How to Prep Your Home Before a Long-Term Trip

March 9, 2023 |
Article | 3 min

Ways to prep your home before you leave for an extended time away.

Embarking on an extended getaway can be exciting. It can be overwhelming, too, especially when you need to be away from your home and personal property for a long time. You want to make sure your home is secure before you leave so you can concentrate on new experiences. If you are headed out on a long-term trip, use these tips to prep your home before you go.

Outside chores to complete

How your home looks on the outside can signal unwanted attention from thieves. Overgrown shrubbery, a snow-covered driveway, a stack of newspapers on the doorstep, and an overflowing mailbox scream that no one is home. If your getaway falls in line with potential snowstorms or growing season, be sure to schedule someone to take care of outdoor chores while you are away, suggests Kaitlyn Pacheco, writer for You will want to officially stop your mail, or if you have a trusted neighbor, ask them to handle mail and deliveries for you. Again, if you have a neighbor you can trust, you may want to share your plans. “In case of an emergency or suspicious activity, they can call the proper authorities and/or notify you,” Pacheco adds.

Illuminate properly for better protection

During the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re not home to turn on a light. After the sun goes down, though, it is imperative that your home be illuminated properly. “Put at least one light in your house on a timer. Install a motion-activated sensor on an outdoor floodlight. (Burglars hate outdoor lighting — and that’s why we love it),” according to

Cleaning tasks for a safer home

It’s easy to get so swept away with packing for your trip and detailing your itinerary that you ignore your regular cleaning chores, but it’s essential you focus on both for a successful trip. You don’t want to return to a stinky house, or an environment riddled with bugs or critters!

“Clear your refrigerator of what’s due to expire during your trip so you aren’t welcomed home by the smell of rotting food,” Pacheco suggests. “Clearing out the garbage disposal will help prevent any unpleasant smells from building up during your vacation.”

Save money and energy while you’re away

You don’t want to waste energy or money while you’re gone, so make sure that all small appliances are unplugged, suggests Other tips from the insurance experts include setting the “vacation” mode on your water heater, changing the temperature to mimic what’s going on outside, and turning off water valves.

With prep before you leave, you will be able to better focus on your time away, knowing your home is safe and secure.