Destination Vacation: 5 Tips for Prepping Your Home for Summer Vacation


It’s summertime and, aside from DIY projects and summer camps, it is time to plan your family vacation. Whether you’re adventuring to Disney World for an annual trip or driving down the coast to visit extended family, it’s easy to forget that you’ll have to come back home. Even with vacation brain, it’s good to make sure your home is safe, secure and well-taken care of while you’re out having fun. To start, here’s Brunswick Crossing’s handy checklist to prepping your home for summer vacation:

  1. Tackle the basics: lock the doors, windows and garage (and give your sitter the spare key – don’t try leaving it incognito by your front door or in the bushes). Tackle the laundry and do the dishes before you leave, so the appliances aren’t running while you’re away. Clean out the fridge and empty the trash, so perishables and leftovers don’t stink up the kitchen while you’re gone. While you’re cleaning the kitchen, do an once-over of the whole house. Wash the windows, vacuum, and tidy the bedrooms so your return is welcoming.

  1. Find a trustworthy neighbor or friend(s) to be your house and/or pet sitter. Politely ask them to take care of your animals, water the plants and just keep a general eye on your home. Print this emergency contact list, fill it out and leave it on the fridge or counter for your sitter(s). Daily updates of how everything is going will leave you with the necessary peace of mind so you can enjoy your vacation.

To make things easier and smoother, leave a guide to everyday care of your pets. Begin your list with when your animal needs to be fed. Include specific times and where to find the food and dishes, if necessary. If you have a dog, don’t forget to include times that it needs to go out and be walked. If you have a cat or other indoor animal, such as a hamster or snake, include when to clean the litter box or cage.

  1. Unplug everything to save money on your bills, and help the environment while you’re away. Turning off an appliance does not equal saving energy. Turn off surge protectors and disconnecting the Internet for the safest, most reassuring way to keep money in your wallet. To keep saving money, turn up the thermostat to a recommended 82 degrees while you’re away, but keep the air conditioning unit on to continue circulating the warm air. 

  1. Invest in timers for blinds and lights. Set the timers to open the blinds during the day and turn on the outside lights at night to create the illusion that people are still home. This will discourage any unwelcome visitors. 

  1. Request mail stoppage. Most news carriers allow you to stop receiving mail to your home any time from 3 to 30 days. This prevents pile-up in your mailbox or driveway. If you have packages delivered, just have your house sitter pick them up and put them inside.

We want you to have a relaxing, fun getaway with your family, but we also want you to come back to your home just the way you left it. This checklist allows you to leave your home knowing it’s clean, watched-over and efficient no matter the destination of your vacation. Do you have a helpful tip to share? Leave your suggestions in the comments below. We’d love to hear what you have to say!