Holiday vacation is always something to look forward to, but it also requires a fair amount of planning. Taking care of the crucial things you need to prepare before your travel day arrives will allow you to overcome the unforeseen events that may arise along the way. That is why we asked experts for their tips on how to prepare and secure your home before leaving for your holiday vacation.

When should you book your flight? 

“When using the internet for travel planning, people are always curious what that magic number is for how far in advance you should book your flight. The honest answer is, there isn’t one. I have booked flights one week before my trip and still managed to find a great deal. I’ve also booked 6 months before my trip and managed to find a great deal. How far in advance you should be booking really depends on a few factors such as where you’re going, the season you’re traveling in, the days you plan on leaving and returning, etc. Typically, flights go on sale 11 months before departure, but don’t expect to catch airline deals more than 150 days before departure. says to book between 25 days and 150 days, and I personally find the sweet spot at around 60 days or rough 2 to 2.5 months in advance.”

Lavender Vines

What to do with your car when you’re going on vacation?

“‘Tis the season of travel! The single busiest travel day nationwide is the Sunday after Thanksgiving, though the remainder of the year follows suit. As you prepare to head out of town this holiday season, be mindful of where you leave your car. Whether you’re parking at the airport or using a ride sharing service from your home, make sure all valuables are removed from your car and it is parked in a secure place.We recommend a closed garage which not only protects from intruders, but also weather and outdoor elements. Don’t leave your windows or sunroof open and confirm all doors are locked. If you’re leaving your car in the driveway or a public parking garage, remove all belongings from the entire car, including the glove compartment and trunk. While airports do provide security in their parking garages, they are not liable should your car get broken into. For extra safety, you can store your car in a professional storage facility. Prior to leaving town, make sure to clean your car, fill the gas tank, and check the tire pressure. Happy traveling!”


How can I effectively research and plan my travel itinerary?

“Start by looking into the fun parts of your trip, but avoid over-researching to prevent feeling overwhelmed. You can Google your destination to get a basic idea of available options. For more extensive trips, consider purchasing a Lonely Planet guidebook for the area. This guidebook not only provides information on major attractions, but it’s also useful for spontaneous planning while traveling, especially since it doesn’t require WIFI. When planning, get a clear idea of the options at your destination. Organize these options by grouping them based on proximity and estimate the time required for each. It’s important not to over-schedule, as less is often more. Plan your itinerary either on a circular route or throughout the country, depending on your exit point. Utilize maps, notebooks, and other tools to help visualize your journey. Create a trip planner that lists the main attractions, cities, and activities. Assign tentative dates to each activity but leave room for adjustments. This not only helps manage your time but also lets you prioritize or add activities if needed.”


What are some tips for choosing a hotel?

“Here are some helpful tips to help you find the right hotel for you:

Booking Online: Many hotel-booking websites provide you with all the information that you need to know to make your choice before arriving at your destination. Their website will include pictures of their rooms and facilities so you will know what to expect beforehand.

Reviews / Testimonials: The best way to find out about the pros and cons of a hotel is to read what past guests have to say about it. A hotel review site will give you the full picture, as those leaving reviews and testimonials do not have a vested interest.

Coupons: Coupon books that offer discounts at hotels can be picked up at airports, train stations, and travel agents. There are also websites that provide coupons for various hotel chains. Many of these coupons can secure you great savings of at least 10%.

Cleanliness: Always consider cleanliness and sanitation when deciding which hotel to book. It is not at all recommended to try and save money by staying in a hotel that cuts costs by not providing an environment that is 100% healthy and clean.

Cost: Hotels are available to meet all budgets, so you will always have options available. Prices can spiral if you are not careful though, so watch out for any hidden costs. Once you have worked out the maximum amount that you can afford to spend on your hotel, the next step is to look at which hotels within that price range offer the best value for money.”

My Wedding Guide 

What are the essential components to consider and prioritize when planning a journey to ensure its success and overall quality?

