Summer Vacation Checklist: 7 Things To Do Before You Leave For Vacation

Taking a vacation this summer can be a great way to relax, explore, and spend time with your friends and family. While you remembered to pack your swimsuit — thanks to your packing checklist, did you use a home vacation checklist — and check it twice?

Whether you’re off for a quick weekend getaway or a much-needed two-week trip, it’s essential to ensure your home is adequately prepared and protected.

Here, are 7 areas of focus that you need to make sure are appropriately handled before you leave for vacation this summer.

1)  Take Into Account Auto Safety

If you’re going on a road trip, make sure that your car is in good condition and safe by following these tips:

  • Get your oil changed, tires rotated, brakes checked, and other routine service completed.
  • Ensure your car does not need a new battery, light bulbs or other essential
  • Check that your auto insurance policy is up to date, and that you have a valid insurance card with you.
  • If you are traveling abroad, and planning on renting a car (or taking your own), contact us to review your policy provisions.

2)  Keep Home Looking Occupied

When you’re away from your home, you should implement strategies to make it look lived-in. Try these top tips to help ensure your house doesn’t look like its vacated and a prime target for would-be burglars:

  • Have remote light sensors turn on at night to make your home appear lived in.
  • Stop mail and newspaper deliveries, unless you have a trusted neighbor who can remove these daily.
  • Hire a service to mow your lawn if you are going to be gone for more than a week.
  • Consider leaving a radio or television on or use a timer to turn them on and off.
  • Have someone park a car in your driveway, and move it occasionally if possible.
  • Ask someone to water flowers or plants.

3) Utilize Smart Technology

With today’s smart technology, your home, in a sense, travels with you. When you’re going away for vacation, you can also use smart technology to your advantage to make sure that your home is secure.

There are plenty of smart security products and services today that can be used to keep your home secure. Including:

  • Smart sensors
  • Cameras
  • Security alarms
  • Smart locks
  • Smart doorbells
  • Smart thermostats
  • Smart home apps

Plus additional products that will provide you with the ability to monitor your home security when you’re away via your smartphone. However, don’t advertise your vacation plans on social media platforms.

Modern technology can provide you with the peace of mind your home is secure, and you’ll be able to notify law enforcement if something appears suspicious.

4) Secure the Water Supply

While you’re gone for a summer vacation, there is always a chance that your home could be damaged by a burst pipe, leak, or flash flood. Since you’ll not be around to stop these problems from getting worse, a good option would be to turn off your water supply before you leave. Set your water heater on “vacation mode” also and make sure all storm drains are clear and free-flowing.

You should also make sure that your homeowners’ insurance policy is in good standing and will cover water damage. Talk to your insurance agent about whether you could benefit from flood insurance.

5) Invest in Security Services

While you can have quality home security products to monitor certain aspects of your home, it can also be highly beneficial to have a security service and contract in place. Security companies provide you with service to ensure your home is adequately monitored.

If you decide to subscribe to a service, there generally is a discount available on your homeowners policy – contact us to learn more.

Ideally, you should also put up a sign in your front yard and windows of your home to let people know that your home is being monitored.

6) Participate in a Neighborhood Watch

To make sure your whole neighborhood is safe, having a neighborhood watch program in place can be highly beneficial. If your community doesn’t yet have a crime watch designation, some critical things to consider when developing a plan for your watch should include:

  • Having designated responsibilities for people in the neighborhood.
  • Having processes in place when a crime or suspicious activity occurs.
  • Designating a person to look after empty homes when someone is away.

7) Secure Your Home

Last but not least, when you leave for your vacation, make sure your home is properly locked up and secure. Some of the most important things to keep in mind before you leave this summer should include the following:

  • Check to ensure all doors and windows are properly locked. This should consist of having deadbolts, handles, and sliding glass door pins locks all correctly secured and fastened. This will be the first deterrent for thieves. And don’t forget to lock basement windows, which are a common entry point.
  • Remove all spare keys from around your home, including ones you may have hidden under a flower pot or doormat. Thieves will spend time looking in common key hiding places around your home for a spare key.
  • Clear overgrown shrubs around your home to make sure that thieves do not have a good hiding spot.

Here at Insurance Center of North Jersey, we are happy to work with you to provide you with more tips to keep your home and property safe.  Contact us today at 201-525-1100.