4 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Holiday Travels

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If you’re like many homeowners, you plan to travel during the holidays. You’ve got your flight tickets, and you made the hotel reservations, but did you really plan to leave your house unattended? While you may think that locking up and setting an alarm will do the trick, there are some things to consider before you board the plane. Discover these four ways to prepare your home for the busy holiday season.

If you plan to be gone this holiday season, consider enlisting the neighbors. If there’s a teen in the area, pay them a few bucks to bring in any late arriving packages, water the plants, and rotate the lighting. Studies show that keeping a single lamp on day and night is a red flag to burglars. Instruct them to alternate which lights are on and off, and which shades to draw each visit.

Have your house sitter come over during evening hours when many are arriving home from work, and at varying times during the day, so a watchful burglar never feels certain your house is empty. Also, leave your travel plans and contact information with a trusted neighbor in the event of an emergency.

Unplug Small Appliances

Vampire appliances use electricity even when they’re turned off. The Department of Energy reports that these small electronics account for 10 percent of the average home’s energy use. Unplug all TVs, sound systems, computers, and your internet routers. Use power strips in your home office to make life easier, and turn them all off with a single switch.

Head to the kitchen and avoid a breakdown while you’re away by unplugging the coffee maker, toaster, and the microwave. Flip the breaker on large appliances like the dishwasher and washing machines to save electricity and protect your home from the risk of fire.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat not only lets you monitor the temperature in your home but also lets you control it. Needlessly running the furnace while you’re away is an added expense.

What if an unexpected cold snap comes through? Relax on your travels, and remotely set your thermostat to a temperature that protects your plants, pets, and keeps your pipes from freezing. Your programmable thermostat can also prepare for your return home, and ensure that the house is toasty warm when you arrive or nice and cool, depending on your climate.

Tidy Up the Kitchen

Before you pack up the car or head to the airport, spend a few minutes in the kitchen. Dispose of any food that may spoil before you return from your holiday vacation, such as meat and milk products. Take out the trash, and run a half-cup of vinegar and some water down your garbage disposal for a fresh, clean-smelling kitchen when you return.

The holiday season is often hectic, and traveling during this time can be stressful. By taking advantage of these four ways to prepare your home for holiday travels, you can relax and join your family and friends in celebrating the reason for the season.

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