Every traveler, no matter how seasoned, has to make sure everything is squared away at home before they leave. So to prepare, first, make sure that everything (doors, windows, etc.) is locked up, and if you have an alarm, set it accordingly. If you have a friend or trusted person who can stop by in your absence to check in, set up a schedule for them to do so; having someone come by frequently is a theft-deterrent. And consider your light options for additional security. Stewart notes, "Inexpensive wifi light bulbs ($20-40 each) located in key places can be turned on and off via wifi and deter nefarious characters from helping themselves to your belongings while you're gone."
You can save some money prepping your home, too. Stewart said, "Turn the heat down in the winter to a temperature far enough away from freezing water in the pipes (55 degrees is plenty), in the summer there is no reason to run the air conditioning while you are away." And make plans for your mail, especially is no one will be stopping by. You can contact your local post office to have it held for the duration of your trip. Stewart adds, " You should also defer your mail delivery from one day before your departure and until one day after you return as the request may take more than a day to enter the system with the USPS."
If you have pets, ensure that they are fed via automatic feeder, or have a pet-sitter come by to check on them, walk them, and take care of any other related duties. You can find referrals for pet care at your local veterinarian's office. This is important even for short trips. Finally, secure any valuables in a safe deposit box at your local bank. You can never predict if you might be the victim of a home invasion, so set any irreplaceable items aside for safe care.