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How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Craig Lloyd is a smarthome expert with nearly ten years of professional writing experience. His work has been published by iFixit, Lifehacker, Digital Trends, Slashgear, and GottaBeMobile. Read more.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

If you’re going on vacation soon, and don’t want to be bothered changing the thermostat as you’re trying to wrangle the family, the Ecobee actually allows you to schedule the thermostat to go into an away mode ahead of time.

Setting up a vacation on the Ecobee is essentially just putting it into an away mode, which lowers the temperature settings so that your heating or air conditioning doesn’t run as often while you’re out of the house. Here’s how to set it up.

Start by opening up the Ecobee app on your smartphone and tapping on the menu button in the bottom-left corner of the screen.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Tap on “Vacation”.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Tap on the round “+” button in the top-right corner of the screen.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

From there, first tap on “Departure date and time”.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Tap on “Departure Date”.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Select the day that you’ll be leaving and then hit “Save” at the bottom.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Next, tap on “Departure Time” and select the rough time that you’ll be leaving. You can only choose half-hour increments, so this doesn’t need to be exact or anything. Hit “Save” at the bottom when you’re done.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Once that’s done, hit the back arrow in the top-left corner of the screen and then select “Return date and time”.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

On the next screen, tap on “Return Date”.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Select the day that you’ll be returning home and hit “Save” at the bottom.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Next, tap on “Return Time” and select the rough time that you’ll be returning. Again, you can only choose half-hour increments, so this doesn’t need to be exact. Hit “Save” at the bottom when you’re done.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Once that’s done, hit the back arrow in the top-left corner of the screen and then tap on “Vacation Settings”.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

If it’s hot outside, turn on “Cool” and turn off “Heat”. Do the opposite during the winter.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Where it says “Minimum fan runtime”, you can select an amount of time per hour that the fan should run. Otherwise, the fan will run only when the HVAC is fired up. This is great to do if you know that the A/C or heat may not turn on many times (or at all) while you’re gone, so at least having the fan running will keep the air from getting stale.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

When you’re finished, hit the back arrow in the top-left corner of the screen.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Hit “Save” down in the bottom-right corner.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

After you hit save, your vacation settings will show up with date you’re leaving shown on the screen.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

You can tap on it to change around any settings that you want. Otherwise, you’re all set and your Ecobee thermostat will automatically be put into Vacation Mode at the time and date you specified.

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WiFi smart thermostats have changed how we control our home’s heating and cooling. You can now monitor your home’s climate from anywhere and even change the temperature right from your smartphone.

These smart thermostats can tell when you are home or away and set the temperature accordingly. Some like Nest can even learn from your schedule and set the temperature exactly the way you like it every day.

Because of their smart functionalities there is so much more you can do with your Nest or Ecobee thermostat than just control the temperature at home. By integrating your smart WiFi thermostat to IFTTT (If This Then That) you can enjoy many new functions without having to buy any new hardware.

Here’s how to get started.

Using Your Nest Thermostat With IFTTT

The first thing you should do is link up your Nest and IFTTT accounts.

First make sure you’ve already signed up for IFTTT. Then log into the IFTTT app or on their website and search for Nest Thermostat.

Click on ‘Nest Thermostat’ and then click ‘Connect’ to link IFTTT to your Nest account.

You are now ready to use your Nest thermostat with IFTTT.

What can you do?

Well, anything you want.

There is a list of existing applets or Recipes that you can try out. For instance, you can set up Nest to alert you when it detects motion. This will alert you in case there is an intruder.

If you are a bit of a weather nerd, you can track the highest temperatures recorded by your Nest thermostat on a Google spreadsheet using this applet.

You can also create your own applet that does whatever you want. Just go to ‘My Applets’ and add a new one.

In this case you’ll need to define exactly what the trigger is (the action to look out for) and the action IFTTT should take.

For example you can set IFTTT to notify you via email when your Nest thermostat goes above or below a specific temperature. Or you can set your smart lights to turn blue if Nest detects it’s about to rain.

Visit Nest Thermostat’s channel on IFTTT to get started.

Using Your Ecobee Thermostat with IFTTT

The process is essentially the same if you own an Ecobee smart thermostat.

Once you’ve signed in or created a new IFTTT account search for Ecobee. Or use this link to go directly to their channel.

You will be prompted to link your IFTTT and Ecobee accounts before you can create or use an applet. Once you have connected the two accounts you can select from ready-made applets or create your own.

Here are some of the things you can do with Ecobee and IFTTT.

>> Automatically create a ‘Vacation’ event in your Ecobee when you add a vacation on your calendar. The thermostat will go into vacation mode during that period.

>> Switch the lights on or off at specific times. For instance you can have the thermostat switch lights on at sunset and off when in ‘Away’ mode.

>> Change temperature when the Ecobee detects the outdoor temperature is above or below a set number.

>> Receive a notification when there is a weather change. E.g. when it is about to rain or when summer arrives.

>> Receive a possible fire alert by setting Ecobee to notify you if indoor temperature goes above a certain point which could indicate a fire. There is actually already an applet for that.

Using Your Honeywell Thermostat with IFTTT

You can also use IFTTT if you have a Honeywell thermostat. The details are similar to Ecobee and Nest thermostats. Just link the two accounts then find a Recipe or create your own.

Note: You can turn your applets on or off at any time from the IFTTT app or website. You can also create multiple applets for the same device. For instance one Nest applet can be for notifying you when the weather changes while another alerts you when the thermostat detects motion.

Craig Lloyd is a smarthome expert with nearly ten years of professional writing experience. His work has been published by iFixit, Lifehacker, Digital Trends, Slashgear, and GottaBeMobile. Read more.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

When you go on vacation, there are probably a handful of things you to do to your house to prepare it for a prolonged vacancy. That list should include taking care of your smarthome devices.

If you rely on a smarthome automation from day to day, it’s important to know how to put all of it into “vacation mode” while you’re away. Otherwise, that automation becomes less useful while you’re not there to take advantage of them. Here’s what you should know.

Some Devices Have a Dedicated “Vacation Mode”

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Not all smarthome devices have a dedicated vacation mode feature, but some do, and you can use that to have that device automatically go into and out of vacation mode at certain times.

For example, the Ecobee line of smart thermostats lets you schedule a vacation mode, which is basically nothing more than just setting the thermostat at a specific temperature starting at a certain time and day. You then set the end time and date, which makes the temperature settings go back to normal once you get home—or even have your home already comfortable for you when you get back.

Each smarthome device is a bit different when it comes to vacation mode and how you set it up, but more often than not, you can find it in the app settings for the device.

Randomize Your Smart Lights

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Perhaps one of the best features you can take advantage of while way from home for an extended amount of time is randomizing your smart lights so that it looks like you’re home. Most smart lights have a dedicated feature for this.

For Philips Hue lights, you just need to create a routine. When you select the times that the lights should turn on and off, you can make it choose random times within a certain time window. So if usually go to bed around 10pm, you can have your Hue lights turn on and off at random times each day between 9:45pm and 10:15pm—simulating someone being there.

Other smart light brands may have this kind of feature set up differently within the app, but it’s usually easily accessible in the settings.

Make a List of All Your Devices and Set a Reminder

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

For smarthome devices that don’t have a dedicated vacation mode, your best bet is to set yourself a reminder so that you can manually adjust all of your devices before you take off for the week, and another reminder to re-enable them when you get back.

For instance, if you have smart plugs automatically turn on your coffee maker or space heater every morning, you don’t want those things to automatically turn on while you’re on vacation away from home. So you’ll need to go in and turn the automation off manually.

Depending on how many devices you have across your home, it can be easy to forget some. With that in mind, make a list of all the smarthome devices that you’ll need to adjust manually and then set a reminder for it right before you leave for your vacation.

It can be tedious work for sure, and while you could probably let some devices remain on without harm, you don’t want things like smart plugs turning on stuff automatically while you’re away.

You no doubt know the basics of home maintenance when you’re headed out for a vacation: Arm the security system, leave a light on so it looks like people are home, arrange for pet and plant care, and turn the thermostat down. But there’s an easier way to do it all automatically.

  • Set the vacation mode on your thermostat
  • Program your lights
  • Make sure your video doorbell is charged
  • Prep your smart lock passes
  • Set your smart plugs to power down
  • Set up a leak sensor
  • Set modes like Alexa Guard

Today’s smart home systems are packed with features, and many of them can help you prepare for a vacation, and take care of some important details while you’re gone. Here’s everything you can do with smart products and why it helps!

Set the vacation mode on your thermostat

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Manually changing your thermostat settings is a pain, especially if you have to change them back when you return. But many of today’s smart thermostats make it easy. Nest thermostats, for example, have a Hold Temperature mode that freezes the temperature where it’s at, or an “Off” mode that will only heat or cool your house when temperatures start to reach dangerous levels. Ecobee models sport a straightforward Vacation Mode you can enable with start and end dates to make scheduling easier. If you look at your smart thermostat settings, you’ll be sure to find something that can help.

Program your lights

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Smart lights are easy to schedule, setting them to turn on and off at specific times. This feature is especially effective for making it look like someone is still at home. You can set the lights to turn on in the evening and off at night, or on and off throughout the day. Some smart bulbs and smart plugs come with a vacation mode that will do exactly that, otherwise, you can quickly set up a new schedule and disable it when you come home. Read our guide to smart lights to learn about installation and setting them up.

