Your Ultimate Going On Holiday Checklist

Posted May 11th, 2023 by SimpliSafe

Your ultimate going on holiday checklist

Whether you’re fired up for an all-inclusive beach resort or want to catch some winter sun, a holiday checklist can help get you organised. After all, you’ll want to keep stress levels to a minimum, especially if you’re catching an early morning flight.

While you travel, the last thing on your mind should be your possessions at home. If you want to make your house as secure as possible while you’re on holiday, there are plenty of preventative measures you can take. For total transparency, this guide is designed to give you a comprehensive overview of home security while you’re on holiday. So while you won’t find any packing tips here, you should have everything you need to check while booking your holiday, all the way through to keeping your home safe while on holiday.

So if you’re wondering how good your home security is, and whether it’s enough to protect your home on holiday - our comprehensive holiday planning checklist and home security holiday tips will help keep your home safe while you travel. 


1. When you book your holiday 2. The week before you travel 3. The day before you travel 4. The day you travel 5. Home security tips when on holiday

When you book your holiday

  1. Check yours, and everyone else’s passports are still valid for travel. You must have at least six months left on your passport to travel aboard, and some destinations are strict about this rule. If your passport doesn’t have at least six months left, consider renewing it as soon as you can.

  2. Apply for visas if needed. You should check if the destination you’re visiting requires permission to travel. Make sure you and those you’re travelling with also sort their visas

  3. Check whether you need to book any travel vaccinations with your doctor. Some countries, such as those in African or South American continents, require a yellow fever vaccine. Check your destination and what vaccines are required with a quick Google search. 

  4. Look into pet sitting if you have any pets that need looking after. Is there a kennel or cattery in your local area? Alternatively, you may ask a trusted friend or professional sitter to mind them while you’re away.

The week before you travel

  1. Sort out your travel insurance. Your airline, for example, may have a recommended list of partners. Alternatively, you could search for one on Google yourself.

  2. Email travel documents to yourself. You may even wish to print them. These documents include:

    1. Flight details

    2. Boarding passes

    3. Accommodation bookings

    4. Travel insurance confirmation and policy

  3. If using a card abroad, inform your bank of your travel plans. This ensures your card is not blocked, and saves hassle trying to reach them if this happens.

  4. Check your bank’s interest rates when using a card. You may wish to get a prepaid card.

  5. Pause any subscriptions you have coming up. A pile-up of mail and parcels at your door is a surefire signal to burglars that no one is on the property.

  6. Have at least two methods of payment. We recommend having money loaded onto a card, as well as cash in the destination’s local currency,  just in case one or the other goes missing on your travels. It’s one of our recommended best ways to stay safe abroad too

  7. Check your phone will work at your chosen destination. Some network providers need you to add a ‘bolt-on’ package for roaming charges

  8. Plan your route from arrival to your accommodation. Check how much this will cost and the most effective mode of transport

  9. Map out routes to places of interest. Take notes of timings, modes of transport and costs involved

  10. Let your family and friends know where you’re staying. This helps them know where you are and how to reach you if necessary.

The day before you travel

  1. Clean your home. This may sound like a lot of effort, but cleaning your home before going on holiday means you can come back from your travels to a clean space. Our ultimate home spring cleaning guide, while thorough, can get you inspired on areas to clean - including your home security.

  2. Empty your rubbish bins. There’s nothing worse than coming back to both an unclean and smelly home!

  3. Empty and hang any wet laundry from your washing machine. This will stop clothes from smelling and avoid rust spots to develop on the drum.

  4. Water your plants. Give them a good drink before you go away. If you’re going away for a long period of time, maybe ask your visiting friends or relatives if they can do it for you.

  5. Set up timers for your lights. If you are using these, set them up now so that you can test them to ensure they work.

  6. Set your heating on a timer. This ensures the heating will only kick in for a short period or only if the house reaches a certain low temperature. This is especially important if you have houseplants or animals staying at home.

  7. Lock up your valuables. Even if you’re only away for a day or so, it’s better safe than sorry. Hide valuables and sensitive documents in hard-to-reach or less obvious places

  8. Double-check your journey times and arrangements. Make any further adjustments if needed at this point.

  9. Put petrol in your car if you’re using it on your travels. It’s also worth checking airport car parking costs and booking this in advance.

The day you travel

  1. Re-check all your travel documents. Ensure they’re present and correct including passports, visas and insurance documents.

  2. Turn off unnecessary plugs and appliances. If you’re not going to be at home, there’s no point in keeping these on! Plus, it will help cut down on unnecessary costs.

  3. Lock all your doors and windows. It’s a good idea to have someone else double-check, just in case you may have missed something.

  4. Arm your home security system. Make sure everything is covered, including (but not limited to) temperature sensors, cameras, and video doorbells. You may even consider installing a bell box to alert nearby neighbours in the event of a break-in. Ultimately, if a house alarm is going off when neighbours are on holiday - it’s bound to alert them!

Home security tips when on holiday

Securing your home while on holiday is essential, so you can rest assured that your home and its contents are safe. Here are some practical tips on how to secure your home when on holiday.

  1. Ensure that all doors and windows are fully locked. While this may sound simple, most burglars are opportunists and will try doors and windows on the off-chance that one has been left open. Don’t make it easy for them, and install contact sensors as a preventative measure for your own comfort.

  2. Ensure your home security system is fully armed. This is important to check before leaving, so check your sensors and cameras are positioned exactly where you want them.

  3. Have a system to deal with potential intruders. To monitor your home when it’s empty, a professional monitoring system is perfect. It monitors for intruders and contacts you if the alarm sounds. Also, if an alarm is triggered it will alert our monitoring centre so that they can visually verify an event (if there is one) and can request emergency dispatch (police or fire) to your home.

  4. Give spare keys to trusted friends and family. Make sure you don’t have any spare hidden about that are easy to find e.g. fake rocks or under plant pots. While these may seem like a good idea, burglars can be savvy and find them quite quickly.

  5. Keep valuables out of plain sight. We mentioned hiding valuables before - but we also mean big set-ups like TVs or PCs, which could be visible from a window.

  6. Consider setting up timers for your light switches. This will mimic being at home and can deter burglars.

  7. Schedule a radio timer. If you have a radio, the extra noise in tandem with your lights can give the illusion of someone being present in the home.

We hope our holiday checklist has helped you think about keeping your home safe before you travel. Again, this checklist may not remind you to pack your sunglasses and swimming costume, but it does outline everything you need to remember when it comes to home safety before travelling. Want to build a security system for your home? Contact SimpliSafe and we’ll be happy to help with your bespoke home security system.