“When you design your coming journey, there are several important things you have to plan and prepare. Some of them are crucial- without them, your trip can be unrealizable or can fail in the middle or even in the beginning. Other details are not so crucial, but without them, the quality of your trip can be lower.

These crucial elements include the travel documentation (passport, visa, permits for special areas, etc.), air tickets, some important train or ferry tickets, some important accommodations, and some important travel gear such as camping equipment and more. And the other things of less importance include details like where to eat for lunch, easy to arrange transport and accommodation, additional activities, additional things to bring, etc.

Naturally, the crucial elements of the trip should be arranged first, like its foundation. Once you set it up, you can build its lesser details. But of course, before you start doing this, you have to make some research and draw an outline of your trip.”

Journey Beyond the Horizon 

Why it’s important to avoid traveling on peak days?

“Traveling on off-peak days is cheaper, no matter the time of year. When it comes to the holiday season, the day before Thanksgiving is the absolute WORST day to travel. If you have a limited number of vacation days, it’s better to travel early in the day on both Thanksgiving and Christmas. You avoid the extremely long lines and the confusion that goes with them. In addition, statistics prove that early-in-the-day flights have a much higher “on-time” rate than any other time of the day. On the other hand, when traveling by car, it’s best to travel at night when traffic is much less congested.”

Mommy Travels

How to choose a resort for your family vacation?

“Every resort aims to create an enchanting escape from the demands of everyday life. How well the spell works depends on you finding the best match for your family.

  • Look for deals: For most resorts, summer is the busiest time of the year, so true discounts and deals can feel elusive. However, finding ways to save money means you can enjoy more activities during your vacation. You can also think outside the box and stay at resorts in off-season areas, such as ski resorts during summer.
  • Compare amenities and attractions: Comparing amenities and attractions at various resorts will help you choose the best one for your family vacation. Finding a great fit for your group makes having an enjoyable and memorable holiday easier for everyone.
  • Consider the room location: Finally, the location of your room affects things like privacy, walking distance, convenience, and aesthetics. At smaller resorts, all rooms might feel conveniently close to the lobby. But if you’re booking a large resort, don’t underestimate how long it might take for you and your family to walk from your room to your destination.”

Knycx Journeying

What are things people need to consider when traveling with their pet?

“Pets are an important part of the family and for many, holidays aren’t the same without them. However, travelling with your pet isn’t as simple as packing their food and hitting the road. Pet travel via aircraft can sometimes cost more than a human airfare depending on the distance. Accommodation rates will also vary significantly. When you add up the costs, pet travel can be just as expensive as another human. However, if you compare the costs of boarding, it could still work out cheaper for them to travel with you, so do your research. Travelling with pets can be sometimes limiting. For example, some national parks are out of the question for pets. The same goes for museums, galleries and most indoor attractions. You’ll need a safe space for them while you’re out. The last thing you want is to return to your hotel and discover your pet has destroyed it. It’s also a good idea to check with your vet to ensure your pet is healthy and fit to travel. Discuss how you plan to travel e.g. car, train, plane and any concerns you have. You should also pack a pet first aid kit and copies of your pet’s vaccination records in case of emergency.”

Travel Online

How to properly secure your garage door?

“If you have an automatic garage door, disable the electronic lock and manually lock it from the inside before you leave. This is to prevent burglars from using a decoder or universal remote to open your garage and enter the house from there. And as for a manual door, secure it with a clamp or strong padlock.”

What are the most common home security mistakes that people should avoid before traveling?

“The easiest mistake to avoid are advertising you are away from home. Some people think of this as not announcing on social media that they are gone which is not a bad idea, but also think about did you stop the newspaper or the mail. Do you have lights on a timer? Do you have a friend or neighbor watching the house? How about installing a security system like Ring doorbell where you can see who is coming to your door from wherever you are on your smartphone. Perhaps you can have someone stay in your home. You can even make your home available for a home share which will put someone in your home and later on give you the ability to stay in someone else’s home for free.

Amateur Traveler

Recommendations for packing your sports equipment for your trip?

