Embarking on an extended travel adventure can be an exhilarating experience, but it's important not to overlook the preparation needed for leaving your home unattended. Ensuring the security of your property, exploring house-sitting options, and taking steps to maintain your home while away are essential for peace of mind and a smooth travel experience. In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into valuable tips, expert advice, and practical strategies to help you prepare your home for extended travel.
1. Home Security Systems:
Investing in a reliable home security system can significantly enhance the safety of your property while you're away. Modern home security systems offer a range of features, including motion sensors, door and window alarms, surveillance cameras, and remote monitoring options. These systems can deter potential intruders and provide you with real-time alerts in case of any suspicious activity.
According to a study by the Electronic Security Association (ESA), burglars are 300% more likely to target homes without security systems. This statistic emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive security system to safeguard your home.
2. Timed Lighting:
Create the illusion of an occupied home by using timed lighting systems. Installing timers on your lights, both indoors and outdoors, can give the impression that someone is present, deterring potential burglars. Smart lighting options allow you to control and schedule your lights remotely, enhancing the effectiveness of this technique.
3. Reinforce Doors and Windows:
Ensure all doors and windows are securely locked and reinforced before you leave. Reinforcing entry points with deadbolts, security bars, or shatterproof films adds an extra layer of protection against break-ins. A study by the Australian Institute of Criminology found that approximately 20% of burglars gain access through unlocked doors or windows, underscoring the importance of thorough security measures.
1. Professional House-Sitters:
Hiring a professional housesitter can be an ideal option for maintaining your home and ensuring its security. Professional house-sitting services provide reliable individuals who can take care of your property, water plants, collect mail, and even handle minor repairs if needed. Websites such as TrustedHousesitters.com and MindMyHouse.com offer platforms to connect homeowners with potential house sitters.
2. Trusted Friends or Family:
Enlisting the help of trusted friends or family members can provide peace of mind while you're away. Ensure they have a spare key, clear instructions, and contact information in case of emergencies. Communicate any specific tasks you would like them to handle during your absence, such as checking the mail, feeding pets, or maintaining the garden.
3. Neighbors and Community:
Building a strong relationship with your neighbors and engaging with your local community can be advantageous when you're away. Inform trusted neighbors about your travel plans and request their assistance in keeping an eye on your property. They can report any suspicious activities and help maintain the appearance of an occupied home by collecting mail or newspapers.
Maintaining Your Property:
1. Property Inspection Checklist:
Before you embark on your travels, create a comprehensive checklist to ensure you've taken care of all essential tasks. This may include turning off water valves, unplugging appliances, adjusting the thermostat, and emptying the refrigerator to prevent any unwanted surprises upon your return. The Insurance Information Institute recommends shutting off the main water supply to avoid potential water damage from leaks or burst pipes.
2. Garden and Lawn Maintenance:
Arrange for garden and lawn maintenance to prevent overgrowth and maintain the overall appearance of your property. Hire a professional gardener or ask a trusted neighbor to mow the lawn, trim bushes, and water plants as needed. Consider installing an automated irrigation system to keep your plants hydrated during your absence.
3. Redirecting Mail and Packages:
Contact your local postal service to arrange for mail forwarding or request a temporary hold on your mail delivery. Piled-up mail or packages can be a telltale sign of an unattended home. Alternatively, you can ask a neighbor or your house-sitter to collect the mail regularly to maintain the appearance of an occupied residence.
4. Home Maintenance Services:
Consider scheduling necessary home maintenance services before your departure. This may include HVAC system checks, plumbing inspections, or pest control treatments. Addressing any maintenance issues beforehand can prevent them from escalating into more significant problems while you're away.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation:
1. Adjusting Thermostat and Appliances:
Set your thermostat to an energy-efficient temperature to reduce energy consumption while you're away. Avoid completely turning off your air conditioning or heating system to maintain a stable indoor environment and prevent moisture-related issues. Additionally, unplug non-essential appliances and electronics to minimize standby power consumption.
2. Energy-Saving Lighting:
Replace traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-saving options, such as LED bulbs, before leaving. LED bulbs consume significantly less energy and have a longer lifespan, making them an environmentally friendly and cost-effective choice. Consider installing motion-sensor lights for outdoor areas, providing enhanced security while conserving energy.
Insurance and Documentation:
1. Home Insurance Review:
Review your home insurance policy to ensure you have adequate coverage during your absence. Some policies may require specific precautions, such as regular home checks, to maintain coverage while you're away. Notify your insurance provider about your travel plans and discuss any additional coverage or adjustments necessary.
2. Document Important Information:
Create a document containing essential information such as emergency contacts, insurance details, and a list of valuable items within your home. Keep a copy of this document in a secure location, and consider sharing it with a trusted friend or family member. In the unfortunate event of a theft, damage, or emergency, having this information readily available can expedite the claims process and facilitate necessary actions.
Preparing your home for extended travel requires careful planning and attention to detail. By implementing effective security measures, exploring house-sitting options, taking steps to maintain your property, and considering energy efficiency, you can enjoy your travel adventures with peace of mind. Remember to consider your specific needs and circumstances when implementing these tips. With proper preparation, your home will be secure, and you can fully immerse yourself in the joys of travel without worrying about what's happening back home.
As Mark Twain once said, "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, and sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Safe travels!