Although AAA is no longer forecasting Labor Day travel, traditionally, around 35 million people drive or fly at least 50 miles from home. That’s 35 million homes sitting empty for the long weekend. Because the last thing you want to do on vacation is worry about what’s going on at your home while you’re not there, here are a few tasks to check off your list before you head out of town.
We don’t mean disconnect while you’re on vacation — although it’s a good idea — we’re referring to your appliances at home. Electronics such as televisions, chargers, desktop computers, printers, and stereos all use electricity even if they’re turned off. They are energy vampires. Unplugging them before you leave for the weekend will not only save energy while you’re away, but reduce the risk of a fire.
Rely on your neighbors
There are no better watch dogs than your neighbors. Let them know you’re going to be out of town and request that they alert you to anything suspicious. Ask for their help to pick up your mail and packages that are delivered. Most importantly, thank them for their help and offer to do the same the next time they’re out of town. It’ll go a long way toward being a better neighbor.
Utilize your smart home
You’ve worked hard to smarten up your home, so now is the time to take advantage. Set your automatic lights to turn on after dark, music to play near the front door (so it sounds like someone is home), and security cameras to pick up any strange activity. Forgot to turn off the air conditioner or adjust the temperature before leaving? Just tap into your smart thermostat from afar.
Pro Savings Tip: Still haven’t gone fully smart? AAA members save 15% on select Google Nest smart home products and 20% on AAA Smart Living bundles at Google Nest.
Make plans for your pets
If you’re able to take your pet on vacation with you, you’re lucky! If not, enlist a trusted neighbor, friend or family member to help out. Just remember that it could be a very warm that weekend, so take precautions to keep your furry friend cool.
Pro Savings Tip: AAA members receive $30 when signing up for Rover.com.
Maintain home maintenance
If you’d normally have house cleaners, gardeners, pool cleaners or other helpers visit on the days you’ll be away, don’t cancel the appointment. Not only will they be able to check in on your property for you, but bustling activity around the home will help stave off unwanted visitors.
Water the plants
Don’t forget about your other pets — your plants! They’re not as much work but they still need love while you’re away. Give them one last watering before you head out. Make sure sprinkler timers working properly and, for indoor plants, invest in a device to do the watering for you.
Labor Day is the last big weekend of the summer. One more opportunity to travel to somewhere fun, relax, and enjoy the much-deserved time off you’ve earned from working so hard. And by buttoning up your home before you leave, you’ll be able to spend your time worry-free.