Who doesn’t look forward to taking their next vacation? There’s no need to clock into work or set an alarm in the morning, and there’s the opportunity to see new places and enjoy your favorite activities. Unfortunately, taking a vacation isn’t as easy as packing a bag and setting sail.
Your to-do list is likely filled with packing items, and travel plans to double-check. In addition to those items, you should also create a checklist of things to accomplish in the home before you leave. This way, you can enjoy your vacation fully without worrying about loose ends back home.
The hardest part about creating a checklist is, of course, knowing where to start. To help you get started, here are a few items that we would recommend marking down:
1. Ask Someone To Check In Periodically
There are a few daily or weekly checklist items that homeowners like to take care of. When you’re on vacation, you lose the capability of following your usual routine. Getting someone to take care of those items for you ensures that your house stays in order and you can enjoy your vacation with full peace of mind.
You might ask someone to check in on your home periodically for many reasons. You might have pets that need to be fed or plants that need to be watered regularly. Maybe you need someone to check the mail daily so your mailbox doesn’t burst — or better yet, put a hold on your mail at the post office. For especially long travel plans, you may even need to hire a teen from the neighborhood to mow your lawn or tend your garden.
While friends and family will likely volunteer to do this for you, you should compensate them for their efforts upon your return. Treat them to dinner or bring them some souvenirs to thank them for caring for your home when you couldn’t. They certainly will have earned it.
2. Review the Structure of Your Home
The last thing you want to happen while on vacation is for your house to fall apart completely. It’s one thing to go away for the weekend, but several variables come into play when you take an extended vacation.
Make a checklist of everything you should review before taking your trip. Ensure there are no leaky faucets, compromised window panes, or weakening roof tiles. These may seem like somewhat trivial problems now, but if they decide to bust while you’re away, they can cause much more damage.
This is also a good time to check on any security measures you have in place. Ensure all your locks are functional on both your doors and windows. If you have an alarm system or security camera set up, give it a once over to ensure everything is working as intended.
3. Leave an Emergency Contact List
Let’s say you encounter your worst-case scenario. A pipe bursts, and your basement floods while you’re across the country sipping mimosas on the beach. Even if it were feasible, you can’t just drop everything and rush back home to fix it. You should leave an emergency contact who can handle things until you can return.
Your emergency contact could be the same person you’ve enlisted to check on your house while you’re away. They will already have a key to your place or the code to enter the garage. They can perform damage control and talk to the right people to patch things up until you’re back in the driver’s seat.
Another thing you can do is write up a list of all your emergency contacts to stick on the fridge or in another prominent location. This way, anyone trying to cover an emergency for you knows what family member or service provider you would contact if you were there instead.
4. Unplug Your Appliances
It’s safe to say that most, if not all, of your home appliances, won’t be in use while you’re on a trip. Before you leave, you should unplug as many of these appliances as possible. There are two major reasons why you might want to do this, which we’ll outline below.
First off, leaving your appliances unplugged is a lot safer. While unlikely, it eliminates the risk of wires shorting out and potentially starting a fire. In fact, you might even be able to detect faulty wiring as you unplug appliances you don’t normally inspect.
The other reason this is a worthwhile endeavor is because it will save you money. Your electric bill isn’t put on pause just because you’re away. Unplugged appliances such as microwaves and washing machines won’t siphon out any unneeded energy you’ll have to pay for.
Certain appliances will need to remain plugged in, such as your refrigerator. However, while you’re thinking about it, try emptying out food items that might go bad while you’re away. You won’t enjoy the nasty surprise of spoiled milk at home after a nice vacation.
5. Make Advance Payments
Speaking of that electric bill, the due date for your next payment might come along while you’re away from home. This is definitely something you won’t want to worry about when you should be relaxing. A single advance payment can fix that problem right away.
Look at making advance payments for any upcoming bills you have, if your finances allow it. Better yet, you can set up autopay for all your recurring bills, rent, or mortgage. Instead of mailing a check, the required amount is transferred from your account on the same day each month.
If you prefer to pay your bills in person, talk to your provider about possibly dropping off your payments early. If that’s impossible, ask someone in your trusted circle to make the transaction for you. Then you can get right back into the swing of things when you return.
6. Do Some Tidying Up
What’s worse than coming home from a wonderful vacation and reentering reality? Coming to a messy home that needs to be cleaned up. Do future you a favor and tidy up before you set sail. You’ll be glad you did when you return home and need a day to readjust back to everyday living.
A deep clean isn’t necessarily in order here. Try to knock out most of the basics. Get your laundry folded, put away, and run your dishwasher one last time. Coming home to a full hamper and sink is not the ideal way to be welcomed back home.
Another last-second tidying you can do may include taking out all the garbages, having the kids put away their toys, and making the beds with fresh sheets the morning you depart. Each item you complete is one less thing that needs to be done when you’re back home and exhausted from traveling.
This checklist will make your vacation prep a little bit longer. However, the peace of mind you’ll get from knowing your home is in good hands is always worth the effort. Please take a moment to jot down a checklist of things you would like to complete before your next vacation and put it to work. You’ll be amazed by the difference it makes in your vacation experience.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Te lensFix; Pexels; Thank you!