Whether you’ve been anticipating that ski trip for months or dreading the annual visit to the in-laws, travel is synonymous with winter and the holidays. This year, ensure when you head out, you’re leaving your home in safe shape with this holiday travel checklist. 

6 Tips to Prep Your Home for Holiday Travel:

1. Bail on the boxes – Fresh boxes for TVs, video game consoles and new cookware let roaming thieves know that you have a house full of new treasures. Don’t leave them in a pile – break them down, donate or recycle the boxes.

2. Put the house on “Do Not Disturb” Mode – While you’re gone, stop the newspaper, have a friend grab your mail, and think about setting your house light on a timer. Piles of old papers and a dark house are two tell-all signs that your house is clear to rob.

3. Don’t forget to “Power Down” – In the cold months, your house works overtime to keep you feeling comfortable. Shopping already took a toll on your wallet, so save some dough by turning off the thermostat, unplugging all appliances and either leaving a faucet dripping or shutting the water line entirely off so plumbing pipes don’t freeze and burst.

4. Tell a friend – Let a friend, family member or neighbor know where you are going, when you will be back and any necessary contact information. This not only ensures you have someone to periodically check on your house, but also gives you an emergency contact if something unexpected goes wrong.

5. Save Facebook for later – Social media is essentially a public advertisement of your life and posting while on vacation is a PSA that your home is empty and vulnerable. Let everyone you swam with dolphins… when you get back.

Having the peace of mind that your house is prepped for your departure will help you relax even more!