Make sure your video doorbell is charged

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

A video doorbell is one of our favorite devices for vacation-proof security. They are motion-activated, so you will get automatic alerts whenever someone approaches your door. They have two-way audio, so as long as you have a reliable internet connection, you can talk to the person on your porch no matter where you are. And, of course, you can see if you get any unexpected packages and arrange for a pick up if necessary.

The key is that many video doorbells are battery-powered, with rechargeable batteries that last a few months before needing to be recharged. It’s a really good idea to connect your video doorbell to its charger overnight and set it up so that it’s ready to operate for months if necessary. The same is true if you have wireless security cams that haven’t been charged in a while.

Prep your smart lock passes

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Smart door locks ensure you can lock or unlock your door regardless of your location. If you are going on a lengthy vacation, you may be more interested in another feature — the ability to create codes or passes that can automatically let others unlock your door for a specific amount of time. Consider creating these guest passes for house sitters, cleaners, pet walkers, plant waterers, and anyone else who may need regular access to your home.

Set your smart plugs to power down

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

If you use smart plugs for devices around your home, you may want to set them to stay off all the time, or only turn on briefly, depending on their purpose. This step is an easy way to save power while you are gone while ensuring that unnecessary devices stay off. You should also check your current smart plug schedules to make sure that, for example, your coffee maker won’t continue to turn on at 6 a.m. every morning.

Set up a leak sensor

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Flooding is an insidious catastrophe when you’re on vacation. There’s little warning, burglar sensors won’t pick it up, and neighbors won’t be able to tell it’s happening, but it can cause massive damage. Fortunately, there are smart leak sensors available that you can set up in bathrooms, near water tanks, under sinks, and close to crawlspaces. These sensors will activate when the floor under them pools with water, sending you an alert so you know there may be a problem. Many home security systems offer compatibility with leak sensors like this, and they are typically very affordable, only $20 to $30 for added safety.

Set modes like Alexa Guard

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Full security systems can typically take care of themselves throughout a vacation, as long as they’re armed before you go (although the ability to look at security cam live feeds at any time is nice). Even if you don’t have a whole-house security system, there are still steps you can take.

An excellent example is Alexa Guard, a mode you can enable on any Echo device you may have in the house. With Guard on, Alexa will listen to sounds like the breaking of glass or a fire alarm siren, and send you a mobile alert through the Alexa app. Echo audio allows you to speak through the mics if you prefer. If you’ve got an Echo Show, you can even enable the camera and take a look around to see what’s happening, then choose to call the authorities. You could even pay more for Alexa Guard Plus, which adds more alerts and access to an emergency helpline.

Comments

owenostrander commented Aug 9, 2019 •

**Home Assistant release with the issue: 0.97

**Last working Home Assistant release (if known): 0.95

Operating environment (Hass.io/Docker/Windows/etc.):

Component/platform:

https://www.home-assistant.io/components/ecobee/
Setting an away mode on the Ecobee sets a permanent hold, and does not allow the system to pre heat or pre cool for the next scheduled event unless the hold is manually/programically turned off.
For example: I have a fairly set schedule, and have therefore programmed my ecobee, and, it leverages the power of the ecobee services to preheat and/or precool my home efficiently as necessary, so that it’s at the desired temperature when I arrive home at my programmed times. However, if I were to leave work early, say during a scheduled “Home” period, and I have Home Assistant set the ecobee to away when I leave, it’s now set a permanent away, with no option to turn it off, unless I program it to do so when I arrive home to a cold house (because it won’t preheat or precool with a permanent hold).
I was VERY please with how it worked prior to 0.96.

TLDR: I am looking for a “temporary” away/resume regularly scheduled away mode, vs. a permanent away mode. The permanent hold will not allow the house to preheat/precool and have it to temperature when I get home unless I manually turn the hold off.

Problem-relevant configuration.yaml entries and (fill out even if it seems unimportant):

The text was updated successfully, but these errors were encountered:

geekofweek commented Aug 10, 2019

This was a by product of removing climate.set_away_mode which was previously the call for an indefinite hold on away, thus mimicking what the Ecobee does when Away and hold is pressed on the app or Ecobee. The indefinite away mode was always a core function of the integration.

If Away is called in the UI it actually does a temporary hold. An indefinite away mode is necessary for a lot of automations that rely on it to set the thermostat away for an unknown amount of time, it’s also the default way Ecobee does the Away mode when manually set (there is no way to do a next schedule Away via the Ecobee or App).

One option is to bring back an Ecobee specific Away hold that does it either indefinite or until next scheduled transition, or allow for user specific input on an automation to allow it to be either indefinite or next transition, as the Ecobee API allows for it.

You could set a zone for work and trigger the action climate.ecobee_resume_program when that zone is exited, this will put the ecobee back into it’s home mode and start heating or cooling prior to your arrival.

owenostrander commented Aug 13, 2019

Please bring back an Ecobee specific Away hold that allows for either indefinite or until-next-scheduled-transition-hold, or allow for user specific input on an automation to allow it to be either indefinite or next transition. I think the current integration is a step backwards from allowing us to have full control of our homes. I appreciate your suggestion, but, I dont use Zones . Thank-you for your consideration.

rrubin0 commented Sep 4, 2019 •

I agree. The ecobee away_mode: on method is far more flexible and was working fine prior to the climate standardization. I’m all for making the core code more streamlined, but this should not be at the expense of features we relied upon that were working great.

Another thing that was removed in the climate changes is that ecobee attributes no longer show the currently scheduled setting. I used to be able to show the ecobee’s current schedule on the frontend and now I cannot.

My workaround for preset_mode: Away being permanent was to create a custom preset mode called “Economy” that acts as a temporary away mode. Of note, you can now enter custom comfort settings by name, rather than “smart1, smart2, etc.”

geekofweek commented Sep 4, 2019

@rrubin0 that second issue was resolved with 0.98

rrubin0 commented Oct 16, 2019 •

I’ve tested this recently and can tell you that preset_mode: ‘Away’ does not work as a “permanent hold” or “vacation mode” as the docs describe if your ecobee’s local hold-action is set to “Until the Next Scheduled Activity.” If your hold-action is set this way, then the ecobee will still change upon the next scheduled activity even if preset_mode: ‘Away’ is set.

See ecobee doc here on how to check your hold-action settings.

This is a different behavior than what we had before the changes to the climate integration.

Before, we were able to set the ecobee hold-action to “next scheduled activity” and then call climate.set_away_mode: on to invoke a ‘permanent’ hold/away, while
climate.set_hold_mode: ‘Away’ would respect the hold-action of “next scheduled activity.”

Since climate.set_away_mode: on has been removed, users must change the hold-action at each local thermostat in order for the system to behave as described in the docs (note: I have not yet tested this scenario but believe it to be true).

This is not ideal, as ecobee frequently experiences outages.
If ecobee had a local API, then this would not be an issue at all but unfortunately, since ecobee is cloud-dependent, we must account for outages and thus, must setup schedules as a fallback if the ecobee cannot communicate or risk our ecobees being stuck at the last temp set.

Home / Articles that Educate / Troubleshooting Your Ecobee Thermostat

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

January 29, 2018

Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Ecobee smart thermostat.

IMPORTANT UPDATE for Current Ecobee3 and Ecobee4 owners: Check your settings!

We’ve discovered that the Ecobee3 and a recent Ecobee4 have a default setting for heat pumps that can seriously increase your utility bills and decrease your system’s performance.

The new default setting is “No heat pump with auxiliary heat simultaneously.” If left as the default, this setting will cause the compressor to turn off whenever the heat strips come on. That will consume more energy and put out less heat, potentially leading to a much higher utility bill.

For better energy efficiency and comfort, change this setting to “Run heat pump and auxiliary heat simultaneously.” This way your auxiliary heat will supplement your heat pump rather than replacing it when the temperatures drop outside.

If you need any help figuring out how to change these settings, please feel free to contact us!

Why does my auxiliary heat keep coming on?

If you notice that your auxiliary heat seems to be coming on too frequently or you get an alert that says “auxiliary heat running too long,” there may be a simple fix that could save you a service call.

If your Ecobee was recently installed, it’s possible that the settings haven’t been changed from the factory pre-sets. In other words, the factory set the outside temperature at which the auxiliary heat should come on and it’s higher than you want it to be. Reset it to the temperature at which you actually need the auxiliary heat to come on and see if that solves the problem.

Even if your Ecobee isn’t new, the settings could have gotten changed accidentally (especially if you have kids in the house!), so check them and reset the temperature if needed.

See Also: How to Pronounce Ecobee

Why is there an alert to change my UV light?

If you don’t have a UV light in your HVAC system, this can be a confusing alert! Not to worry, though—it’s just an automatic alert that every Ecobee thermostat is set to give at certain times, whether you have a UV light or not.

Why is my Ecobee showing question marks?

This is a sign that your Ecobee just needs to be reset. Turn it off, wait a few minutes, and then turn it back on again. Everything should go back to normal.

What do I do if my Ecobee4’s blue light doesn’t come on when I say “Alexa”?