Consider setting up a personalized welcome message on your home’s answering machine, rearranging furniture to create a new and refreshed look, planting flowers or herbs to give your home a more lively atmosphere, and creating a cozy ambiance by arranging fairy lights or candles in strategic places. These small touches can make your home feel more inviting to you upon your return and give it a lived-in look that can deter potential burglars.

Chris Cole, Nature Sport Central

Tips to Prepare for Family Road Trips With Kids and Pets

Practicing a trip can be worthwhile if you’re traveling with kids and pets.

You can do a practice run with your kids. Make it a day trip or a weekend trip. The kids can practice any car rules” your family has during the practice road trip.

Bring enough food to avoid fast food: Consider bringing enough food in coolers for some healthy meals.

When mapping out your journey, plan some “pitstops” for your kids. They give your family a chance to have back pain relief exercises and use the restroom.

Try to find online travel checklists, including ones for kids and pets. You’ll likely need to make some tweaks, but these travel checklists are good starting points. When packing for your road trip, consider the main items your kids and pets will need.


How to find the best deal from a travel insurance company?

“You can compare each travel policy giving you the information you need to make an informed decision about your travel insurance needs and find the best travel insurance deal for you. After working as travel agent for many years, I have seen case after case of incidents where clients were left in distress or financially devastated because they chose not to take the time or didn’t feel it was important to spend the few extra dollars to make sure their families were protected.”

Best Family Beach Vacations

Tips for grocery shopping before traveling

“We all know gas station food and airport food is not the best. For me, packing healthy snacks is a necessity. Whether it’s a road trip, camping trip or a long flight journey, I never leave home without a few essentials. For non-perishable items, I love packing dried fruit, nuts, nature bars (Larabars are my favorite for healthy simple ingredients), and crackers (Mary’s has some really great healthy options). If you’re able to bring some perishable items, baby carrots, celery sticks and fresh berries are easy to eat on the road. I almost always bring small packets of oatmeal and a bag of super seeds (chia, hemp, etc) to top it off. You can mix your berries here too. There’s no heating necessary for quick oats so you can just mix with cold water if you don’t have an option to heat it. And I always recommend bringing a refillable water bottle everywhere you go. Most airports have easy refilling stations.Don’t forget to bring biodegradable wipes to keep your hands clean (especially on the plane!) and a few ziplock bags to store your items and prevent spills in your bag or car. For camping and road trips, I like to bring small stainless steel tupperware containers to prevent plastic waste.”

Ordinary Traveler

What companies should people notify before traveling?

“Credit card company Your bank Neighbors Local police department (many smaller towns have a service that will check on residents homes when they are away) Pet sitters Teachers (for those with kids)”

Kids Are A Trip

How to stay energized during your trip?

“No matter where you travel, your main goal should be to relax and unwind as much as possible. However, it’s not always easy to feel comfortable right away in a new place. Maybe you’re having trouble sleeping. Or, maybe you’re getting in so much activity each day that you’re completely exhausted by the afternoon. You can prepare for those energy slumps ahead of time by mentally preparing yourself. Write down your goals and expectations before you leave, and nail down a schedule that won’t burn you out each day. When you’re in the right mindset and stick to your schedule, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed by all of the things you want to do and experience. You’ll go at your own pace and waste less energy. You can also stay energized throughout your travels by getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and staying active. Make sure you’re listening to your body. If you start to feel tired by a certain point each day, don’t fight back against it. Learn to understand your fatigue and what your body needs, and give yourself plenty of rest.”

Baby Boomster

What should people consider before hiring a house sitting service?

“Choosing a house sitter doesn’t have to be daunting, but there are a few steps you should follow to find the right person for the job. The first step is to check the house sitter has up-to-date background checks. If they aren’t able to provide these, that should be a concern. However, actual references from previous housesitting jobs are often more important, particularly if the sitter is able to show experience looking after a similar property or pets. Schedule an interview, either in person or over a video call, to get to know the house sitter. It’s a good idea to ask any prospective house sitters how they would handle theoretical situations such as water pipes breaking. This is especially important with older or rural properties, which often have more quirks and challenges than apartments. If security is a priority, be sure to ask how much time they’ll spend in the property. Cost can be a factor, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. It’s also worth noting that you don’t necessarily have to pay a housesitting company and payment doesn’t always equal better service. There are many websites, like TrustedHousesitters or MindMyHouse, where vagabonding house sitters offer their services for free in return for getting a free place to stay.”


