It is the holiday season and for many of us that live away from our extended family, it also means a time of traveling! We are oftenusaa_logo_for_contract_on_blue_150x150 stationed in different states away from those we love so, our homes will be left empty as we travel this winter.


Here are 9 things to help make your home safe and sound for an extended trip:


1. Have the post office hold your mail while you are gone. You do not want packages and mail piling up and increasing the chances something will get lost or stolen. Make sure you also put a hold on your newspaper subscriptions (if you are really lucky and have a trustworthy neighbor, have them check your mail and collect newspapers).


2. Inform a trusted neighbor of your absence so they can keep a look out for any strange activity at your home. It is also a good idea to make sure someone has a key in case of an emergency.


3. Collect and pay bills. Set up automatic payments while you are gone to ensure your rent, electricity, water, gas, internet and cable bills, etc., are taken care of.


4. Unplug everything to conserve energy (and save money). Unplug electrical appliances, such as the coffee maker, microwave oven, television and computer. This also protects you if a power outage occurs while you’re gone; there will be no damage to your appliances when the power is restored.


5. Check your thermostat. Turn down your heat (no lower than 55 degrees so pipes don’t freeze).


6. Wrap pipes and cover plants in case of freeze. (More tips to protect against a winter storm)


7. Set up a light or two to turn on using a timer, this way your dark house will not be a signal to potential burglars. Here is an easy How To


8. Empty the trash. No one likes returning to a stinky home. (Don’t forget about the perishables in your refrigerator either!)


9. Close your curtains, blinds and/or window shades. Check and double check the doors, windows and gates to verify they are locked and secured.


10. Have a safe and wonderful trip!


How do you prepare to leave your home when you travel? Please share your tips below.

BrianaHartzellUSAA's avatarBrianaHartzellUSAA