Taking a vacation can be a great stress relief, unless you ran off on vacation in the dead of winter and forgot to take a few precautions with your home. You could come home to a broken water pipe and home full of water or worse.
It could be above freezing when you leave, but a sudden cold snap could move in without warning. Some people feel that if they leave the heat on in the house then the pipes will not freeze, however, if something happens to the heat then disaster can strike.
It is best to turn the water off at the main valve before it comes into the house. At the very least turn off the valves to things like washers, etc. After you turn off the valves, then drain the lines so the water in the pipes does not freeze and break the pipes.
Newer hot water heaters have a vacation setting that you can use to conserve energy. If you will be gone for some time, then drain the hot water heater and turn the breaker off.
Another trick is to treat any water, like toilet water, with some anti-freeze to combat any emergencies. Be sure to flush before use when returning home.
Going through your refrigerator discarding perishables like milk, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables is a great practice. There is nothing like coming home to the smell of rotten fruit, or curdled milk. Bread, and other non-refrigerated perishables should also be thrown out before you return home from vacation and make a snack with moldy bread.
Take out the trash also before you leave for vacation, because throwing all those perishables away and leaving them in the trash will fill your home with a rotting smell after a couple of weeks.
Here is a final tip that can top off your vacation. Place clean towels in the bathroom, and in the bedroom put clean sheets on the beds. You will really appreciate that you took the time to do this when you are crawling into that clean bed after returning from your vacation.
Then enjoy your vacation knowing everything at home is fine.