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Preparing Your Home for Vacation

By Mary Ripley on  June 7, 2017

Planning to travel? Is  your home protected? Follow these tips to make sure your home is safe while you're enjoying your vacation. There are several things you need to take care of in advance of leaving for your trip.  One step you need to take is to put a hold on your mail and/or newspaper service.  A big tip-off to burglars to the fact that no one is  home is a pile of mail or newspaper.  Holding these services needs to be done a week before your trip to be activated in time. To hold your newspaper delivery, contact your newspaper delivery person or go online.  The U.S. Postal Service has a quick and easy tool to help you hold your mail delivery. Another step you need to take care of before going on vacation is to get your finances in order.  If any deposits or withdrawals need to be made, do those before you leave town.  Be sure to pay any bills that will be due so you don't receive any late fees. If you're travelling internationally, always call the number on the back of your credit cards to let them know you may be using these cards out of the country.  Otherwise you may not be able to charge anything on a credit card or even withdraw money because you have a fraud hold on it. A great idea is to print out copies of important information you'll need on vacation.  While emails, addresses, phone numbers, itineraries and confirmation numbers are usually stored on our mobile devices, it's still a good idea to have a backup hard copy of everything. Remember, even if you have your mobile device, there is always the possibility that there will be limited connectivity. While on vacation, make sure that your home is also optimized to not waste any energy.  An autotimer for lights is a great idea to keep the appearance that someone is home, without leaving the lights on 24/7.  They are cheap and easy to install in your home. Another great way to save money while on vacation is to turn off your water heater.  If no one will be home, there is no need to heat up water that won't be used. When you return, turn the water heater back on and it will be back to normal in an hour or so. To save money on energy costs while you're away, consider installing a smart thermostat.  These thermostats can be controlled remotely with a wifi connection. With an app on your mobile device, you can control the temperature of your home while you're away. This can be helpful if the temperature suddenly drops below freezing while you're gone, so you can turn on the heat and avoid frozen pipes.  You can also control the temperature you want your house to be when you get home ahead of time. Finally, remember when you're planning to leave home on your vacation is to make lists.  Make a list of everything you want to pack, what finances need to be taken care of, and what you need to do to make your home safe while you're gone.  Check off the items as you complete them.  By the time you're ready to walk out the door, you'll have peace of mind to enjoy your time away.

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