Summer is here, your bags are packed, and you’re ready to embark on that 8+ hour trip to the Outer Banks! With all that excitement on packing and thoughts of the beach, make sure preparing your home for your leave doesn’t fall through the cracks. Resort Realty has come up with 10 tips that will help your keep your home safe and keep your mind at ease when you’re on vacation!

1 // Sitters Club

If you’re going to be away for a week or so, consider hiring someone you trust to stay at your home while you’re gone. They can water your plants, check your mail, and if you didn’t bring your furry friend, they can watch over your pets as well. If someone you trust is at your home, it’ll make you feel better about leaving for an extended period of time.

2 // Let there be light

The number one thing that tips off home intruders is the look of an empty house. A timer that will turn your living room or bedroom lights on in the evenings makes your home look like someone is there and won’t tip off possible intruders.

3 // Lock it up

Lock all the doors, even the doors that you normally wouldn’t. That kitchen door that you leave unlocked for emergencies needs to be locked and secured before you go on vacation. Double check windows and secure sliding glass door jambs with either a piece of wood or metal to keep it from opening.

4 // Social media savvy 

In the technologically dependent time we live in, it’s hard not to post your every move of your life, especially when you’re on vacation. No matter how much you want to post pictures of the wild horses or the pristine beaches to make your friends super jealous, try to refrain until you get back home. Posting pictures of you relaxing on the beach and not at your home is an easy way of showing potential robbers that your home is uninhabited right now. If you just can’t stand the thought of not posting while you’re on vacay, turn off your location and geotags before you post.

5 // Unplug and unwind

Unplugging televisions, computers, phones, and any other technology can help save energy while you’re away and help protect your devices from possible power surges or outages that could happen while you’re away. Unplugging lamps and kitchen appliances like toasters, coffee pots, and microwaves can help protect your home and save energy all at once!

6 // Invest in home security

This one is a little more obvious than the others. A home security system is a great way to protect your home from potential intruders when you’re away. Home security systems can be pricey, however, you can purchase home security signs to place outside your home even if you don’t have a system installed. The sign itself will deter burglars and they won’t take the risk of triggering the alarm (that they think you have).

7 // Maintain the appearance of your home

If you’re one to make sure your lawn looks great all the time and you’re always outside cutting the grass or tending to your plants, keep up your lawn and plants while you’re away. Hire a landscaping company or a friend to help keep your yard in top shape so it won’t seem as if you’re not home to tend to it.

8 // Everything is normal

There’s a debate that is up on whether or not you should close your blinds and curtains when you go out of town or if you should leave them open. The answer is super simple; just do what you normally do. If you leave your blinds and curtains open on a daily basis, do the same when you leave. If you leave them closed, leave them that way when its time for vacation.

9 // Hold your mail

Nothing says “no one’s home” like an overflowing mailbox or yellow newspapers scattered on your front porch. You can put your mail on hold with USPS or you can enlist the help of a friend to collect your mail and newspapers for you while you’re gone.

10 // Have an emergency contact

Should the unimaginable happen to you or your home while you’re on vacation, it’s important to have an emergency contact back in your home state or city. A family member or close friend or co-worker you trust is great. Make sure you exchange phone numbers and give them the address of your rental and what town you’re vacationing in.

A few more tips:

  • Notify your bank that you’re going out of town so your debit or credit card won’t decline from unusual charges
  • Make sure that perishable food has been thrown away and taken out before you leave so you won’t come home to a stinky mess
  • Tackle laundry before you leave
  • Spray for bugs
  • Adjust your thermostat