I am sure there are other apps out there but I wasn’t able to find exactly what I wanted so I created Vacation Manager. Basically, it puts your house into a vacation mode after you’re away for a certain period of time and then allows a house sitter to come by to do things for you while you are gone. It’s pretty simple when it comes down to it.
The intent was to extend the Away mode to turn off things you might want to only turn off after you’re gone for longer than normal. You could of course just do all this in Away mode but I didn’t want the thrash on my water valves and so on when I am just away for a normal time.
The intent here is to give you more flexibility and extend, but not replace, what ST is already doing for you. For instance, putting your HVAC settings in a routine (which is why I didn’t code Thermostat stuff here).
To go with the app, I created a mode called “Vacation” and a routine called “I’m on Vacation” and I used the normal app presence sensors plus the ST Arrival fob for the house sitter.
It is also suggested to use the app in conjunction with a water or gas valve but that is by no means required.
A few suggestions:
- It is highly suggested to create a vacation mode that is different than the default Away mode. Additionally, to avoid an unexpected transition out of the vacation mode, inspect other routines such as Good Morning! and Goodnight! to ensure that they don’t execute mode changes during a vacation (plus they would be largely unnecessary since no one is there anyhow).
- It is highly suggested to create a vacation routine such as “I’m on Vacation!”. This will allow you to pick and choose how devices are turned off for vacation (either in the app or via the routine that the app invokes). Duplication isn’t an issue (turning off a light or valve in both places) and it gives you some insurance on the off chance that the device does not receive the command the first time. Another reason is that the app does not implement controls of HVAC, locks or other things that are well taken care of by a routine where duplication is unnecessary.
- For the House Sitter, it is suggested to use a device like the SmartThings Arrival fob or similar but any presence sensor can be used. It is advisable to have the app execute your “I’m Back!” and “Goodbye!” or similar routines after the House Sitter arrives/leaves so as to ensure that everything is secure.
The code is available on GitHub for anyone interested:
The code seems pretty stable but if anyone finds and issues or bugs, please let me know!