Try activating Alexa manually. Touch the microphone icon on the home screen, then tap “Push to Talk.” The blue light should come on. Speak and Alexa should respond.

If Alexa does work when activated manually, you may need to be closer to the thermostat when saying “Alexa.” Also, be sure you speak clearly and consider whether there may be background noise interfering.

Why does Alexa keep saying “Sorry, I need a minute”?

This generally means that your Ecobee has lost its connection with the Alexa service. When that happens, a question mark should appear with the microphone icon. Check the connection between your Ecobee4 and the wi-fi network (see below). If the wi-fi is working but the Ecobee still can’t connect with Alexa, you’ll need to contact Ecobee support.

See Also: Ecobee Thermostat with Alexa

How do I restore my Ecobee’s wi-fi connection?

If your Ecobee has lost its wi-fi connection, the first thing to do is check that your wi-fi is working. Try connecting to the wi-fi with another device. If it doesn’t work, restart your router by unplugging it, waiting a few minutes, then plugging back in.

Once you have confirmed that the wi-fi is working for other devices, it’s time to try restarting your Ecobee. Turn it off, wait at least one minute, then turn it back on again. Allow your Ecobee to boot up as normal.

Once the thermostat has booted up, open the Quick Change menu (cog icon) and check the Wi-Fi connection icon. If it isn’t connected yet, try closing the menu, waiting a few more minutes, and then opening again. If it still isn’t working, you can get further technical support by calling the Ecobee support hotline at 1-877-932-6233.

Why does my Ecobee thermostat keep saying “Let me stretch my wings”?

If your Ecobee keeps showing this message, it means that something is causing the thermostat to restart over and over again. It’s likely a problem with the wiring/voltage, so you should call your trusted HVAC company for service.

Why does my Ecobee4 say “And holding”?

If you manually adjust your Ecobee4’s temperature so that it’s not following its programmed schedule, the thermostat will say “And holding” to indicate that it will hold at that temperature until you cancel the change.

How can I get my Ecobee to automatically return to its regular program after I’ve manually adjusted the temperature?

With its default settings, if you manually change the temperature on your Ecobee thermostat, it will stay at that temperature until you “clear” it. That means if you don’t remember to reset it, it won’t change to its bedtime or away program at its regular time.

However, you can change the preferences so that your Ecobee will go back to its regular program at the time of the next scheduled temperature change. On the thermostat, select Main Menu, then Settings. Next select Preferences. Then tap Hold Action. It will give you a range of options to choose for when you want your Ecobee to automatically return to its scheduled program.

And that’s it! Now you don’t have to worry about going back and resetting your thermostat after you’ve manually changed it. It should go back to its regularly scheduled program automatically.

Why are my sensors showing N/A for temperature and occupancy?

If your sensors aren’t communicating with the thermostat, you’ll get N/A for both temperature and occupancy (see below if the temperature is showing up but the sensor can’t tell that the room is occupied). First, try moving your sensors closer to the thermostat to see if it can pick them up.

If that doesn’t work, try doing a hard restart of the sensor. Start by removing the back cover of the sensor and then taking out the battery. Wait for at least two minutes before putting the battery back in. Then wait another five minutes. Finally, check the thermostat again to see if the sensor is now communicating with it.

Why are my Ecobee3 sensors detecting temperature but NOT detecting whether the room is occupied?

You may have a sensor that was put together incorrectly. Ecobee discovered that some of their sensors had been incorrectly assembled. Basically, the covers were put on in the wrong position. If your sensor is detecting the temperature and connecting to the thermostat, but not detecting occupancy, this is probably what’s going on.

Ecobee has set up a page with directions for either getting your sensors replaced or fixing them yourself.

Common Examples

Note on token authentication:

If you have completed the authentication process from Example 1, your access token will be pre-populated in all requests throughout every example.

To specify a different access token, please paste it in the form below and press ‘Update’. Alternatively, you can go back to the first example here to re-authenticate. Doing either will save your access token for all future examples.

Before we dive into how to create a temperature hold, it is important to understand how the thermostat’s behaviour is governed by its settings, program, and events. Below is a diagram providing a high level view on how these objects are related to each other.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

The thermostat’s running behaviour is determined by settings within the Settings and the Program objects. The settings are general configurations for the thermostat. They may be user preferences or thermostat parameters. The program is an overall comfort specification detailed as a weekly schedule.

While the thermostat is running, events can be generated. Each event is represented by an Event object. These events can be hold actions created by the user. They can be scheduled events such as a vacation event. A utility company can also send a Demand Response event. The common theme to these events, is that each one represent a change or override to the original program for a duration (could be indefinite).

Optional events can be cancelled by the user or by the API, while mandatory events must run its course.

To demonstrate the interoperability between these objects, we will create a temperature hold event, and then cancel the hold (in our next example).

Before we instruct the thermostat to hold, we want to know the high and low temperature range for heat and cool modes. This will let us know range limits which we can set our hold temperatures. We get these values by getting the Settings object from the thermostat.

The heatRangeHigh and heatRangeLow represents the high and low range of the heat set temperature as user preferences set on the thermostat set by the user. We will need to conform to this range. Remember in example 2, we learned how to use temperature values in the JSON object. The heat can be set between 45.0℉ and 73.4℉. The cool temperature can be set between 65.0℉ and 92.0℉ We will now create a new heat hold for 70.0℉, and cool hold for 75.0℉. Note that when creating a temperature hold, both heat and cool temperatures must be specified.

In addition to the user preferences, we should also consider the current mode of the thermostat. As you recall in this example, the mode is determined by the hvacMode property in the settings. Depending on the mode, below is the recommendation for setting the heat and cool temperatures.

It is good practice to set the heat and cool hold temperatures to be the same, if the thermostat is in either heat, cool, auxHeatOnly, or off mode. If the thermostat is in auto mode, an additional rule is required. The cool hold temperature must be greater than the heat hold temperature by at least the amount in the heatCoolMinDelta property, which can be found in Settings .

Create a file called json.txt . The file should contain the following contents. The JSON contains a selection property which determines which thermostat(s) we will apply the hold to. To create the hold, we have to use the SetHold function. To learn the basics of calling functions, the process is thoroughly described in Using Functions .

We will then use cURL to perform the POST request.

If the post is successful, you should see this.

Let us verify that the thermostat has adopted the hold. We use the GET Thermostat request again but this time we will set the includeEvents property.

Note that there are two events. The first event is the hold that we have just placed and its running value is set to true. The second event is the _Default_ event. We will leave this for a later example, when we create a vacation event.

You can see that the thermostat’s effective set points is governed through a combination of its program and the events that the thermostat is processing. Use the Runtime object demonstrated in this example to get the effective desirable comfort settings. For example the desiredHeat and desiredCool properties of the runtime object already factor in the program and all events.

Congratulations in creating your first temperature hold, and changing the thermostat behaviour. In our next example, we will show you how to cancel the hold and have the thermostat resume its original Program.

Enjoy your trip knowing your home will be safe while you’re gone.

By David Nield | Published May 19, 2022 8:00 AM

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Smart home devices aren’t just useful while you’re around the home or out and about—they can also help when you’re away on vacation, whether it’s keeping an eye on your property or stopping your water pipes from freezing over.

But you don’t necessarily want to leave your smart home devices configured in the normal way if you’re going to be away for an extended period of time. There are special options and modes available specifically for those times when you’re taking a trip.

Smart heating

Part of the appeal of installing a smart thermostat or heating system is that you can control it from anywhere. This allows you to turn off the heating when no one’s home, and warm up your house when you’re traveling back.

You don’t want to waste energy and money heating an empty building while you’re on vacation, and your smart heating system will be up to the challenge. It’s really just a question of knowing what options you’ve got.

The Nest Learning Thermostat and other similar smart home heating systems have a special “away” mode for vacations. In the Nest app, tap the Thermostat icon, then tap Off before going away. Make sure you also go to Settings and then Safety Temperature, so your Nest will start up again if it detects your home is at risk of freezing or overheating.

Meanwhile, if you’ve got an Ecobee thermostat, from the app you can tap Menu, Vacation, and then the Plus button to set the dates you’ll be away. Your usual heating schedule won’t apply during that time, but the app will ask you to set a minimum and maximum temperature threshold, which will tell the Ecobee to spring into action if frozen pipes or extreme heat damage might be a problem.

We can’t give you detailed instructions for every smart thermostat out there, but yours should have similar options available. You should at least be able to customize the heating schedule manually to reduce energy use, so if you forget to do it before you leave, you can use your mobile app and do it while you’re on your trip.

Smart lights

Using smart lights while away from home can give the impression that someone is inside your house, putting off would-be burglars from poking around your property.

No matter what brand of smart bulbs you’re using, you should find some options for setting them up to work on an automated schedule. In the Philips Hue app, for example, tap Routines, Other routines, and Create routine to get your lights to turn on and off automatically while you’re away. Note that you can make use of the Random times toggle switch to introduce some unpredictability into the schedule.

If Lifx is your smart light brand of choice, you can open the mobile app and tap the Plus button, then New Schedule to work on your vacation routines. The app lets you set start and stop times, as well as specific days to trigger routines.

You can also control your smart lights while you’re away, which is one of the benefits of installing smart lights in the first place. In that case, you’ll need to remember to turn your lights on and off while laying on the beach or enjoying an evening cocktail, which might not be the most fun way to spend your leisure time.

