Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a full fledged vacation in search of cooler weather, there are things to do before you go on vacation in order to properly secure your home. Vacations are meant to take your mind off of your to-do list and focus on family, which can’t be done if you find yourself stressing over whether you turned off the oven. Amidst trip itineraries and triple checking that all of your necessities made it into your suitcase, it’s easy to forget to pull the curtains closed and turn the thermostat up to a reasonable degree.

Here are some reminders of what needs to be handled in order to have a stress free vacation, ranging from tasks to consider weeks before, up to the last minute.

First and foremost, the living needed to be situated. If you have pets, give yourself plenty of time to arrange for a pet sitter, which may include setting aside time for an interview and walk through of your home. If you prefer to board your pets, check to ensure you have the documents/proof of vaccination needed for first-timers or that procedure hasn’t recently changed. If you have plants or a garden to maintain, don’t forget to book someone to do the insidewatering and set your sprinkler system on a timer if possible. If you plan to be away for a substantial amount of time, remember to put your newspaper and mail on hold to prevent pile up, a giveaway that nobody’s home.

To prevent returning home to a refrigerator full of rotten food, make a point to eat what perishables you have before the trip and clean out anything that won’t keep while you’re away. Take it a step further by gathering all trash for pick-up or have someone take your trash to the curb if you’ll miss collection day. There will be enough dirty clothes to deal with from your trip, so catching up on laundry beforehand will ease the number of chores you will have to do Sunday evening before returning to work the next morning. This applies to dirty dishes as well, don’t let them sit in the dishwasher!

On the day of departure, remember to: pull your curtains closed, check that all windows are closed and locked, turn the thermostat up or off, and leave a central light on. You want to ensure that you’re not paying extra for services you won’t be reaping the benefits of, like air conditioning and electricity, but you also don’t want your home to scream empty. If you want to be extra vigilant when it comes to all around home security, run through this checklist to see where you stand.


Last but not least, notify a family member or neighbor of your vacation and consider giving them a spare key in case of emergency. This back-up will give you peace of mind should you actually leave the oven on. Most of all, enjoy your time away and rest assured that all will be well upon your return.