Are you one of the lucky ones who is jetting off to a warmer destination as the New Year rolls in? You’re probably counting down the days! Before you zip up your suitcase and embrace the glorious denial of snowbirding, there are a few things you want to do first to make sure your home stays cozy and secure in your absence.
There are several things you can put in place when you are traveling during the wintertime. These include must-dos like preparing your space for the colder months, making it appear you haven’t left, and asking your neighbors for help. Let’s take a look at how these steps will allow you to enjoy your vacation knowing you left everything in good hands!
You’re probably really excited to get away for a bit, but before you embark on your travels, you need to take a few preventive homebase measures. First, make sure you seal gaps and any cracks along the exterior of your house. This saves energy and is more cost-efficient over time. Ensure all your windows and doors are properly sealed too, which prevents drafts and keeps the warm air inside.
Another thing you want to do is protect your pipes. Insulate any exposed pipes to prevent them from freezing and potentially bursting. If you aren’t sure how to do this, head to your local hardware store to pick up supplies and get their directions (typically the store clerks are always willing to give additional advice).
Before you walk out your door, also make sure you adjust your thermostat. Lower it to a temperature that keeps the interior from freezing and without wasting energy. Setting it somewhere between 55-60°F is generally a safe bet.
If you’re expecting snow, arrange for a service to keep your walkways clear. This will ensure it melts fully and prevents ice or other potential damage, and in some places it is actually illegal not to clear a path. Make sure you unplug all non-essential electronics and appliances from their outlets as well, which is best done as the very last thing you do before leaving in the chance you last-minute toasted bread or curled your hair. Saving even more energy – while reducing the risk of fire – is certainly something to celebrate in your “new year, new me” phase!
When you are traveling for days at a time, it’s important to create the appearance that you are still home. This deters potential intruders and keeps everything safe until you get back.
One way to do this is by setting timers on your lights. Set them to turn on and off throughout the day to mimic your normal routine. It’s also a good idea to reach out to your local post office and pause your mail and package deliveries. You don’t want to leave these piling up on your front porch – that is a giveaway to the outside world that no one is there.
If you don’t have one already, consider installing a security system with surveillance cameras. Modern systems can be controlled remotely via smartphone apps, which is ideal to check on things from afar.
In the spirit of protecting what’s most valuable to you, do you know if your insurance plan has the coverage you need in case something happens while you’re away? It’s important to work with a company that has a good reputation and offers plans with the exact type of coverage you need. If you want to make a switch, Freeway Insurance reviews consistently rate this company with 4.5 out of 5 stars and they offer a variety of plans in your area. To find out more, visit their website or send an email.
It’s always wise to ask for help when you need it, especially when it comes to keeping your place safe. Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to park in your driveway occasionally and put your garbage bins out on trash pickup day (sadly, they probably aren’t willing to do this when you’re home… as amazing as that would be). This gives the appearance that someone is coming and going regularly.
Ask them to collect any lingering mail, packages, and newspapers that may have come in. You may also want to give them your spare keys to check things out inside every so often, too. The good thing about having them help is that they are more likely to notice if something seems off, and they can alert you if something needs your attention.
You want to be able to enjoy your winter getaway without worrying about what’s going on at home. Some of the ways to do this are by winterizing it, securing it, and asking your neighbors for their assistance. These tips will ensure that everything remains safe and sound in your absence. Now get packing and enjoy whisking yourself away repeatedly during the beginning of 2024 and beyond!