You can use smart plugs in the same way if they’re connected to lamps around your home. The apps that come with them will let you turn the power on and off at particular times for particular sockets, so you can create the illusion that someone’s at home.

Smart speakers

Smart speakers, one of the most popular types of smart home devices, can listen for intruders and play music or even conversation sounds to make it seem like your house or apartment is still occupied.

If you’ve got an Amazon Echo, it comes with a feature called Guard, which you can enable via the Guard option in Settings from the Alexa app. The tool listens for sounds in your home, including smoke alarms and breaking glass, and sends you an alert if it detects anything suspicious. If you’ve installed smart lights and security systems, Guard can work with those too.

Various third-party Alexa skills can also protect your home while you’re away. For example, Away Mode will fire up random conversations from your speaker to give the impression that your home is still occupied, while Guard Dog works along similar lines but uses the sound of a barking dog rather than human chatter.

You don’t get the same options with Google Nest smart speakers and displays, though you can set up automated routines to play audio at specific times while you’re away, or to control the other smart home devices you’ve installed. From the Google Home app on your phone, tap Routines to set up an automated schedule.

Amazon Echo speakers can do routines too—from the Alexa app, choose Routines from the menu, then tap the Plus button. You could, for example, set a TuneIn radio station to play for an hour every morning while you’re away (just be sure that it won’t startle the neighbors who think you’ve gone away).

Other smart devices

If you’ve got smart locks controlling one or more of your doors, set them to allow access to guests or neighbors before you leave. If you’ve got an August smart lock, for example, just tap the Guest icon on the app’s home screen to give someone else permission to get into your home to, say, check on the plants or feed your cat.

Smart sensors are a great option to get yourself some extra peace of mind while you’re on vacation, but you won’t need to configure these any differently than normal. Sensors to detect leaks or window openings work the same whether you’re at the office or on the other side of the world.

Likewise, security cameras shouldn’t need any special configuration for a vacation. All you really need to do is make sure they’re working as normal before you go, so double-check the feeds and the motion detection settings for each camera in advance of your trip.

A video doorbell is another smart device you can carry on using as normal, as you’ll still get alerts when someone is at your front door. When interacting with visitors, keep in mind that it’s a good idea not to mention you’re away on vacation. Just tell them you can’t come to the door and to leave packages with a neighbor, for example.

You can safely switch off any other smart home devices that you’re definitely not going to be using while you’re away to save energy—smart displays or baby monitors, for instance. When you get back, turn them back on and they should go back to work as normal.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

David Nield is a freelance contributor at Popular Science, producing how to guides and explainers for the DIY section on everything from improving your smartphone photos to boosting the security of your laptop. He doesn’t get much spare time, but when he does he spends it watching obscure movies and taking long walks in the countryside.

IFTTT — recently rebranded to just IF — is an extremely powerful tool for our connected universe, and pairing it up with the center of your smart home is a no-brainer. Recently added to the IFTTT arsenal of channels is the ecobee 3 smart WiFi thermostat. Using IFTTT with your ecobee 3 allows you to take even more control over your heating and cooling system, interacting with other smart services & devices in your home and making your life a whole lot easier.

The ecobee 3 is already an insanely smart thermostat out of the box, but bundle in some great IFTTT recipes and you have many amazing tools at hand. Much can be done within ecobee already, but IFTTT expands the arsenal of available tools, while integrating with other smart devices & services.

The ecobee IFTTT channels offers a wide variety of triggers and actions for your thermostat. These range from simple triggers like indoor temperature or humidity thresholds, to more advanced features like schedule override. With the handful of triggers & actions at your disposal, there are a ton of options available for automating your ecobee 3. Let’s take a look at just some of what you can do with this awesome service.

If you’re not an IFTTT user, you’ll have to get things up and running there first. Just head to IFTTT.com, sign up and connect your services. From there you can browse channels and create recipes to get things automated. You can also snag the iPhone app so you can do all of these things from your phone as well. Note that IFTTT recently split their service into two parts — If and Do. This piece will mostly cover the If side of things, as there aren’t any Do recipes for ecobee at this time.

The overall process consists of creating an if this, then that recipe (hence IFTTT). So for the ecobee 3, we’ll be basing recipes on triggers from the ecobee 3 (like temperature change) or actions from other devices (like opening a door, or a preset time).

IFTTT offers a huge variety of channels that apply to the smart home — from the ecobee 3 itself to other devices like SmartThings and Wemo — so you’ll be able to dive in and do all kinds of crazy things there.

Some basics start at getting alerts (email, SMS) when the ecobee 3 temperature reaches a high or low threshold, alerts when someone changes the temperature, or alerts for the outdoor temperature or humidity. You can also log events to a Google Doc, like changes in temperate or thermostat modes.

While the ecobee 3 itself features built-in scheduling, you can do a bit more of that through IFTTT as well. You can create a time-based recipe to change the temperature, or create various schedules for thermostat modes. IFTTT’s location services also lets you change things when you come and go from home, or even another location — which is great for things like turning on the heat at home when you leave the office.

Beyond these simple recipes, the real beauty of IFTTT lies in how it ties your smart devices together. Using other services like SmartThings, Wemo, Philips Hue, or even just an iOS device, you can have your ecobee 3 perform based on actions of other devices, or vice versa. Here are a few recipes you can activate right now with minimal work.

You can setup actions like having your ecobee 3 turn on an external fan based on outdoor temperature, or turn off the heat/AC when a door or window is opened. I have a few recipes like this setup, using my ecobee 3 as a trigger for certain devices. My main one — since I have no central AC in my house — triggers a Wemo switch that’s connected to an external AC unit. When the temperature on the ecobee 3 reaches a certain high point, it turns on the switch. When it reaches a preset cooler low point, it turns the switch off again. It’s essentially a power saver mode of sorts for my outdated window unit, all running through IFTTT.

The fun doesn’t stop there though — there are dozens of recipes that you can take action on. Wear a Fitbit? You can set your ecobee 3 to turn up the heat when you wake up, or lower the temperature when you’re sleeping. If you have a smart sprinkler system, you can set the ecobee 3 to turn it on when the humidity reaches a certain level. The possibilities run deep.

The list of recipes goes on and on and on. Here are the basics of adding automation to your ecobee 3 using IFTTT from the web:

  • Login to IFTTT
  • Click My Recipes, then Create Recipe
  • Click This
  • Choose your trigger channel and action and click Create Trigger (either the ecobee 3 or another device)
  • Enter any required info
  • Click That, choose a channel and action
  • Click Create Action, then Create Recipe

If you own an ecobee 3, there’s no reason not to play around with IFTTT. It’s crazy awesome to link up your WiFi thermostat to other smart devices, but even if you don’t have any, you can still use a few recipes to make your home even smarter.

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By far the best way I’ve found to do this is to “replay” what the lights did the previous week. So if on Saturday the lights in my bedroom turned on at 6:51am and off at 7:23am, then with my vacation mode setup the lights in the bedroom would do the exact same thing a week later. By mimicking what I did in a past week it will 1) reflect a real schedule, 2) saves me from having to pre-program based on weekday/weekend, take into account the sunset, etc, and 3) with it being a week apart it’s unlikely a criminal would realize that the lights are following any kind of pre-determined program. Hat tip to /u/atra-ignis on Reddit for the initial concept and helping me get this working. I did make some tweaks from there but credit for the idea goes to them.

Setup

The two tools we need for this are HomeAssistant and NodeRed (though you can do the automation bit in HomeAssistant too if that’s what you use). This presumes you have all your lights set up in HomeAssistant, obviously. Also, you’ll need to have your recorder/database set up to record for a least 1 week.

HomeAssistant

For this, we’re going to use the History Stats integration. This integration has some pretty cool use cases but here what we’ll use it for is to create a sensor that will represent with a 0 or a 1 whether a light is on or off. Here is an example:

Goes in the sensor portion of your configuration.yaml file

A lot of the above is self explanatory. Name the sensor whatever you want, though I would strongly suggest starting with some of kind of prefix like “Replay” or “Vacation” which you’ll see why when we get to NodeRed. With the history_stats sensor you can define 2 of start , end or duration . For our purposes we’re using start and duration . The start time is 7 days ago, so we create a template to determine that (there are 86400 seconds in a day). Duration is how used to measure. I keep mine to 30 seconds to get a fairly accurate picture of the changes.

Create a sensor for each light/switch/group you want to track. Restart HomeAssistant and you should see something like this when you click on the sensor in the States page:

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

1 represent ‘on’ and 0 represents ‘off’

You’ll also want some way of tracking whether you’re on vacation or not. For me I use an input_boolean called “Vacation Mode” (original I know) that I can manually toggle on/off, but actually is triggered by my Ecobee thermostat going into vacation mode. You can set up vacations manually in the Ecobee app or what I do is create the vacation based on a vacation calendar in Google and use that information to trigger the vacation mode in Ecobee.

