At some point, we all need to get away. A smart home gives you peace of mind when you’re travelling. You can control everything from lights, cameras, heat, and locks remotely on a smartphone. It gives families a lot of comfort, knowing they can check-in anytime and will be notified if something occurs.

It’s important to set up your smart home before you travel so that you can relax in peace. Here’s what you need to do before you leave on your next trip. 

Receive packages at home while you’re away 

Imagine you’re expecting an important package to arrive at home while you’re away on a family holiday. With a smart home and the right setup, you can still receive that package.

For example, when the delivery arrives, you’ll get an alert from your smart security camera. Next, you can chat with the delivery person at your front door using your smart doorbell. Then you can remotely open the door with your smart lock. Finally, with your indoor smart security camera, watch as the delivery is placed in the home and the door is closed. Finally, you can lock the door when the delivery person leaves. You can do all this on your smartphone while you’re laying on a beach in Mexico! What a time to be alive.

Charge wire-free security cameras and smart locks

Wire-free security cameras are highly versatile. They can go anywhere you have Wi-Fi. Since they are battery-powered, charge them before you leave on your trip. That way, you’ll know that they have enough power to stay on while you’re away. 

Having fully charged cameras also enables you to increase the sensitivity and video quality. Enable sound detection along with motion detection for outdoor security cameras. If glass breaks off-camera, the camera will be triggered on. This ensures you’ll see and hear any activity remotely from your smartphone. 

Smart locks are also battery powered. Charge them as well to ensure they don’t die while you’re away. For example, you may have a neighbour coming in to water the plants. Or, you might have a delivery coming while you’re away. A fully charged smart lock lets you remotely open the door in these cases. 

Smart security camera for smart homes

Repositioning smart home security cameras

When you’re away for an extended period of time, it might also be a good idea to reposition your security cameras. For example, if you have multiple outdoor security cameras, bring one inside. Position it facing entry points or anywhere you want footage. This could be inside a garage, front doorway, or basement. If you get an alert on this camera, you’ll know motion was detected indoors. 

Another option is to add a dedicated indoor security cameras. It’s a great tool for frequent travellers. This is especially the case for pets. With two-way audio, families can see and talk to their pets remotely. It’s also good to place in rooms you want to monitor while you’re away. 

Smart lights for smart home

Setting new smart home light schedules

With smart lights, families can appear to be at home through custom light schedules. Set up the lights to emulate someone is at home. For example, have the living room lights turn on at dusk, followed by the bedroom lights at night. Early in the morning before sunrise, schedule the kitchen and bathroom lights on. By getting creative with your light schedule, it will appear that you’re home. 

Smart plugs are great to control lights that plug into the wall like desk and table lamps. This is a good tip for people who don’t already have smart lights in their home. Smart plugs turn any light smart with on/off schedules in the app. They’re also great for controlling indoor growing lights for indoor gardeners.

Lowering heat with smart thermostats

If you’re not home, it doesn’t make sense to keep the heat on. With smart thermostats, families can reduce their home energy bills while away. Set a new heating schedule for your trip. The exact temperature depends on the time of year you’re travelling. For example, if you’re away during winter, keep some heat on inside your home. This will prevent some pipes from bursting in freezing temperatures. A good idea is to open the cabinets under your sinks. This helps to keep your pipes warm while you’re gone. 

Water Sensor for smart home

Setting up safety sensors and detectors

Safety sensors and detectors detect something dangerous. This could be water, fire, smoke or a CO (carbon monoxide) leak. If you don’t have these detectors, it’s important to set them up before you travel. If there is smoke or water detected, you’ll be alerted right away. That puts you in a better position to do something about it remotely. For example, you can call the police or a neighbour for help. Take the time to set them up before you leave on a trip. 

Smart lock for smart home

Why Matter matters for travelers

Currently, to control various smart home devices, you have to use multiple apps. With the new Matter protocol, smart homes products will be controlled from a single app. This will make it easier to setup schedules for devices from various brands.

The only caveat is that you have to select a smart home platform for the devices to communicate with. This could be Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Apple. So for now, you may still have to use several apps to setup your smart home before travel. With Matter, it’s only a matter of time before it’s all done on a single app.

Smart home monitoring while you travel

We all know smart homes are great when we’re at home. However, they really shine when we’re away. You get the peace of mind knowing you have full control and monitoring of your home remotely. If you don’t already have a smart home, this buying guide is a great place to start. Also ensure you have great Wi-Fi indoors and outdoors if you’re looking to install security cameras. Wi-Fi is the bedrock of any smart home. This networking buying guide tells you everything you need to know about setting up home Wi-Fi. 

If you want peace of mind on your next trip, take time to setup your smart home. If all goes as planned, you won’t receive any alerts. If you do, you’ll be in a better position to do something about it.  

Andy Baryer
Andy Baryer aka “Handy Andy” is a technology journalist, gadget reviewer, and DIY/how-to content creator. Known as the handyman of tech, Andy enjoys fixing poor wireless networks, building smart homes, and cooking with the latest kitchen gadgets. He’s a competitive whistler, a budding woodworker, and loves gardening in his home-built smart garden.


  1. Leaving pets home while traveling is a bad idea/suggestion and would cause the animal stress. This should be edited out. Pets need to be personally cared for.

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