So, vacation season is finally here! You have, hopefully, contacted your super-amazing Travel Professional to help you plan the perfect experience and shopped- for and packed all your new cute travel clothes….you’re ready? Maybe not! Have you made sure to leave your home in good shape so it stays clean, protected and even energy-efficient while you are gone?
Stop all mail and newspapers until you return – It’s like a green flag to thieves to see newspapers piled up outside the door of your home. Take a minute to contact the USPS (https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/) and any other delivery service that you all deliveries postponed until you return.
Lock all of your windows – It’s easy to remember to lock the doors, but be sure all windows are shut tightly and locked. You don’t want to come home to puddles of rainwater, or an unexpected intruder!
Be sure someone has a key – find a trusted family member or neighbor and ensure that they have a way in to your home or apartment in case of an emergency. You never know when it could come in handy. One time, a good friend of mine was traveling in Hong Kong when her home flooded from rising lake waters…her landlords were able to go in and put a lot of things up on counters and even moved her car out of the garage to higher ground! They saved us tons of hassles and money!
Email yourself copies of your credit cards, ID and travel documents to a web- based email account. Just in case something happens while you are traveling (can you say “pickpockets”?) you can easily access all your important confirmations and details wherever you can get online. Remember to photocopy both sides of your credit cards and insurance cards!
Adjust the thermostat – Be sure to set the air conditioning or heat to an appropriate level to save on energy costs while you are away. Also, you might consider turning down the hot water heater temp as well. You will be very glad you did when you receive next month’s utility bills!
Invest in a timer – An inexpensive timer unit from any hardware store allows you to program your lights for security purposes (and energy conservation). Those nasty home stalkers will think someone is home and pass you by!
Unplug! – Unplug any appliances that you can while you are gone (think toaster, coffee maker and office printer). They can be a fire hazard, as well as sucking precious electricity even while you are thousands of miles away on the beach.
Change the sheets – When you arrive home from your vacation, nothing beats collapsing into crisp, clean sheets…in your own bed. It’s worth the few extra minutes it takes before you leave.
Take out the trash – Nothing could be worse than arriving home to realize you forgot to take out the garbage! Not exactly the atmosphere you want to experience!
Empty out the Fridge – Throw out any leftovers and maybe offer any perishables that won’t last to your friendly neighbors. No sense wasting good food, plus you don’t want to have to worry about it when you return.
By following these suggestions, you can make sure that your next amazing vacation isn't ruined by a nasty surprise lurking inside your front door....It's depressing enough having to return to reality without finding a stinky trash can! Trust me...I know!