What essential items should people store in their safe deposit box before traveling? 

“Safe deposit boxes are the perfect place to store your essential items that you don’t need immediate access to when traveling. These items will be secure from theft since only you have access to your personal safe deposit box, plus they will be protected in a fire. It is recommended to keep important documents in your safe deposit box such as your will, marriage certificate, car titles, and deed to your home. You may also want to consider other valuable items that you would not want to lose in a burglary if someone broke into your home. Small family heirlooms, expensive jewelry and even items like hard drives/thumb drives. Remember that safe deposit boxes have limited space so only small items will fit inside.”

Safe and Vault

Tips to minimize travel stress

“When you think about the things that cause the most stress for traveling at any time of the year, especially during the holidays, waiting through the long queues at airport security tops the list. As frequent travelers we have alleviated that stressful element but enrolling in Global Entry. Global Entry is program that’s administered through U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that allows pre-approved and low-risk travelers expedited clearance through customs upon arrival in the United States. The fee is $100 and the enrollment is for a five-year period. What’s great about Global Entry is that it also includes TSA Precheck which allows travelers to fast-track through airport security. The cost for TSA Precheck is $78 so for $22 more we’re enrolled in both programs for five years and thus avoiding the long airport queues. Since Global Entry takes months to process this is a tip for next year’s holiday season. However, something you can take advantage of now is to treat yourself to time in an airport lounge once you’ve cleared security. For a small fee you can enjoy a snack, meal, drink and some quiet time in a less hectic environment. I also like to meditate (or nap) with nature sounds while I’m waiting for my flight. Some credit cards allow access into specific airline lounges but there’s also lounges available to the traveling public for a small fee. Take some time to identify an airport lounge that’s close to your gate.”

 Tonya Fitzpatrick, World Footprints

Tips for managing smart locks automation to keep a house secure

“Smart locks are not only convenient, they are also much more secure than traditional keys, especially when you leave your home for an extended period. If anything does happen like a broken pipe or another mishap, you can easily program a custom code and schedule the time that code provides access. You can also track when work has been completed by tracking who opened the door, and when, on your smart lock app. If you have a neighbor checking on things or feeding a pet, you can also give them a separate code and see when they come, and when they lock your door when they leave. Hiding keys at your house, or passing them around neighbors just isn’t safe. You will never be sure that they weren’t copied, or when they are used. Smart Locks always let you know who has been in your home, and when.”


How can creating a countdown to your trip help you be more prepared?

“A vacation countdown can be a great way to get yourself ready and excited for your upcoming trip. By creating one, you can easily track the time until your departure date, giving you a good idea of how much time is left to plan and prepare. Knowing how many days until you go can give you a sense of urgency and motivate you to work harder on planning and packing. The Vacation Countdown App allows you to create a packing list of items you need to bring with you on your vacation. You can also use the app to add important tasks that need to be completed before your trip. Not only does this will  help with planning and preparation, but it also helps make the excitement build up prior to the trip. Whether it’s looking at the countdown, reading fun facts about various destinations or playing travel-themed trivia games. A vacation countdown is the perfect way to get ready for your trip.”

