Thursday 7 March 2024

A Homeowner’s Guide to Preparing for Extended Travel


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Embarking on extended travel is an exhilarating experience, full of potential adventures and discoveries. For homeowners in Rolla, Missouri, the excitement of planning a long trip is often accompanied by the concern of leaving their home unattended. Ensuring your home remains secure, well-maintained, and ready for your return requires thoughtful preparation. This guide aims to equip Rolla residents with practical steps to safeguard their home, offering peace of mind as they explore distant horizons. By following these essential preparations, you can enjoy your travels fully, knowing everything back home is taken care of.

1.  Notify a Trusted Neighbor or Friend

       Inform a trusted individual: Share your travel plans with a neighbor or friend you trust. Let them know how long you'll be away and provide them with your contact information.

       Provide a spare key: Giving them a key to your house can be invaluable for checking in or managing emergencies that might arise in your absence.

       Request periodic checks: Ask them to periodically walk around the property, ensuring everything remains secure and to collect any mail or packages that might accumulate.

2.  Secure Your Home

       Check locks: Double-check that all doors and windows are securely locked before your departure.

       Invest in security: Consider upgrading your security system, or if you don't have one, installing timers on lights to create the appearance of someone being home.

       Manage mail: Arrange to pause mail delivery through the USPS or have your trusted neighbor collect it to prevent an obvious buildup that signals your absence.

3.  Utilize Storage Solutions

       Secure valuable items: For added peace of mind, consider storing valuable personal items or clutter in a Rolla Missouri self storage unit. This step is especially prudent for items of emotional or financial value that you won't need access to during your travels.

       Protect seasonal items: Utilize self-storage to safeguard seasonal gear or extra belongings that could be damaged or require maintenance in your absence, keeping your home de-cluttered and minimizing maintenance concerns.

4.  Maintain Insurance Coverage

       Insurance check-up: Ensure your homeowner's insurance policies are current and provide adequate coverage for the duration of your trip.

       Consider additional coverage: Look into travel insurance options that include provisions for home protection to cover any unforeseen incidents.

       Secure important documents: Keep important documents in a safe or secure location, and consider leaving copies with a trusted friend or family member.

5.  Manage Utilities Wisely

       Adjust the thermostat: Set your thermostat to a temperature that minimizes energy use while protecting your home from extremes in temperature, typically around 55°F in winter to prevent pipes from freezing, and 85°F in summer to prevent excessive heat and humidity.

       Water and gas: Turn off the water main to avoid leaks or flooding, and consider turning off the gas if it won't be needed.

       Unplug electronics: Disconnect appliances and electronics to reduce energy consumption and eliminate potential fire hazards.

6.  Arrange Lawn and Garden Care

       Yard maintenance: Hire a lawn care service or ask a neighbor to mow your lawn periodically to keep your property looking lived-in and well-kept.

       Garden watering: If you have a garden, set up an automatic sprinkler system or ask someone to water it to keep plants alive and healthy.

       Secure outdoor items: Remove any perishable items from outdoor areas and ensure that tools, hoses, and other equipment are stored securely to prevent theft or damage.

7.  Prepare Your Kitchen

       Empty perishables: Remove all perishable foods from your refrigerator and pantry to avoid spoilage and unpleasant odors.

       Unplug appliances: Conserve energy and reduce the risk of electrical issues by unplugging appliances like microwaves, toasters, and coffee makers.

       Trash disposal: Ensure all trash is taken out and recycling bins are emptied to prevent pests.

8.  Conduct a Deep Clean

       Thorough cleaning: Give your house a comprehensive cleaning to deter pests and avoid coming back to a messy home.

       Professional cleaning: Consider hiring a cleaning service for a deeper clean, especially in areas like bathrooms and kitchens.

       Furniture protection: Cover furniture with sheets to protect from dust accumulation.

9.  Set Up Bill Payments

       Automate payments: Set up automatic payments for your bills or prepay them to avoid late fees and service interruptions.

       Notify services: Inform your utility providers and other service companies of your absence, if necessary, to adjust services accordingly.

       Bank notifications: Let your bank know about your travel plans to prevent your credit or debit card from being frozen for unusual activity.

10.              Secure Outdoor Areas

       Furniture and tools storage: Place outdoor furniture and gardening tools in a shed or garage to protect them from theft or weather damage.

       Fence and gate checks: Ensure all fences and gates are secure to prevent unauthorized access to your property.

       Motion-sensitive lighting: Install or check existing motion-sensitive lights to enhance security around your home’s exterior.

11.              Pet and Plant Care

       Pet arrangements: Secure a pet-sitting service or arrange for boarding to ensure your pets are cared for in your absence.

       Indoor plant care: Ask a friend to water your indoor plants, or invest in a self-watering system to keep them hydrated.

       Outdoor plant maintenance: Move sensitive plants to shaded areas or set up a timed watering system to maintain garden health.

12.              Leave Emergency Contact Information

       Home service contacts: List contact information for preferred plumbers, electricians, and other maintenance services in case of an emergency.

       Travel itinerary: Leave a copy of your travel itinerary and ways to reach you with your designated home-checker.

       Neighbor contacts: Include contact information for a trusted neighbor who can provide assistance or check on your home if needed.


Preparing your home for extended travel is a multifaceted process that, when done thoroughly, grants you immense peace of mind as you venture far from home.

       Reap the rewards of meticulous planning: Enjoy your travels with the assurance that your home is secure, maintained, and ready for your return.

       Embrace the journey: With all practical concerns addressed, you can fully immerse yourself in the experiences that await, knowing you have taken every precaution to safeguard your most valuable asset.

       A welcome homecoming: Return to a home that's as welcoming and comfortable as when you left, allowing you to reflect on your adventures without immediate chores or concerns.

By adhering to this comprehensive guide, homeowners in Rolla can embark on their extended travels with confidence. Each step, from utilizing local self-storage options to arranging for the care of living beings in their absence, contributes to a solid system of home management. Dive into your journeys knowing that you've left behind a secure, well-maintained space, ready to welcome you back to the comforts of home.

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