Savannah Marie searches for the best restaurants, wildlife and attractions that Harrisburg has to offer.
It's finally time to quit that cubicle, grab your bags and hit the road for your summer vacation! Before you slather your skin in sunscreen, you may want to spend a few quick moments working out the details of leaving your home behind.
As your go-to spot for most of the year, your home needs all the love it can get before you quit it for the week. Here are a few ways you can prepare your home for your vacation this summer:
Invite a Friend to Staycation
Even if your home isn't HGTV-ready, someone else may find it to be a nice getaway. If there's someone you know and trust to keep an eye on your house while you're away, give them the keys, make up the guest room and let them get in a mini staycation while you're away.
The comfort of knowing someone is there will alleviate any worries you'll have while out traveling, and you'll be giving your friend a little breather of her own. Win-win. Just be clear upfront whether you'll be paying or not. If not, a gift from your destination is definitely in order.
Keep Your Trip Hushed Online
It can be so tempting to shout to the rooftops when you're finally quitting that cubicle and heading for your summer vacay. Though you totally deserve this big break, hold off on announcing it until you get back. This means not posting that great picture of you and your travel buddy with the Eiffel Tower in the background - until you get home.
Why? Getting the news out that you are away from home can be a green light for burglars. Even if you are in a good neighborhood, there's no sense in taking chances just to see how many likes you can get.
Put Your Lights on Timers
Think of your home as a living, breathing thing. What does it experience throughout the day? Doors opening and closing, the hum of a washing machine and the flipping of a switch. While you're away, your home should keep moving in the way it usually does. You really don't want your washing machine going, and the outside doors should probably remain closed. However, there is one noticeable aspect you can control: lighting.
Consider, then, putting your lights on timers or using a smart home security system to do the work for you. If you're usually a night owl, set the timer to come on when it gets dark and go off at midnight. Doing this will give your home the appearance that all is normal.
Locate Your Spare Keys
If you tend to be absentminded at times, you may just have given out a few sets of spare keys to your closest friends, relatives and the fake turtle that adorns your front porch. However, all those sets of spares are potential vulnerabilities for your house.
You may want to temporarily collect your keys so you can track who exactly has access. One key should be left for your staycation friend, one should be with you and one should be housed separately - not on your front porch or anywhere else highly visible.
Put a Hold on Deliveries
There's nothing that says "We're out of town" more than a stacked pile of mail, newspapers and packages. If you have items on automatic order and delivery, call the respective companies and ask that this month be skipped or shipped to an alternate address for safekeeping.
If you're lucky enough to have someone staycationing in your home, ask that he/she grab the mail and newspaper on their way in the door. If you have a neighbor or close friend you trust, ask them to do the job in exchange for a plate of cookies when you return. You'll prevent a pileup from happening on your porch, which can help give the illusion that all is absolutely normal.
It's just about time to feel the sand between your toes, but before you hit the beach, consider all that your home needs to go through to get ready for its own little vacation. Use the tips here to get your house in order, so you can fully enjoy your trip.