With the holidays coming up quickly, you and your family are likely planning to do at least a little bit of traveling. So whether you’re going to visit family or friends across the country or you’re simply going out of town for the night to participate in some holiday festivities, you want to be sure that your home is taken care of while you’re away. And especially around the holidays, people often keep presents and other items that can be expensive or sentimental. So to help you ensure that everything within your home is safe and well taken care of, here are three tips for preparing your home for your holiday travels.

Prepare Your Pipes

During the winter, areas of your home can become especially vulnerable to the elements, including the pipes. If the temperature drops and your pipes aren’t adequately prepared, you can experience things like frozen pipes or burst pipes. To keep this from happening to you when you’re away from home and can’t immediately take care of it, Sarah Vernetti, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, writes that you should work to insulate pipes that are either exposed or aren’t insulated enough already. Additionally, if you plan to be gone for a longer period of time, you could also consider draining the water from your sprinkler lines to ensure those pipes don’t freeze or burst as well, otherwise you could find yourself needing to call someone like this plumber in Carrum Downs when you get home.

Put Your Mail On Hold

One of the sure signs that your home is vacant over the holidays is the building up of mail or other packages. Especially during the holidays, you may have packages that are shipped to your home as gifts. So to ensure that you don’t tip off any burglars or leave anything important outside for too long, Caroline Costello, a contributor to Smarter Travel, suggests putting a hold on your mail during the days or weeks that you won’t be home. This is pretty easy to do with your mail service. But if you have any other delivery services as well, you should do what you can do stop those packages as well until you get back home.

Ready Your Home For Your Arrival

The last thing anyone wants to come home to after a long trip for the holidays is a messy house. To keep this from happening to you, you’ll want to plan a little ahead of time and get your home ready for your arrival before you even leave. According to Michael Kaye, a contributor to the Huffington Post, some of the things you may want to do before you leave are emptying the fridge of perishable items, put your lights and appliances on timers, making sure your washer is empty of wet clothes, and sprinkling some baking soda in the toilets and down the sink to minimize the smell.

If you plan to be gone for a bit over this holiday season, use the tips mentioned above to make sure your home’s ready for its vacancy.