Winter Getaway Tips for a Great Trip and A Relaxing Return Home

February 12, 2018

We’ve all heard the horror stories; a family goes on vacation only to return home to a house turned upside down by thieves. Planning a winter vacation is more than just sunshine and airplane flights, if you’ll be away from home it’s important to make sure your home is safe and precautions are taken to ensure that accidents don’t happen, and if they do, you have a plan. It is important to let your broker know when you are heading on vacation, especially if you’ll be gone for an extended time. Some insurance companies have rules for how long your home can be unoccupied and how often your home should be checked by a trusted friend of family member. Our team is happy to let you know what you need to do before you head for the airport. Read on for some general recommendations for a safe and relaxing trip and return.

Keeping your home safe starts with making it looks like there is someone is home. The biggest fear of most thieves is running into someone in the home. You can make your home look occupied in a few ways.

1. Make sure the snow is shoveled. You may be getting away from the snow on vacation, but an un-shoveled drive way and lack of footprints or tire tracks are a sure sign that no one is home. Don’t give them any reason to think the house is empty.

Shovel the snow

2. If you can, have a neighbour park their car in your driveway some of the time. Having a car in the driveway on and off, creates the appearance that someone is going in and out.

Have car parked on the driveway

3. Put a few lights on a timer. Having a few lights turn on in your house after dark creates the illusion that someone is home.

Automatic Lights4. Have someone collect your mail. If you have home mail delivery have someone collect your mail, a huge pile of mail is an indicator that no one is home.

Empty mailbox

Nothing is worse than returning home to a flood. Canadian winters tend to be unpredictable, a few warm days followed by extreme cold. Protect your home from burst pipes by making sure your thermostat is set at least 10 degrees. You can even turn off the valves to sinks, toilets, dishwashers and washing machines, ensuring that there is as little water in the system as possible, and to ensure that nothing leaks.

At a minimum you should test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and a neighbour or friend close by can check on your house regularly. Better yet, having a monitored alarm system ensures that if something goes wrong, help is on the way immediately.

It may seem like a small detail, but cleaning your home before you go on vacation can help relieve stress when you return home. No one wants to come back from vacation to a pile of laundry, spoiled food in the fridge and smelly garbage in the bin.

With all of these tips in your mind we hope you have a fantastic vacation. If you have questions about preparing your home for vacation, or you need coverage for your trip, give our team a call or request a quote on our website.

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