Keep your home safe with this vacation checklist

Your vacation should be relaxing and worry-free. That’s why it’s a good idea to prepare your home before you leave on any long trip. Then, any problems on the home front are just one less thing to worry about. 

Make your house look lived-in

An empty house is like an open invitation to burglars. To keep your house looking occupied:

  • Stop the newspaper and mail – or ask a trusted neighbor to pick them up 
  • Park your car inside the garage, if you have one
  • Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway occasionally so there’s activity at your house 
  • Put at least one light in your house on a timer
  • Install a motion-activated sensor on an outdoor floodlight. (Burglars hate outdoor lighting – and that’s why we love it)
  • Make sure your lawn stays trimmed

Take the necessary plumbing and electrical precautions

Running appliances while you’re away is not only a needless expense, it could also lead to costly problems. To avoid the possibility of an appliance breakdown while you're away:

  • Unplug small appliances and electronic devices
  • Put the water heater in “vacation” mode
  • Turn off water valves to the dishwasher, washing machine and all sinks 
  • Set your thermostat to a temperature closer to outside temps (warmer in the summer, cooler in the winter) but which still protects your plants, pets and furniture 

General home preparation

Other things to consider doing before your vacation:

  • Notify your credit card company and home security company that you’ll be out of town  
  • Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly 
  • Leave your emergency contact information with a neighbor 
  • Dispose of any food that could go bad before you return from vacation 
  • Take out the kitchen trash – especially anything that might start to stink 
  • Run your garbage disposal with a half-cup of vinegar and some water 

Following this home preparation checklist before you leave for your vacation could save you a headache later. But don’t forget that the unexpected can follow you on your vacation – which is why the right travel insurance policy is crucial to stay protected.

Product, coverage, discounts, insurance terms, definitions, and other descriptions are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in your individual insurance contracts, policies, and/or declaration pages from Nationwide-affiliated underwriting companies, which are controlling. Such products, coverages, terms, and discounts may vary by state and exclusions may apply.