Budget & Saving

long vacation planning

6 Ways to Prepare Your Home For a Long Vacation

July 1, 2015 : Tahnya Kristina – Guest Contributor

Editor’s Note: Recently, I landed at my vacation destination only to be greeted by an email informing me that a package I ordered had just arrived at my house. Whoops. A scramble ensued to get a neighbor to pick it up and store it out of sight. Before you make the same kind of mistake, read these tips to prepare your home from Tahnya Kristina.

Summer is upon us. The weather is nice, the sun is shining and the Forth of July is just around the corner. If you’re getting ready to kick summer into high gear you may be planning a summer vacation. But who’s taking care of your home while you’re away?

While you’re sitting by a campfire or swimming in the ocean, your house needs to be maintained and kept secure. You don’t want anyone to know you’re away, as it could lead to theft and property damage.

Before you hop on a flight or jump in a car for your summer vacation, ask yourself these six questions. Being prepared will help maintain your home and save you money.

Who will get the mail?

One of the first signs of a vacant home is an overflowing mailbox. Don’t let your mail pile up while you’re away. Ask the post office to hold your mail temporarily – you can pick it up when you get back or have them deliver. Setting up this service takes just a few minutes.

Do you need to keep the lights on?

The answer is no. You don’t want your house to be dark for several weeks but keeping lights on while you’re away can be costly. Put your lights on a timer or use motion-censor lights outside. This way the lights come on when needed and don’t run up the electric bill. Connected home systems such as Insteon allow you to control your lights from your Apple devices through their app.

Did you unplug electronics?

It’s not enough to turn off your electronics. Even off, they pull an electric current, which costs money. Unplug electronics, such as TVs and computers to save money and prevent a potential fire in case of a malfunction.

Who will water the plants?

Don’t worry about your plants while you’re away. You can purchase tools that release water into your pots over several days. It helps keep plants nourished and hydrated if you can’t be home to water them.

Does the grass need to be cut?

Cut your grass the day before you leave to avoid coming home to an unattractive lawn. You can also pay a lawn service in advance and set your sprinklers on a timer to help maintain the lawn during hot summer months.

Does your house need air conditioning?

Turn off your thermostats before leaving and delete the timer to avoid paying for unused air conditioning. Companies such as Honeywell and Nest have  systems that allow you to control the temperature of your home from anywhere via their mobile app.

Now that’s a convenient way to maintain your home while on vacation.

Tahnya Kristina – Guest Contributor

Tahnya Kristina – Guest Contributor

DINKS Finance

Kristina is a financial services professional with over 12 years of experience working in the banking industry. She helps people invest their money wisely and plan for their retirement at the DINKS Finance blog.

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