School is out and summer vacation begins.  It’s something you’ve been planning for quite some time.   Vacation destinations, hotel, restaurants and shopping to try have all been squared away  but don’t forget about home before leaving home. JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE PLANNING A SUMMER VACATION IT DOESN’T MEAN YOUR HOME IS!

Here are 6 tips to prepare yourself and your home for your summer vacation:

FRIDGE EMERGENCY CONTACT LIST FOR NEIGHBORS AND HOUSE SITTERS
If you’re going away for vacation during the summer, make an emergency list to put by the phone for house sitters or babysitters. List numbers for the fire department, police, ambulance, poison control and veterinarian. Also include emergency contact numbers, both at home and where you’ll be on vacation. List a contact that is also local because I doubt you will be answering your phone while surfing.

CARS LEFT OUTSIDE WITH VISIBLE GARAGE DOOR OPENERS
So you’ve made sure to lock all windows and doors but forgot the biggest door, the garage door.  If you have your household cars parked outside while on vacation make sure to remove all garage door openers from your visors.  This is a huge looked over mistake that most of us forget about.  If a thief gets into your car they can easily open your garage and close it while no one sees them breaking in your inside garage door to your home.
NEWSPAPERS
Leaving newspapers, mail and / or garbage containers out for extended periods will draw unwanted attention.  Ask your newspaper delivery service to stop delivery or simply ask a neighbor to put your newspapers inside your home or theirs until your return.
INDOOR AND OUTDOOR WATER
If you are gone for more than 4 days be sure to set your sprinkler system to go on and off while you are gone.  The summer heat is brutal in Texas and within a week I have seen a green lawn go brown.  Texas wildfires are common and so are people that throw cigarettes  out of the windows. 

Indoor Water SupplySimply shut if off!  You don’t want to come home to a flooded home
SOCIAL MEDIA
Do not publicize vacation plans, especially on social networking sites. Wait till you return from vacation to post pictures of your adventures.  Stay clear of checking into places out of town on social media sites such as Facebook and Foursquare.  If you post a check in or a picture most likely one of your friends will like it, their friends will see what they like and you never know who your friends, friends really are.
MOTION LIGHTS OUTSIDE AND TIMER LIGHTS INSIDE
A mere $5 could make your home appear that you are actually still there.  Stop by Walgreens, or your neighborhood hardware store and pick up some handy timers.  You can set your TV, lamps and music to go off and on when you usually do yourself when you are home.

Now go and enjoy your vacation!