Getting ready for a family trip can be a lot of work, but once you’re there, it’s so worth it. While you’re washing clothes, searching for socks, and packing snacks for the road, adding more to your to-do list is the last thing you want to do. 

To ensure your return home is as stress-free as your vacation, I’ve compiled some tips to help families prepare their homes before they hit the road this Spring Break:

1. Put your valuables in a safe

Before you leave, put valuables such as jewelry in a locked safe or safe deposit box. If those aren’t options for you, make sure valuables aren’t in plain sight or in an obvious hiding place.

2. Hire a sitter

If you have a pet, you can hire a pet-sitter to care for your pet and keep an eye on your home. IF you don’t have a pet, consider hiring a house sitter to help water plants and check in on your home every couple of days. Websites like Rover and TrustedHousesitters can help you find people for both!

3. Hold your mail

A tell-tale sign no one’s home is when a mailbox is overflowing and packages are stacked on the porch. Plus, sensitive mail could be vulnerable just sitting in your mailbox. Before you leave town, go to and schedule the dates you want to stop and restart your mail. Don’t forget to do the same with your newspaper.  

4. Smart home technology

Burglars aren’t the only thing to worry about while you’re away. Installing safe home technology can help you keep an eye on your home from afar. Many companies offer a variety of smart home technology like smoke and carbon alarms, garage sensors, and water detection – so if water is detected in your basement or a smoke alarm is going off, your smartphone is alerted immediately. Simply search online for “smart home technology” for some options.

5. Keep your landscaping tidy

If you’re going on an extended trip, hire a landscaping company to cut your grass or conduct seasonal maintenance. Anything you can do to keep your property looking fresh can deter thieves from breaking in.  

6. Be careful on social media

This is nothing new, but something that’s definitely still happening. If you post you’re on vacation, online predators know your house is empty and waiting for them. Try not to post your vacation photos until you’re back.

Finally, letting a neighbor know about your plans never hurts. Most are happy to keep an eye on things and would let you know if a problem arises. Keeping these simple tips in mind before your next trip can be well worth it and prevent a bigger hassle later.