things to do before leaving for vacation

Exterior Side of the House

Before leaving, check your exterior siding, which usually gets damaged during storms and rain. Make sure your gutters are clean and that drain pipes are secured properly. You should also check if there are any air leaks in your walls or doors. If left unattended, these issues can allow mold to develop.

Lawn and Garden

If you have a lawn, grass should be cut short but not too short. If you don’t want to mow the lawn yourself, consider hiring a service to do it for you.

Check your sprinklers and make sure they are not broken or clogged. Fix anything that needs fixing to prevent leaks or water build-up.

If you have flowers or trees, make sure they’re watered regularly (especially if it’s hot outside). There are some great houseplant gifts for travellers that can help you keep your plants alive whilst you are away but also, don’t forget to ask a neighbour to come over to help out. Make sure to call them and tell them what needs to be done while you’re not around. Also, leave them a set of keys in case of an emergency. 

Things to do before leaving for vacation


Finally, when you’re finishing up the checklist, make sure everything is secure and locked before leaving home. It’s also a good idea to alert neighbours about your vacation plan so they can contact you in case of any emergency or problems around the home or property while you’re away.

You can also use this pre-vacation home maintenance checklist to help your family members or friends who have to stay behind while you’re away. It can be a great help for them as well.

Additional Tips to Consider

Have the Thermostat Fixed

If you want to save money on energy bills, you should consider adjusting the temperature in your home before leaving. It’s a good idea to leave the inner temperature at around 70° Fahrenheit or you can choose a higher temperature setting if you’re going for a longer term trip. You can also ask a neighbor or a friend for help with checking the temperature.

Things to do before leaving for vacation
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Maintain Your Lawn

If you have a lawn, it’s a good idea to have it maintained before leaving. If left unattended for too long, that could create more of a headache and expense to resolve than simple maintenance would. A professional gardener can help you with that. Maintaining the lawn will also discourage potential burglars who see in an obviously neglected home an easy target. Also, a well maintained lawn will make sure the house looks tidy when you return.

Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

When you’re going away for a longer period of time, it’s a good idea to check all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for proper functioning. If they malfunction while you’re away, this could provoke the fire department or a good Samaritan to break in, thinking they are stopping a fire, not simply a malfunctioning alarm. It’s also a good idea to change the batteries as well before leaving.

Check Your Food Supply

Before leaving, you need to make sure you’re not leaving behind any perishable food that could go bad while you’re away. Failing to do this could lead to foul odors that will be difficult to completely remove or bug infestations which can only multiply.

Check Insurance Coverage

Before leaving, make sure that your insurance coverage is up to date. Check if there are any new policies that should be added or removed or if there have been any changes in insurance coverage you need to be aware of.

Things to do before leaving for vacation

When you go on vacation, you want to be able to relax, let your mind go and enjoy the time away from work and stress. If you’re constantly wondering if you left the iron on or forgot to turn off the stove, it’s going to be very difficult for you to enjoy your vacation. Taking the time to go through your home – interior and exterior – will help you have peace of mind  while you’re away and guard against any unpleasant surprises upon your return.

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