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Vacation Preparation

Vacation Preparation

Travel expands your mind. Experiencing other cultures, enjoying new adventures, and taking a break from work is healthy and will pay dividends towards your enjoyment of life overall.

For most hard working people, summer is a time for a well-deserved vacation. Wherever you choose to vacation, we wish you safe travel and thought it might be helpful to highlight home care tips to give peace of mind while you’re away. So go ahead, drop the umbrella straw in your frozen drink and enjoy these home and lawn care tips for when you’re on vacation.

Home Security

Perhaps the most important element of leaving your home for an extended amount of time, is keeping your home secure. Below are some quick tips that will protect your home from unwanted attention.

Socially Smart
Let’s start with the most tempting way you can alert the most people of your absence. Social media allows us to share, like, pin, retweet, check-in, and post updates from almost anywhere, but be careful with what you share while you’re away. Posting status updates or photos is fun and making your friends jealous always feels secretly good, but depending on how connected you are online, these updates can generate unwanted attention. It may be a smart idea (and still generate envy from friends) to save your updates and present them more as a highlight reel upon your return.

House Sitter
Hiring a house sitter is always an option that may be especially nice if you need a trusted ally to care for pets. If you’d rather save that money for that snorkeling excursion or sunset sail while you’re enjoying vacation, there are less involved ways of securing your home while you’re away. Perhaps a friendly neighbor can keep an eye on your home?

Light Control
If you live in a smart home, controlling your lights is one click away, but there are still ways to control the look of your home while on vacation. Somewhat like the devices many of us use to control holiday lighting, timers can turn lights on around your home at certain times. Outdoor lighting and a few main lights inside the house can go along ways to giving the perception of you being at home. Another tricky idea is to create lighting that looks like a TV is on.

Hold Mail
Along with avoiding an overflowing mailbox that may attract unwanted attention, stop by your local post office and ask to hold your mail. This not only avoids build up, but also secures your mail until you return. If you receive the daily newspaper, you may consider holding that delivery until you return as well.

Trash Pickup
If your trash is picked up every Friday, it may be an obvious sign you’re not at home if you have the trash curbside on Monday. Try asking a trusted neighbor to place your trash curbside at a more normal time for pickup.

Remove Hidden Keys
Many homeowners have hidden keys that allow family and friends to enter your home if you’re not around. Smart locks allow for a more secure way to share entry into your home, but if you don’t have a smart home, delivering your extra keys to people who may need access to your home is better than leaving them under the front rug or flower pot.

Lock Up
Locking all the doors that access your home is an obvious thing we all do, but remember to also lock your windows throughout the house. Actually turning off your garage door opener is an additional way to avoid unwanted entry.

Energy Conservation

Every likes saving money on their energy bills and vacation is a chance to really go lean around your home. Along with the positive side effect of improved security, here are a few quick ways to boost your energy conservation while you’re away.

Unplug Electronics
Did you know that even when not being used, many products use energy even when not in use? Although unplugging large appliances is unnecessary, try unplugging small electronics, TVs, phone chargers, the coffee maker, computers, and lights around your home to conserve energy, reduce fire hazards, and avoid power surges while you’re away.

Thermostat Control
There’s no need to spend money cooling an empty home. Withouhg shutting things down completely, bump the temperature up in your home to avoid the air conditioning needing to run while you’re gone. Once again, a smart home makes this easy, but manual control is pretty easy on this one.

Cover Windows
Closing blinds and curtains around your home will reduce the amount of heat that enters your home. Although you won’t be cooling your house, keeping the temperature semi-consistent will help reduce the stress on plants or pets inside the home. Like humans, plants and animals need less water when they’re cool.

Plant & Lawn Care

Speaking of plants inside your home, let’s talk about caring for the things you’ve worked so hard to grow. Plants inside your home, your lawn, trees, and outdoor plants may not survive if you don’t properly prepare. Here are a few plant and lawn care tips that will nourish plant life while you’re soaking in the sun.

Mow Low
Grass grows slower in the heat of Summer, but if you plan to be away for 2 weeks or more, knock your mower’s wheels down a few notches to cut the grass a shorter than normal before you depart. This simple step will help to avoid coming home to a jungle. If you plan to be away for an extended amount of time, you may also want to hire a mowing service to come care for your lawn too. When you return, raise your mower a few notches higher than normal as you mow again. The goal is to not cut more than on third of the grass height.

Deep Watering
If you water your lawn, a deep watering before you leave will give your yard nourishment for while you’re away. Many irrigation systems are timed, so giving it another deep watering while you’re away may also be a good idea. Want more on this topic? Check out this article we shared awhile back: Lawn Watering Tips

Plants & Gardens
Like your lawn, a deep watering of plants and gardens around your home will provide long-lasting nourishment. Depending on the weather forecast, how long you’ll be gone, and the amount of plants and gardens you enjoy at home, asking a friend to stop by to water these plants may also be a good idea.

Slow Drips
Water globes and slow-dripping spikes are great ways to insure your plant life is watered consistently. These work well for both outdoor and indoor plants and may even be a good idea for when you’re at home.

The Smart Home Advantage

As we crafted this article, it was hard not noticing that almost every idea we shared could be managed with smart home products. As you saw in The Internet of Things article, home security, energy efficiency, and home monitoring can all be automated with smart home products.  In fact, our IoT allies at Revolv recently shared two great articles.  The first shared insight on How to Build Your Smart Home in 7 Steps, while the other article included 6 Energy Saving Tips For Your Smart Home This Summer.

Much more on this front coming from Drake Homes soon, but in short, controlling your home’s locks, lights, thermostat, and security devices can all be managed anywhere from your smartphone! Motion detection can also give you instant insight on what’s happening at home while you’re away. Imagine having a smart monitoring system that would alert you of a water leak. Once alerted, you could contact a service professional and give them access by remotely unlocking your doors and tracking their activity in the home. Instead of an in-home disaster, the leak could literally be identified and fixed all while you enjoyed your vacation! This topic obviously deserves an entire article so we’ll keep it short here, but know that a smart home makes traveling a breeze.

afe Travels From Drake Homes!

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