NodeRed

The NodeRed setup is extremely simple. I’ll post the code below but here’s a brief explainer of what it does.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Vacation mode made simple

The first node is a state node that triggers when any of the replay sensor changes. Instead of having to create a node for every single sensor, if you followed the naming suggestion I made above and everything is sensor.replay_ then you can use a single node. Just select “substring” instead of “exact” in the node settings and don’t put anything for the state.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

The next node is a check to make sure that vacation mode is turned on. Then there’s a change node to change the “1” payload to “on” and the “0” payload to “off.” Finally there’s a switch node to route the changes to the right light/switch you want to control, depending on which sensor.replay_ is changing, with a corresponding call service node to turn the light on/off depending on the payload.

How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

Using <> allows you to have one node for turn on and off

As promised, here’s the NodeRed code:

That’s it. Now whenever you turn on vacation mode in HomeAssistant the lights will simply repeat what they did the week before. Even if you’re on vacation for multiple weeks it won’t matter, it will just repeat what the lights did the previous week (which is the same as the previous week). While some very clever criminal might pick up on the fact the lights keep repeating exactly the same week in, week out that’s fairly unlikely.

When is the best time during vacation to schedule family photos?

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Often clients ask me when is the best time during a vacation to schedule family photos. Some want to get it done early in the week, while others think it might be best to wait till the end. But after years of taking family vacation photos I’ve come to find that there are certain days of the week that are best for family vacation photos.

As a photographer I have found that Monday or Tuesday of a week long vacation (figuring the vacation started on Saturday) or within the first 2-3 days to be the best days to schedule your family vacation photos and here is why.

How to Schedule your Vacation Photos in South Jersey

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By scheduling your photos within the first 2-3 days of your vacation allows everyone to get into vacation mode but not too into vacation mode. Little kids will likely still be on their schedules from home. Kids will still be in agreeable moods. Family squabbles are less likely to have started and people are less inclined to view it as a chore. No one wants photos of a cranky family. Family photos are best when everyone is fresh and relaxed.

Another reason I recommend getting photos early in your trip is because everyone will have had a chance to enjoy the sun but hopefully not get burnt. You would hate to have forever photos of your awful sunburn. Getting photos early also ensures that the photos happen so if something unforeseen comes up there is time to reschedule. We all know things happen on vacation: kids gets sick or the weather takes a turn.

How to Schedule your Vacation Photos in Avalon, NJ

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Photographers prefer golden hour which is an hour before sunset. Most of my session are done then. But long summer days means later sunsets. So I always recommend that nap so 7-8pm is not too much to ask from toddlers. I also like to suggest doing photos early in the morning (if you can’t do sunset times which in the summer gets very late for little kiddos). The light is best then and it takes less time out of your day. By doing the pictures early in the morning you aren’t taking your kids away from the beach to do something they might not enjoy. But be prepared because 5-6am is the call time.

I generally tell all my clients to schedule early in their vacation so that we can expect the unexpected and have ample time to capture wonderful family vacation photos.

How to Schedule your Vacation Photos in Avalon, NJ

You no doubt know the basics of home maintenance when you’re headed out for a vacation: Arm the security system, leave a light on so it looks like people are home, arrange for pet and plant care, and turn the thermostat down. But there’s an easier way to do it all automatically.

Today’s smart home systems are packed with features, and many of them can help you prepare for a vacation, and take care of some important details while you’re gone. Here’s everything you can do with smart products and why it helps!

Set the vacation mode on your thermostat

Manually changing your thermostat settings is a pain, especially if you have to change them back when you return. But many of today’s smart thermostats make it easy. Nest thermostats , for example, have a Hold Temperature mode that freezes the temperature where it’s at, or an “Off” mode that will only heat or cool your house when temperatures start to reach dangerous levels. Ecobee models sport a straightforward Vacation Mode you can enable with start and end dates to make scheduling easier. If you look at your smart thermostat settings, you’ll be sure to find something that can help.

Program your lights

Smart lights are easy to schedule, setting them to turn on and off at specific times. This feature is especially effective for making it look like someone is still at home. You can set the lights to turn on in the evening and off at night, or on and off throughout the day. Some smart bulbs and smart plugs come with a vacation mode that will do exactly that, otherwise, you can quickly set up a new schedule and disable it when you come home. Read our guide to smart lights to learn about installation and setting them up.

Make sure your video doorbell is charged

A video doorbell is one of our favorite devices for vacation-proof security. They are motion-activated, so you will get automatic alerts whenever someone approaches your door. They have two-way audio, so as long as you have a reliable internet connection, you can talk to the person on your porch no matter where you are. And, of course, you can see if you get any unexpected packages and arrange for a pick up if necessary.

The key is that many video doorbells are battery-powered, with rechargeable batteries that last a few months before needing to be recharged. It’s a really good idea to connect your video doorbell to its charger overnight and set it up so that it’s ready to operate for months if necessary. The same is true if you have wireless security cams that haven’t been charged in a while.

Prep your smart lock passes

Smart door locks ensure you can lock or unlock your door regardless of your location. If you are going on a lengthy vacation, you may be more interested in another feature — the ability to create codes or passes that can automatically let others unlock your door for a specific amount of time. Consider creating these guest passes for house sitters, cleaners, pet walkers, plant waterers, and anyone else who may need regular access to your home.

Set your smart plugs to power down

If you use smart plugs for devices around your home, you may want to set them to stay off all the time, or only turn on briefly, depending on their purpose. This step is an easy way to save power while you are gone while ensuring that unnecessary devices stay off. You should also check your current smart plug schedules to make sure that, for example, your coffee maker won’t continue to turn on at 6 a.m. every morning.

Set up a leak sensor

Flooding is an insidious catastrophe when you’re on vacation. There’s little warning, burglar sensors won’t pick it up, and neighbors won’t be able to tell it’s happening, but it can cause massive damage. Fortunately, there are smart leak sensors available that you can set up in bathrooms, near water tanks, under sinks, and close to crawlspaces. These sensors will activate when the floor under them pools with water, sending you an alert so you know there may be a problem. Many home security systems offer compatibility with leak sensors like this, and they are typically very affordable, only $20 to $30 for added safety.

Set modes like Alexa Guard

Full security systems can typically take care of themselves throughout a vacation, as long as they’re armed before you go (although the ability to look at security cam live feeds at any time is nice). Even if you don’t have a whole-house security system, there are still steps you can take.

An excellent example is Alexa Guard, a mode you can enable on any Echo device you may have in the house. With Guard on, Alexa will listen to sounds like the breaking of glass or a fire alarm siren, and send you a mobile alert through the Alexa app. Echo audio allows you to speak through the mics if you prefer. If you’ve got an Echo Show , you can even enable the camera and take a look around to see what’s happening, then choose to call the authorities. You could even pay more for Alexa Guard Plus, which adds more alerts and access to an emergency helpline.

Setting a Vacation Schedule can be extremely convenient particularly for observed holidays, breaks, or facility shutdowns.

Each thermostat maintains two (2) schedules: it has a normal schedule and a vacation schedule. On vacation days, which is selected on the vacation calendar, the thermostat will automatically switch to the vacation schedule. Only thermostat’s with vacation schedules will go to vacation mode. Thermostat’s without vacation schedules will continue to use their normally set schedules.

NOTE: For thermostats that you do not want to go into vacation mode, delete their vacation schedule entries. When your site goes into vacation mode, those specific thermostats will continue to run their normal schedules.

Create a Thermostat Vacation Schedule

  1. Go to the Admin >Vacation Settings.
  1. Add holiday dates to the Vacation Calendar by clicking on the desired vacation date(s), which will be highlighted in blue.

    Then, select and create Default Vacation Settingsto be used by your thermostats.

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    1. Begin by selecting Edit Time to select the time you would like the vacation schedule to start.
    2. Next, select the System to Off, Cool, Heat or Auto based on your preference.
      1. If set to Auto, the system will follow the set Heat Setting and set Cool setting and follow the schedule as set for these settings.
      2. If set to Heat, the system will display only a Heat Setting and follow the schedule based on the set temperature.
      3. If set to Cool, the system will display only a Cool Setting and follow the schedule based on the set temperature.
      4. If set to Off, the system will be set to off and will not follow the schedule.
    3. The Fan setting may be set as On or Auto.
      1. Auto: The fan will be turned on when calling for heat or cool.
      2. On: The fan will run continuously.
    4. Select the Front Keypad as Locked or Unlocked for the thermostats that are to be set in vacation mode.
    5. You may add additional New Set Time(s) to the default vacation settings. To do so, press the New Set Time(s) button and follow the steps above.
    6. To delete a vacation set time, simply select the Delete button located on the bottom-left of the vacation schedule screen.

    Once the Default Vacation Settings are set, you only need to do this once. Within thermostat settings you will be able to set the vacation settings for each thermostat.

    1. Go to that thermostat group, select the thermostat you want to follow the Default Vacation Settings.
    2. Select Vacation Set Times >default. The Default Vacation Settings will now be applied to that thermostat.
    3. Repeat for every thermostat you want the Default Vacation Settings to follow. TIP: If you change the Default Vacation Settings, you will need to copy it into each thermostat again.

    One-Touch Vacation (Optional)

    Pelican provides you with both an automated calendar or a manual button to switch your Pelican Web App to vacation mode. One-Touch Vacationallows you to configure Vacation Schedules for all thermostats.

