Preparing for an extended period of travel can be an exciting time, but leaving your home unattended for weeks or months can be a source of anxiety. It is vital to prepare your home properly when it will be empty for some time. This means doing any maintenance that is due or will be due while you’re away and prepping areas of the home that generally need more regular maintenance.

It is also a good idea to ask for help from trusted friends, family or neighbours to keep an eye on your home while you’re away. Even the best preparation can’t account for anything, so you’ll need peace of mind knowing someone can visit your home to check on things. It may also help to consider hiring a house sitter if you can afford one for the length of time you’ll be away.

Insulate Your Outdoor Pipes

If you are away from home during winter, you might be concerned about your outdoor pipes freezing up. This can lead to burst pipes, which can be a major issue to resolve, and one that needs immediate attention. Insulating your outdoor pipes can be an invaluable way to prevent frozen and burst pipes while you’re away. You can buy suitable insulation from any DIY shop, and make sure to secure it tightly using tape or cable ties.

Put One Or Two Lights On A Timer

It is important that your home not look too obviously empty while you’re gone. If it is clear that there is no one in your home, it may become an attractive target for criminals. Putting one or two lights on a timer can give the appearance that there is someone in the house at all times. You should choose a timer with an inbuilt surge protector to ensure it does not present a fire hazard.

Check Your Electrics

It’s often recommended that you turn off and unplug all lights and sockets before leaving the home for extended periods. This is to help reduce the possible fire hazard of leaving electrical appliances on and unattended. If you plan to leave some lights on timers, it is vital that you ensure that all your electrics are in good working order. It is a good idea to find a quality electrician to look over all the electrics in your home and ensure there are no issues before you go away. MyBuilder is an excellent option to help you find electricians in your local area, like their electricians London search tool.

Turn The Thermostat Down

Another crucial way to prevent frozen pipes throughout the home is to set the thermostat so that your heating comes on if the temperature drops too low. This means the heating will come on, keeping the pipes from freezing while you’re away. You may be concerned about the possible energy bill when you get home, but this is far preferable to returning to a flooded home.

Install A Smart Alarm System

A smart alarm allows you to check in on what’s happening at home while you’re away. It will also notify you if there is any movement in the house, sending alerts to your phone wherever you are. Some smart alarm systems will even automatically notify the authorities for you if needed. This can be an excellent way to have peace of mind while you’re away. If you choose a smart alarm, look for one with a range of cameras that cover the entry points to the home and the main rooms throughout.

Clear Out The Fridge-Freezer

Naturally, before you leave for an extended period, you’ll want to make sure there’s nothing in the fridge that needs eating or that will go bad while you’re away. There’s nothing worse than coming home to a stinky fridge and a major clean-up job! It is also a good idea to clean out the freezer in addition to the fridge, as if there is a power cut, anything in the freezer may also go bad. Consider giving away any food you won’t eat to friends and family or a local food bank.

Hire A House Sitter

If you’re still feeling anxious about leaving your home unattended for an extended time, consider hiring a house sitter. This could be a friend, relative neighbour or a professional. They could remain in your home the entire time you’re away, watering plants, taking in the post and keeping everything in good working order. Alternatively, they could pop in daily or weekly to check on how things are going.


The safety of your home is the last thing you want to be thinking about when on an extended holiday. Preparing your house for your absence is crucial to ensure your peace of mind and feel confident that nothing will go wrong in the property while you’re away. It is important to make sure it doesn’t look too obvious that there is no one residing in the house and that any risk factors are considered and taken care of before you leave.


Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

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