Ask the neighbors and friends to watch the house for you and give a friend or family member the key. If you hide the key while you are home remove it. If you can get someone to house sit all the better. Do not post your vacation plans on Facebook or Twitter. There is always the criminal element out there in cyber space reading your posts. However, do ask the local police to keep an eye on your house.
Lights on or off and curtains closed or open https://www.nbc.com
This is always a question that is up for debate. Best thing to do with lights is to put them on timers just the way to would use them when you are home. As for the curtains, walk around the outside of your house and look in the windows. Step up close to the windows and look in. What valuables can you see; TV, Stereo, DVD player, jewelry box or anything else of value? Remove these items from sight.
Stop the mail
This is easy enough to do; just go online, https://www.USPS.gov and place a “stop” mail order. This way no one standing in line can over hear you place the order with the clerk.
According to the Consumer Energy Center, it is a good idea to unplug any appliances that are using power such as; TVs or Computers in case of a storm and there is a power surge.
The answering machine
Keep you answering machine with the same message; however, have all of your calls forwarded to your cell phone.
The lawn and yard https://www.msn.com
If you plan on being gone for more than a week, hire someone to come over to mow the grass and keep the driveway active. If the bicycles are in the backyard, put them out of sight. Now days you can monitor your house with the use of your smart phone and it is a good idea to have that set up before you leave.
Outside lights and cameras
It is always a good idea to have motion lights around the outside of the house, some in sight, but also some out of sight. Cameras also should be out of sight. Nanny cams are not that expensive for inside the house. Security cameras are not that expensive either. I hope these tips help you have an enjoyable vacation.