    If you enable the One-Touch Vacation feature, you can use the One-Touch Vacation button to switch thermostats between their normal schedule and their vacation schedule. Turning this option ON will add a On Vacation button to the main menu.

    IMPORTANT: This option is only to be used when absolutely needed. The One-Touch Vacation will keep the thermostats in Vacation mode until it is manually turned OFF.

    In an ideal world, you’d be able to clock out of work one day and go immediately into vacation mode. But many workers find themselves doing a little work even when warmer summer months come calling. And it can be hard to work while other people (especially kids) are in vacay mode—and you’re stuck scrambling to hit your deadlines. That shouldn’t stop you from having a fab summer, though. Below are a few tips to handle summer vacations as a remote worker !

    1. Do take a vacation.

    Sure, some of your office-bound buddies might think that working from home is already vacation enough. And with all the work-life balance you have in working remotely, you might be tempted to cut your vacation short—or not take one at all—because you feel a little guilty. Don’t let your remote worker status deter you from enjoying a great vacation with your friends, family, or by yourself. Every employee, whether they’re remote or not, deserves a getaway from work.

    2. Budget your time.

    Let’s say that you’re planning to include a little work into your R&R so that you don’t come back from your vacation all stressed out about the amount of work waiting for you. While that can be a smart move, it’s easy to let work take over, and you’ll suddenly find yourself spending more time in your hotel room or the lobby working away while your family hits the water park without you. So if you do decide to stay on top of work, make a plan for what you’ll do each day, such as answering urgent emails or tying up some loose ends, and leave the rest—such as tackling a new assignment—for après vacation.

    3. Call ahead.

    If you’re going to be at a hotel, the beach, or at the summit of a mountain, you’ll want to make sure that you have solid Internet. You don’t want to hit any dead spots, or worse, super spotty Internet connection that will make you want to throw your laptop to the ground! Find out about your Internet options before you book your travel plans.

    4. Set expectations.

    If you’re traveling with your family, they might be in party mode—while you’re in project deadline mode. Before you hit the beach (or the bar!) let everyone know what they can expect of you during your vacation. You might need to work a few hours each morning, so work together to schedule some activities that they can do and plan to meet up with them later. If everyone is clear about what needs to be done—and respects the fact that you need to work—you’ll all have a much easier (and enjoyable) time.

    5. Travel prepared.

    In order to have a more successful summer vacation, it’s a good idea to bring a travel kit, not just for potential boo boos but also for work emergencies, too. That might mean having an extra mouse with you, fresh AA batteries, extra power cords, and anything else that will assist you in working remotely .

    6. Have fun!

    It might seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how quickly summer vacations can pass without you getting to enjoy them with your loved ones. So don’t let work suck up all your time; set a timer if you have to so you make sure that you get to enjoy your vacation, no matter how much work you might have to do!

    Summer might seem like a bummer when you’re a remote worker, but knowing how to balance your work life and your personal life during the hot summer days can keep you productive—and allow you to enjoy your summer, too!

    go into vacation mode

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    Smart thermostat have helpful features that adjust the temperature for you.

    Megan Wollerton has covered technology for CNET since 2013. Before that, she wrote for NBC’s Dvice.com (now SyFy). Megan has a master’s degree from the University of Louisville and a bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College, both in international relations. She is a board member of the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. When Megan isn’t writing, she’s planning far-flung adventures.

    At the most basic level, smart thermostats do the same thing as “dumb” ones: Both regulate your home’s air conditioning and heat. But smart models tack on additional ways to interact with your thermostat, usually through an app on your phone and with voice commands via Alexa , Google Assistant or Siri . They’re convenient.

    Did you forget to adjust the thermostat before vacation? No problem — just open the app and make tweaks from your phone. Have a family member with a disability that affects mobility? They can use voice commands to change the temperature.

    There are various studies about whether smart thermostats actually save money, and if so, how much. “Smart thermostats that have earned the Energy Star [rating] go through an independent certification process that verifies energy savings based on extensive field data,” according to Energy Star, an efficiency standard backed by the US government.

    Basically, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats share common features, that, if used correctly, will help you use less energy and save you money over time. Keep reading to learn more about this energy-saving smart device that’s good for the environment and your wallet.

    A note on regular, non-smart programmable thermostats

    You don’t need a smart thermostat to set a standard heating and cooling schedule. Just get a programmable thermostat and lock in the temperature settings you want at different times throughout the week. This approach works best if you have a fairly consistent home and away schedule week to week — or if you don’t mind making regular adjustments based on your changing schedule. There’s nothing wrong with that approach; Energy Star says a programmable model used correctly can add up to $180 in yearly savings.

    What sets smart thermostats apart

    Smart thermostats expand on the capabilities of programmable models. Below I’ve identified four smart thermostat features and accessories that give you even more control over your home’s HVAC system.

    Automatic home and away modes

    Unlike regular programmable thermostats, smart thermostats “know” when you’re home and when you aren’t. The Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control has a built-in occupancy sensor. If the thermostat doesn’t sense your presence during your normal “home” time, it will automatically switch the thermostat to away mode. The same is true for away mode. If you’re normally away from home between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but you work from home on the occasional Friday, the Ecobee will automatically switch the settings to home mode.

    This feature works best if you don’t stick to a regular schedule and you find yourself having to manually adjust — or entirely abandon — your programmable thermostat’s settings to keep up with the changes.

    Check the energy report

    Smart thermostats don’t only keep track of your temperature settings for the auto-home and away mode feature to work. They also use this information to provide energy reports. Google sends a Nest Home Report to its customers monthly. The report details how much energy you used in hours — and if it was more hours than usual. If you’re surprised by the numbers on your report, you can make adjustments to your preferred set temperatures to start seeing improvements.

    An Ecobee sensor.

    Try a remote sensor

    The Resideo Honeywell Home T9 comes with a remote sensor. Other companies offer sensor accessories as well, either bundled for sale with the thermostat — or as a separate purchase. Each sensor is slightly different, but they all track ambient temperatures to give you more data. These devices are especially helpful if you have certain rooms in your home that run extra hot or cold — and you want to use those rooms (rather than the temperature sensor built into your thermostat) to be the default temperature reading.

    The remote sensor that comes with the Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control has the same occupancy sensor that’s built into the thermostat. This sensor extends the thermostat’s home and away tracking abilities to more accurately determine when you (and any roommates, family members, caregivers or frequent guests) are home or away.

    Use the app

    The app is the most basic function of the smart thermostat, but it has a lot of helpful features. It gives you a lot of the same options as controlling the thermostat manually in person. You can use the app to adjust your preferred temperature ranges, change the schedule, opt in and out of settings, view your energy report, adjust the temperature and set modes.

    Are you ready to make the switch to a smart thermostat?

    Programmable thermostats work well if you typically stick to a set schedule. But smart thermostats account for ever-changing routines with apps, sensors, energy reports and automatic modes. These features and accessories give you more tools to adjust your temperature settings yourself, whether you’re home or away; some even make changes automatically on your behalf, saving you time, energy and money.

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    Thermostat Settings to Know for Your Upcoming Vacation

    Summer is here and as the temperatures rise vacation plans are being set. On this much needed break, the last thing you want to worry about is your energy bill. Time for some thermostat 101 – On the top of the list of summer thermostat questions is, “Where should I set my thermostat when on vacation?” The answer may not be quite as simple as you think.

    Where to set your thermostat when away

    Conventional knowledge would say that if you are away from your house, that you should just shut your system off to save money. This is not always the case. Experts now agree that the ideal temperature for your thermostat settings for summer vacations is 4 degrees above your average settings, to help save some money while preventing your home from getting too hot. When you leave your system on, it avoids the inevitable cooling process that can end up costing you more money than you saved by shutting the system off. A buildup of heat and humidity can also cause serious damage to wood and wall compounds over time. Keeping your air on will also be much more comfortable for your pets or friends or neighbors that may stop by to help deliver mail or check on your home while you are away.

    Here are a few thermostat in summer situations in which it is advantageous to leave your thermostat off while on vacation:

    • Your trip is at least one week or longer in duration (the longer the trip the more likely you are to save money by shutting off your system).
    • The local weather is going to be mild such that it would not drastically raise the temperature of your home.
    • Your home’s temperature efficiency is high enough that your home’s flux in temperature would not require a massive cool down process.

    How to program your Nest thermostat when not home

    It is recommended to program your Nest auto-away settings to the same 4 degree difference. However, for longer trips, you will want to utilize the manual away settings instead of the auto-away settings. The manual away setting will ensure that your system will not kick on until you manually say so. This will prevent the system from starting if it detects a neighbor or friend that is just bringing in your mail and checking on your house.

    Airmaxx has your thermostat temperature summer solution

    Whether you are looking to stay cool or save money, it’s all about making the smartest decisions with your thermostat. Nothing is smarter than the CARRIER COR Smart Thermostats that are designed to keep your family comfortable and your bank account full. With full Wi-Fi capabilities, you can control this thermostat from any mobile device through a convenient app, and best of all, it has its own vacation mode settings for optimal savings while you are away. Airmaxx also carries many programmable thermostats to help stretch your dollar and maximize your summer fun!

    go into vacation mode

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    General Questions

    What is Caséta Wireless?

