Hold Your Mail
If you don’t have someone watching your house who can pick up your mail, visit your local post office. They can hold your mail for the time you will be gone so that it doesn’t pile up in your mailbox or on your doorstep. Do the same for newspaper subscriptions. Home security while you are gone starts with the outward appearance of your house -- a stack of newspapers in the front yard is a dead giveaway!
Unplug things that won’t be used during your vacation, like kitchen appliances (microwave, toaster, etc.), computers and chargers. Not only does this save electricity, it can also protect your electronics in the case of a power surge or lightning strike.
Ask a Neighbor to Watch Your House
If you know your neighbors well enough, consider asking them to check on your house periodically. Give them your cell phone number so that if they notice anything suspicious, they can give you a call. You could also ask them to do a few things, like pull down your garbage can or collect your mail, which will make your absence less obvious.
Be Careful with Social Media
It’s nice to let your friends know that you’ll finally be taking that dream vacation to Hawaii, but specific details, like when you’re leaving and the how long you’ll be gone, could also attract unwelcome visitors to your home. Even if your updates are only shared with close friends, it is too easy for information to be spread to people you don’t know. Tell your friends privately and resist the urge to post pictures until you return.
Take the Spare Key Inside
If you have a spare key hidden outside your front door, remove it before you leave for vacation. Even if it is well hidden, there is always the possibility that a burglar will find it.
Hire a House Sitter
Not only does this keep your house from being empty, a house sitter can take care of all the things you can’t, like water the plants, bring in the mail, newspapers, and even watch pets. While this may seem like an expensive option, teens and college students are usually available during the summer and won’t expect a lot in the way of payment. Ask around for someone responsible who is looking to make a little extra money.