Vacation Countdown App

Tips to secure your window and door glass when you’re gone for the Holidays

“-Make sure your windows are closed and locked: Robbers tend to look for easy entry and will try to open doors and windows before breaking glass. Just by locking and closing your windows you can increase your chances that bad guys won’t break in.
-Check your locks to make sure they are functioning correctly: Sometimes the latches on double hung windows can come loose and the lock doesn’t engage with its counterpart. The window might seem locked, but it is not. Always test out all your windows to confirm they are closed and secure.
-Add Security Film: Most robbers’ main point of entry is usually through the glass of a window or most likely the glass of a french door usually in the back of the house. Security film can secure and strengthen the glass and slow down the bad guys and make it much harder for them to gain entry. If it becomes too time consuming for them to break in, they may move on to the next house.
-Get Glass Break sensors: Glass break sensors are a great way to get notified when someone is trying to break into your home. Recently across the country there have been break-ins by a burglary ring from Chile. They enter through the glass without opening the door or window so as not to set an alarm off. With glass break sensors an alarm will sound immediately upon the sound of glass breaking.
-Add plants and shrubs in front of windows: A simple way to reduce the likelihood of a break in is to make it harder for the bad guys to gain entry. They look for easy access with no obstacles. Rose bushes or any shrubbery below or in front of access windows is a great way to deter the bad guys from picking your home.”

Solar Art

How to be prepared to leave before a trip? 

“E-mail yourself all the copies of all the important papers needed for your trip. Passports and visas, travelers check numbers, insurance certificates, medical info, contact numbers for emergency purposes. This was a lesson I learned while on a trip to China, in which my passport wallet was stolen and everything I had was in there. It took days to get a new passport, credit cards, etc. Having photocopies of my passport, birth certificate, and many other things would have saved days dealing with the back and forth of trying to get out of the country.”

Peek At This

What are the alarm monitoring safety tips people should consider before going on vacation?

“Safety tips for people going on vacation should be in the best interest of the individual, meaning, create a presence that would appear that someone is at the house, even when one is not. This will make it less attractive for an individual to want to investigate and potentially burglarize them. Some helpful ways to do so would include:
 1) Leaving light on through the house
 A) Ideally one might install Z-Wave lights that allow end user to activate so that it isn’t “timed” indicating that no one really is home
 2) Ensure your alarm is set, if possible have the mobile application so they have the ability to control it remotely as well
 A) This will also allow for immediate notifications from the system, even before the Central Station were to call
 3) Do no keep large, purchased items in the trash outside that would invite someone to snoop or go through their belongings
 4) Have someone pick up the mail while out of town, especially on extended stays
 A) This will again show that someone is around and will prevent onlookers from assuming no one is there if mail piles up
 5) Plan deliveries accordingly so that nothing is left on your doorstep for long period of time.”

Alert Protective Services

Tips for leaving your dog behind when you travel

Find a trustworthy pet sitter: If you’re going to be leaving your dog behind when you travel, you’ll want to make sure you can find a trustworthy person to watch your pup.  To find a suitable pet sitter, check with your veterinarian, friend, family, neighbors, check online in Facebook groups and forum for recommendations. You’ll want to find out as much information as you can about potential sitters to make sure they’re the right fit for you and your pup.
Get your pup used to your pet sitter: Before you leave your pup behind when you travel, you’ll want to get them used to your pet sitter. This will make the transition easier for both your pup and your pet sitter. You can do this by introducing your pup to your pet sitter before you leave. You can also take your pup to your pet sitter’s house before you leave to get them used to their new surroundings. Prepare your pup for your absence: Before you leave your pup behind when you travel, you’ll want to prepare your pup for your absence. This includes making sure your pup gets plenty of exercises before you leave. This will help tire your pup out and make it easier for them to rest. You’ll also want to make sure your pup has everything they need while you are gone. This includes bed, food, water, medication, vaccination, toys, and grooming supplies.”

How to set a budget for a holiday

Set realistic goals and budget: The first step to budgeting for holiday travel is to set realistic goals and a budget. Start by creating a list of your travel goals. Once you have your travel goals, it’s time to create a budget. A budget will help you plan your trip by setting a limit for your expenses and help you not overspend on your trip. Don’t be afraid to adjust your budget and make it work for you and your financial situation. Once you create a budget, stick to it throughout the entire trip-planning process. Research the best travel deals online: Before booking your flight, accommodation, private driver, or other travel arrangements, research the best travel deals online ahead of time. Start by searching for airline tickets on travel websites like Kayak or Expedia. For accommodation, try Airbnb and Booking and for tours and drivers, you can try SeekToTravel or Viator. Also, before booking travel deals online, be sure to check for travel rewards, discounts, and coupons. Travel websites like TravelHobo, Travelocity, or BootsnAll. These sites will let you know what travel deals are available.
Create a budget-friendly itinerary: Once you’ve researched the best travel deals online and looked for added discounts and rewards, it’s time to create a budget-friendly itinerary. It’s important to balance the number of days you’re visiting each place or each city with how much money you have to spend. Book tickets including excursions and activities ahead of time to get the best prices. This will help you save money and avoid booking too many last-minute tickets or bookings. You can also try carpooling or traveling with a group of people to help reduce the costs of your trip.”