    Caséta Wireless is a convenient, affordable, and reliable lighting system that enables you to control your lights from anywhere. You can start with a basic system and expand it at any time. You can also connect your Caséta Wireless system to other smart home devices such as remote controlled shades and wireless thermostats using a Lutron Smart Bridge and the Lutron App for Caséta Wireless.

    Can I control my lights individually?

    Yes, you can control your lights individually with Caséta Wireless dimmers or on your smartphone with the Lutron App for Caséta Wireless.

    What is a lighting “scene”?

    A scene is predetermined light and shade levels. It allows you to control multiple lights and shades at the same time at the press of a button on a Pico® remote or from your smartphone with the Lutron App for Caséta Wireless.

    What other connected home products work with Caséta Wireless?

    You can find the full list of compatible systems that work with Caséta Wireless here.

    What colors are available for Caséta Wireless products?

    • In-wall dimmer, Pico remote: White, Light Almond, Ivory, and Black designer gloss
    • Plug-in lamp dimmer, Lutron Smart Bridge: White

    What is the warranty on Caséta Wireless products?

    Caséta Wireless products are covered by a 1 year limited warranty. You can extend that warranty to 2 years by completing the Caséta Wireless Customer Feedback Questionnaire. You can read Lutron’s entire limited warranty in its entirety here.

    In which countries can I buy and use Caséta Wireless?

    Caséta Wireless is currently available in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.

    Multi-home Information

    What is multi-home control? How does it help me?

    Multi-home control allows you to install Caséta or RA2 Select products in two or more homes and control your different homes with a single login. With multi-home control, you will be able to use a single log-in to manage all your systems, including your primary residence, vacation homes, and rental properties. This feature eliminates having to log in and out of multiple accounts to control different homes.

    How do I add a new home to my account?

    Go to Settings –> Account –> Add Home –> Follow the instructions

    How do I switch between homes in my App?

    Once you have multiple homes in one account, tap the Home icon on the top right corner in the Home screen, then select the home you wish to control.

    What if I already have Caséta in 2 or more homes?

    If you would like to merge 2 or more accounts with bridges associated with them you will need to pick one account to keep, and then use that account to discover the bridge in your second home to take advantage of this feature. NOTE: You will not need to reprogram anything in your second home.

    How does Geofencing work with Multi-home control?

    Geo-fencing will work with the last home you were controlling in the app. To identify the home you are controlling, select the home icon.

    How do Widgets work with multi-home?

    Widgets will work with the last home you were controlling in the app. To identify the home you are controlling, select the home icon.

    How do integrations work with multi-home?

    Most 3rd party smart home products and services are designed to work with only one home. Look through the table below to see your options.

    NOTE: For many of the integrations listed below, such as Alexa, when setting up your second home, you will be provided a choice in the 3rd party app to link your account to either Home A or Home B. If you link to Home A, the app with will only control lights in Home A, not in Home B.

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    Consider putting your water heater in vacation mode if you plan on leaving your house alone for a few days or longer. Whether you’re going on a short business trip or a longer vacation, setting the vacation mode has the potential to:

    1. Save on energy costs
    2. Save energy resources (fuel)
    3. Prevent freezing and busted pipes
    4. Prolong the life of your water heater
    • What is Water Heater Vacation Mode?
    • Pros & Cons of Your Water Heater in Vacation Mode
      • Pros
      • Cons
    • A Sure-Fire Alternative to Vacation Mode
    • What Else Can You Do?
    • Final Thoughts
    • Related Resources
    • Call 1-Tom-Plumber for More Help

    What is Water Heater Vacation Mode?

    The vacation mode setting allows you to quickly and easily lower the temperature of the water in your water heater. This can be particularly helpful if you leave home for a longer period of time during the winter when more problems can occur.

    The pilot light stays on, but it no longer heats the water to full temperature.

    Let’s say you want to leave for a week over the winter months. If you don’t use your vacation mode, your water heater will continue using the same amount of energy resources as before to heat your water. Of course, this increases your heating bill unnecessarily, which isn’t so great for your wallet or the environment.

    Pros & Cons of Your Water Heater in Vacation Mode

    There’s no doubt that putting your water in vacation mode can help. However, there are downsides you need to consider. Let’s consider each.

    • The water heater vacation mode setting is convenient to use
    • It’s an environmentally friendly decision that lowers fuel/energy waste
    • Although minimal (depending on how long you’re gone), you won’t be paying for keeping water in your tank at full temperature when no one is home to use it
    • It can add to the longevity of your water heater by not having work as hard to heat water to a temperature that’s not needed.
    • When in vacation mode, the water inside your hot water heater cools down to a tepid temperature. This can create an environment in which bacteria grows. When you return, you might experience an unusual odor in your water until the bacteria is killed by returning the heat to its normal temperature or by using bleach.
    • If you live in an multi-unit housing complex where the water source is shared, you might not have access to a water heater. In this case, you’ll want to simply turn off the water shut-off valves that are located near every fixture (under your toilet, kitchen faucet, etc.).

    A Sure-Fire Alternative to Vacation Mode

    Let’s say the cons outweigh the pros. Here’s a great alternative: simply shut off the water supply coming into your home. This will eliminate these two potential problems:

    1. Water pressure build up (especially from freezing water). The freezing water continues expanding until the pipe eventually bursts open. All the water then drains o
    2. Unknown water leaks that accumulate and cause damage while you’re away. While a leak when you are at home may go undetected for a day or two, if nobody is home at all it can cause serious damage since nobody is there to stop it. The time between when a leak occurs and when it’s discovered directly impacts the severity (and cost) of water damage.

    Most often, the main water line shutoff valve will be located inside your home. It will probably be on a wall that’s closest to the street because this is where your water supply comes in.

    Check a lower wall first, such as in your basement, near a water heater or in a laundry room. It might also be close to your whole-house water softener if you have one. In areas where it’s always warm, the main water shutoff valve will be near an outside wall.

    What Else Can You Do?

    Although the idea of taking a vacation is to leave your everyday life behind for a while, if you fail to take certain actions ahead of time, you could end up being hit with a nasty surprise. These are some of the precautions you can take, other than turning off a mainline (the main sewer line) or putting your water heater in vacation mode:

    • During cold-temperature seasons, adjust your thermostat to 65 degrees. Keep in mind that the spaces where pipes exist are even colder than your thermostat setting. If you go any lower than 65 degrees, you risk pipes freezing and bursting.
    • Check for any leaks prior to departure.
    • Ask a neighbor you trust or a relative to check on your home every few days (they can also grab your mail and put it inside).
    • Consider installing a water shut-off device, if you don’t already have one. If you do have one, replace all batteries and set the device to “away mode” before leaving. Contact your plumber to learn more about this option.
    • Make sure your sump pump is working before you leave town by dumping a bucket of water into the sump pit. If the pump doesn’t kick on, call a plumber. Here’s an article how to tell if your sump pump is working.

    Final Thoughts

    Putting your water heater in vacation mode is an easy but often unknown step in protecting your home. Even a small leak can cause tremendous water damage if left unattended for several days. The time between when a leak occurs and when it’s discovered will directly impact the severity and cost of any resulting water damage.

    But it’s not a must. Carefully consider the pros and cons above and decide for yourself if you’d rather just shut off the main water line supply valve. It might be a better solution for your situation…just remember to turn on the water when you get home.

    Related Resources

    • How can I protect my home plumbing system?
    • A clear guide to the parts of a water heater
    • How to relight your water heater pilot light (for every major brand!)
    • Why and how to replace a thermocouple (on your water heater)
    • Troubleshooting guide for gas water heaters
    • Replacing a water heater thermostat
    • How to replace an electric water heater’s heating element
    • How to maintain and troubleshoot your water heater
    • How to test your water heater’s T&P valve
    • Replacing a water heater drain valve
    • How to replace an anode rod (if water rusty or smelly)
    • How long does a water heater last?
    • Water heater repairs

    Call 1-Tom-Plumber for More Help

    Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you’d like help with your water heater. We will immediately handle any emergency plumbing, drain, and water damage problem, including excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines.

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    Sensi thermostat settings and features can save energy and protect HVAC equipment

    The Sensi mobile app has several features and advanced thermostat settings*. These features allow you to customize your schedules to maximize your home comfort, become more energy efficient and protect HVAC equipment. Here are some tips and tricks on how to get the most from your smart thermostat.

    An easy way to conserve energy without sacrificing home comfort is to use smart Wi-Fi thermostat settings and schedules.

    Set up custom schedules

    Sensi™ smart thermostats let you create custom temperature schedules for each day of the week (up to seven independent schedules). This makes it easy to create one or multiple schedules to match your family’s routine. Using the Sensi mobile app, select the days you want to follow a specific schedule. Then choose the time and temperature set points for each.

    For example, you can use Sensi’s flexible scheduling to add custom schedules for school holidays, practice days, game nights and other school-related events. We make it easy to manage your home comfort on the go so you can get back to what matters.

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    Or use the geofencing feature

    For those living an un-programmed life, we created the Geofencing feature. By using your phone’s location relative to your individual thermostat’s location, we can automatically set your mode to home or away, creating a 3-degree setback to save you money while you’re gone. You will need to enable the geofencing feature for each thermostat in your home.

    Read more about using the Geofencing feature.

