Best Practices for Protecting Your Home While on Vacation

If you’re planning to go on vacation soon, you might be worried about leaving your home behind.

A homeowner on vacation usually equates to an unoccupied home. And an unoccupied home is a prime target for thieves and intruders because they know that there’s no one to catch them red-handed.

When you’re on vacation, all your goods are usually unsecured, making them easy to take, and making the job easy for those who want to break into your house.

But going on vacation does not always mean that you have to leave your things unsecured.

In fact, going on vacation should give you more reasons to secure your house and your property inside.

There are plenty of ways to make sure that your home is safe even when you’re away, and in this article, we’ll explain the steps you can take so you can go on your vacation and be free from stress and worry. 

1. Don’t post about your vacation before you go on vacation

The number one mistake most people already make is letting everyone know that they’ll be leaving their house unattended for days. You might think that it gets you some brownie points online, but others may see it differently.

In the eyes of burglars, an online post about going on vacation is an open invitation to break into your home. You’re basically telling them, “Hey, there’ll be no one home. Feel free to break in and take my stuff without getting caught.”

Don’t give burglars a reason to target your house. If you really want to post about your vacation, do it afterward. You know, when you’re actually at home.

2. Leave the lights on

One of the best ways to let outsiders know that someone’s inside a house is by turning the lights on. Thieves usually target houses that have the lights turned off. The areas without lights are the areas with nobody inside.

To make it seem like there’s always someone in the house, keep the lights on. This will work wonders at night because your lights can be spotted from a mile away.

If you’re worried that keeping the lights on will make your electricity bill skyrocket, you should know that modern LED bulbs consume only 212.5 kWh over 25,000 hours. This means that for those 25,000 hours, you’ll spend only $21.25 per bulb at $0.10 per kWh. And you won’t really be spending 25,000 hours away from home, will you?

On the off-chance that burglars do break into your house despite the lights being on, your CCTV systems will more easily capture their face and profile with the lights on. Sure, security cameras may have night vision, but the best details are captured when the scenery is bright, which is why you want to leave the lights on.

Speaking of CCTV cameras. . .  

3. Make sure your house has CCTV camera systems installed

You might be thinking, “What’s the point of keeping a CCTV camera when there’s no one around to monitor the feeds?”

Well, CCTV cameras are already a crime deterrent by themselves. Thieves usually prey on easy targets. If they can get a house that doesn’t have visible protection, they’ll skip on the ones that do.

Just having CCTV cameras visible from the outside is enough to make potential burglars pass on your house. Of course, this means that you should keep the CCTV system itself on and recording. While the cameras may be an effective deterrent, you’ll still want to see who sets foot on your property, if that happens.

4. Stop mail and newspaper delivery

Another telltale sign that no one’s home is when mail piles up on the front porch or in the mailbox. Put your subscriptions on pause for now so that your mailbox doesn’t get filled up. You can also get a trusted neighbor to regularly pick up your mail for you.

You don’t want to give outsiders a clue as to your whereabouts by letting them see mail stacking up outside your house.


5. Keep your lawn mowed

If your house has a front yard or a front porch, nothing screams “No one’s been here for ages” more than an unmaintained lawn. Either hire a maintenance service or a trusted neighbor or friend to mow your lawn while you’re away.

A regular presence on your lawn, even for just a few hours a week, can also be a deterrent, making it seem like there are plenty of people inside.


6. If you aren’t using your car, leave it in the driveway

If your house has a car, its location will be the best way to check if you’re there or not. Obviously, this option is inapplicable if you’ll be taking your car with you on your vacation, but if not, leave it in a visible place to show that your house isn’t empty.

You can also talk to a neighbor and let them use your driveway in which to park their car if they don’t have their own garage.

Of course, this advice depends on the safety of your neighborhood. If you decide to leave your car, it would be better to get your neighbors to keep watch from time to time.


7. Let your neighbors know when you’ll be away

When you are out of the house, the closest eyes that you can get on your property are your neighbors’. You don’t even need to ask them to actively watch your house(especially if you’re not close), but just letting them know that you’re away can make them more suspicious if anyone creeps in.


8. Get a house sitter

If you actually want someone inside the house instead of just making it look like someone’s inside, you can look into getting a house sitter to take care of the place. This should be a trusted friend or family member, and they can even take care of plants, clean the place, and take out the trash for you.

Vacations should be relaxing, and we hope that these tips give you the peace of mind that you need to head out for some much-needed R&R without worrying about the security of your home.