What are the most important things to consider while preparing for a trip?

“Preparation is absolutely key to having a safe and successful trip! Here are some important things to consider:
1) Who can help you if there’s an emergency? Have at least one trusted contact back home that has a copy of your documents, your itinerary, important phone numbers including doctors, access to your residence, and a plan of action in case something arises or they don’t hear from you.
2) Are you covered in case something happens? Travel insurance is something most people don’t think about. It’s a very small amount that can save you thousands (or more!). From illness to cancelled flights, even damage to your home that affects your trip, travel insurance can protect you in so many ways.
3) What happens if you lose your phone? We live on our phones nowadays, but before you leave, have a contingency plan in case it gets lost, stolen, or broken. That means having paper copies of important information and memorizing a few key phone numbers, including the local emergency services (which can be different if you’re out of the country).
4) Where are you sharing your trip information? Tell your friends and family, but don’t post about your travels on social media until you’re back. Just don’t do it! Even if your profile is locked down, it’s simply not safe to share your exact whereabouts and empty home with the internet.”

Her Adventures

What preparations should be made at home on the day of leaving for a trip?

“The most valuable thing you can do when it comes to closing the house for vacation is create a checklist. When everyone is out of the house, one or two responsible people need to go through and be sure everything has been done. We’ve left a door unlocked more than once after “knowing” I locked it, only to have a child sneak past to get something from the backyard while I was busy loading up the car. Another thing most people don’t think about is preventing water damage. It only takes a minute to turn off the toilet valves, sink valves, and washing machine valves. Even a small leak can cause thousands of dollars in damage over a weekend – it’s well worth the time.”

Jaunty Everywhere

How to prepare your home to prevent environmental damage before going away?

“In my opinion, the biggest environmental threat to your home that can occur while you’re away is mold.  While low levels of mold naturally occur in your home, uncontrolled mold growth can exacerbate allergies and asthma, and cause intense respiratory infections for people with compromised immune systems. And one of the last things you want returning from vacation is getting sick.  Since mold thrives in wet and humid areas, your best line of defense is to prevent excess moisture, maintain sufficient airflow and keep humidity low in your home. Thankfully, there are many ways to keep mold at bay.  The simplest way is merely turning off your water main to prevent water leaks and depending on the season, crack open a window to allow for good airflow. A more sophisticated option is relying on smart technology with apps to keep tabs on water leaks, as well as humidity and ventilation levels remotely from your phone. Even with these methods, sometimes mold growth can still be difficult to detect.  So upon returning home, take a few minutes to walk around your house and check for any evidence of mold, water leaks or condensation.”

Everyday Old House

Tips for cleaning the house before leaving on vacation

“With so many things to think about before a long trip, here are some easy tips for cleaning the house before leaving on vacation – so you tick all the important boxes, leave relaxed, and come back confident that a lovely home will welcome you. First of all, plan in advance and don’t leave all the cleaning for the last day, or you won’t get it done. The key here is to clean things and places that can deteriorate while you are away, or that will drive you mad when you come back. Dust will collect, but that’s easy to clean. Mold on wet clothes forgotten in the washing machine? That’s much, much worse.