    Use the Early Start feature

    During summer, many people raise their thermostat temperature at night to lower energy use and take advantage of cooler breezes. But no one likes to wake up to stifling heat once the sun starts to warm up the house in the morning. The Early Start feature tells your Sensi thermostat to start the cooling (or heating) system early to ensure that your home is at the exact temperature you want at the time you want it according to your schedule

    For example: Your thermostat schedule is set for 75°F during the evening hours but lowers to 70°F at 8:00 a.m. Since most cooling systems take longer to lower the building temperature, a single stage cooling will take 15 minutes for each degree. In this situation, using the Early Start feature, your Sensi will activate your cooling system at approximately 6:30 a.m. to achieve the desired 70°F by 8:00 a.m

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    Enable A/C Protection

    Your home cooling system is crucial to your family’s comfort so Sensi thermostat has advanced settings to protect your equipment. The A/C Protection feature delays cooling for a few minutes when the cooling system is turned off, and then quickly back on, in order to prevent potential damage to your equipment. This feature is available when you have an air conditioning unit, or a heat pump connected to your Sensi thermostat.

    Customize your thermostat settings with Temperature Offset

    Sometimes your thermostat may display a slightly different temperature than you are used to. Other manufacturers’ thermostats have a temperature differential of +/- 3-degree or even +/-5-degree. This can make for a dramatic temperature swing that gives homeowners little to no control in energy savings or comfort levels. But the Sensi thermostat has a +/- 1-degree temperature differential built in for maximum comfort. The Temperature Offset allows you to change the temperature display +/- five degrees to match your previous thermostat or thermometer. Sensi will then use the new number as the actual temperature of the room.

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    Control your HVAC equipment cycle rate

    If you feel that your system is turning on and off too quickly, or causing wide temperature swings by turning on and off too slowly, simply use the Sensi mobile app to adjust the Cycle Rate. Cycle Rate regulates how fast your heating and cooling system attempts to deliver the set point temperature. A fast cycle rate will provide tighter temperature control and shorter on/off cycles. A slower cycle rate will provide a slightly wider temperature variation with longer on/off cycles.

    For most homes with ducted heating and cooling systems, the default medium setting is optimal. Homes with hot water boilers or steam heating systems should consider using the slow cycle rate for optimal comfort.

    Boost your home comfort

    The Boost feature is available on systems with more than one stage of heating or cooling. Boost “On” provides maximum comfort quickly and will activate all available heating or cooling stages when the temperature is manually changed by three or more degrees. Boost “Off” provides maximum efficiency and the Sensi thermostat will bring on additional stages based on a calculation of current system performance.

    The Sensi mobile app is designed to add comfort and convenience to your life. Whether you are in bed, at work or on vacation, the app allows you to monitor and control your thermostat 24 hours a day. Make your Sensi thermostat advanced settings work for you – save energy– and have peace of mind.

    *Thermostat settings availability is determined by your Sensi thermostat model and the type of heating or cooling system you have in your home.

    A CHADD blog: Join the conversation about issues affecting adults with ADHD.

    Tuesday, June 16, 2015

    Breezing into Summer, Part Two: Get into Vacation Mode

    guest blog by Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    Last week’s blog talked about transitioning into your summer routine at work. But summer also means family vacations, which are supposed to be relaxing. Camping trips, beach outings, a week in the woods. it’s something you dream about all year, and as the time draws near, you’re practically jumping out of your skin, raring to get out of the rat race and into your bathing suit. But jumping out of your daily routine into vacation mode can literally make you feel like a fish out of water.

    Adults with ADHD have a notoriously difficult time dealing with transitions, even good ones. Going on vacation means switching out of work mode to days of nonstructured, free time. At work, you typically know what’s expected of you, and at home, you and your partner keep the whole family on schedule and manage all the details of daily life. When you’re on vacation, you’re still to trying to “manage”—but without the routine—and the change can be unnerving. What time should you wake up? When do you eat lunch? What do you do with all your free time? Read? Hike? Swim? Your hyperactive brain is searching, but it no longer has a road map to guide you.

    Transitioning from work to play can be difficult for anybody, but for the adult with ADHD, the initial feelings of being lost can be more intense, and the adjustment period is often longer. It’s ironic how the one thing you crave—time off—can actually backfire and cause you stress whether you have inattentive ADHD (body in slow motion/brain in overdrive) or hyperactive ADHD (brain and body in overdrive). If you struggle with hyperactivity, relaxing might not be part of your makeup. When you’re used to full days at home and at work, and then suddenly find that there are no demands, no places to go, no one to answer to, and you’re suddenly “doing nothing” (such as reading or strolling the beach), it can feel like stepping off a cliff into a gaping void. The change is that drastic. This “free falling” can kick off some serious anxiety and/or depression.

    Your ADHD brain needs to focus on something. It craves stimulation. If you’re an inattentive type, you may go more inward, but you still need something to focus on outwardly, like writing, painting or some other quiet activity. If it doesn’t find some sort of focus, it can succumb to negative thinking, such as ruminating, worrying, or obsessing.

    Then just as you’ve settled into vacation bliss, it’s time to transition back to work and home, thereby stirring up the anxiety pot again. It seems that you just can’t win. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to help make your transition into summer go more smoothly.

    Tips for transitioning into summer vacation

    Here are some suggestions to help you ease into your summer vacation.

    Be sure your vacation matches your temperament. If you are drawn to excitement, go for high-adrenaline activities. If you crave solitude and tranquility, consider peaceful surroundings with quiet activities. Try to balance your active time versus kick-back time.
    If possible, plan ahead so that you don’t have a massive heap of work waiting for you when you return to work. This might mean taking on a bit more work before heading off on vacation.
    Remember that though you’ve left your home and work behind, you’re still traveling with your ADHD brain. You need to take into account that change can be difficult. Few adults with ADHD will admit that taking vacations can sometimes cause more stress than staying at home: There’s the planning, packing, traveling, settling in. all things that may be difficult. There’s the expectation that you are going on vacation to have fun, so when you find yourself struggling to switch out of work mode into vacation mode, don’t beat yourself up. Be patient and give it some time.
    Plan ahead. Before heading out to your destination, make a list of things you’d like to do once you arrive. This added structure will prevent you from letting the days fly by without a plan and will help minimize potential anxiety and/or depression. Be sure to include downtime in your schedule!
    Acknowledge that it may take you more time than it takes others to transition. Let your body gradually get used to the time and rhythm change.
    Try to keep certain things consistent, like sleep schedules and mealtimes. These can be your constants to help keep you grounded.
    Build in other routines throughout the day, such as a walk after lunch.
    Coming home is yet another transition, so be easy on yourself. Upon returning home after vacation, ease back into it. Don’t plan any big events or important meetings as soon as you return. Allow yourself to gradually get back into your routine the first few days back home.

    Following these tips should ensure an easy transition to and from vacation so that you can enjoy your time off to the fullest.

    A longer version of this post appeared in the June 2014 issue of Attention magazine. Join CHADD and receive every issue!
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    Most kids are excited about the break from school that comes with summer vacation. They don’t have to deal with the pressures of exams or doing homework. Finally they can focus on what matters most…having fun. However, there are some kids who like the predictability of being in school and get anxious when summer vacation rolls around.

    If your child struggles with making transitions during summer vacation, here are a few suggestions to help them ease into vacation mode with more excitement and less anxiety.

    How to schedule your ecobee to go into vacation mode

    1. Make a summer vacation wish list. Get your family together and have everyone come up with a list of activities they want to do during vacation. If you are able to schedule everything everyone wants to do, great. If not, you can have family members vote or do a random drawing to select what activities make the itinerary. Make your planning session fun. Maybe have family members act out what they want to do while others try and guess the activity. Adding an element of fun to the planning process will spur your child’s excitement.

    2. Maintain a routine. Summer vacation doesn’t need to be as structured as the school year. After all, vacation is a time for fun. With that being said, maintaining a lite version of your child’s school routine can help make the transition from school to summer vacation easier. It’s a routine they are already familiar with and they won’t have to adapt to a whole new way of doing things. Keeping a version of your school routine will also make it easier for your child to snap back into school mode once vacation is over.

    3. Create a daily schedule. Make a daily schedule and hang it in an area where it can be easily seen. Having a schedule in place will help your child know what to expect, which will ease their anxiety. Try and make your schedule as simple as possible. My family’s summer vacation schedule typically includes meal times, the activity for the day, and bed time.

    4. Balance activities with down time. Even though going places and doing different activities are fun, some kids dread summer vacation because they are overwhelmed with all they have to do. Work to find a balance between having your child participate in activities and them having time to unwind. You don’t want your child to be bored, but you also don’t want them to feel fatigued from being over-scheduled.

    5. Keep children connected with classmates. Kids don’t always live in the same neighborhoods as their classmates and the end of the school year can mean a loss of contact with their close friends. You can remedy this by getting your child’s friends’ contact information so you can plan a play date over the summer. You could even coordinate with some parents from your child’s class to go on an outing together. This will help your child maintain their relationships with friends into the upcoming school year.

    Transitions definitely aren’t easy. However, if you take the time to plan ahead, it can go a whole lot smoother than when you don’t. What are some things you do to help your child transition from school to summer vacation?

    If you like this article you might also like 30 Kid-Friendly Staycation Activities.