  • Clean appliances that require monthly or quarterly cleaning, like dishwasher and washing machine. Before you leave, empty them.
  • Wash places that you don’t see or forget about, like the veggie box in the fridge, or the cheese container.
  • If you’re too busy packing, just leave the used sheets on the bed, but have clean ones ready to put on as soon as you come back.
  • If you have a robot, leave it plugged in and programmed/connected to the Wi-Fi, and make it clean the floor before you arrive.
  • But most of all, know yourself and prioritize what is most important for you. Do you want a clean bathroom? Do you want a tidy living room? If you don’t have time to do it all (and you won’t), choose to clean the most important things for your peace of mind – not for the sake of cleanliness.”

Travelling Sunglasses

What services should people put on hold before leaving for the holidays?

Utilities: When traveling, it’s important to put all your utilities on hold. This applies to gas, electricity, and water bills, as well as any other bills that can accumulate while you’re away. You can do this by contacting the company and letting them know you’re going away, and how long you expect to be away. This will help ensure that you don’t get any surprise bills when you get home.
Subscriptions: Before you go on holiday, it’s a good idea to put all your subscriptions on hold, such as magazines, newspapers, gym memberships, and streaming services such as Netflix. This will prevent any unexpected charges from coming through while you’re away. It’s easy to do, and the companies will usually not charge you if you do it right. Keeping your subscriptions on hold can also be a great way to save money while you’re away. So, before you go on holiday, log into each account and put the subscription on pause.
Delivery services: If you use delivery services such as Amazon, you’ll want to put them on hold while you’re on holiday. This will prevent any packages to go missing or being returned to the sender while you’re away.”

What are some practical tips for managing mail and package deliveries while you’re on holiday?

Put your mail on hold

The first and most crucial step is to put your mail on hold. The USPS provides a Hold Mail service that can keep your mail safe at your local post office until you return. You can sign up for this service up to 30 days in advance.

Arrange for package delivery

If you’re expecting any packages while you’re away, consider arranging for them to be delivered to a friend or family member’s house or a neighbor you trust.

Set up automatic bill payments

To avoid missing any bills or deadlines while you’re away, set up automatic bill payments for your utilities, credit cards, and other bills.

Clear your mailbox

Before leaving, clear your mailbox as much as possible to avoid overflow. Consider putting a sign on your mailbox indicating that you’re away to hold any mail until you return.

Use a virtual mailbox

A virtual mailbox service lets you receive, view, and manage your mail and packages online. You can then have your mail and packages forwarded, held for pickup, or discarded.

Travel Guide

How to get the whole family to help with vacation prep

“The best way I’ve found to get the whole family involved in vacation prep is to create a checklist for each family member with tasks they need to complete before the trip. This is usually a quick list that I jot down on a blank piece of paper. It doesn’t need to be fancy! In addition to their packing list, there are things like taking out the trash, closing all the blinds, and turning off all of the lights on the list. With each family member in charge of just a few items, it makes the workload lighter. If your kids are young, (on maybe not even that young!) it’s probably a good idea for a parent to do a quick sweep of the house to insure that it looks ready to leave for vacation. Another option is to type up a master list and print it off each time you are preparing to leave on vacation. We’ve done this and placed the list on our kitchen counter and have asked everyone to write their initials next to the items they will complete. This gives everyone ownership of their tasks since they are the ones to select the item. Either way, having a list helps everyone remember what they need to do and you can get some satisfaction when you cross things off the list and get one step closer to that vacation!”

This Travel Tribe

Which recommendations do you have when packing things for a road trip?

When planning a road trip, be sure you are aware of the road conditions where you are traveling to and from. Be sure you have plenty of water, snacks, and a tire pump, and fill your windshield washer fluid tank. When you pack smart for a road trip, you can enjoy the views along the way.

Sara Broers, TravelWithSara

With the expert advice shared, safeguarding your home for your holiday vacation can be a seamless process. From ensuring your home’s security to managing utilities and cleaning to create a welcoming environment upon your return, each step is integral. Just as you would plan your vacation, planning your home’s care during your absence is vital. Remember, the peace of mind you gain knowing your home is secure and well-maintained means you can fully enjoy your holiday, making these preparations an essential part of your vacation checklist. Your journey awaits, and now, so does a well-prepared home.