What You NEED To Do Before Vacation

So I know that packing for vacation includes about 62,000 different things that you need to think about and do, but I am going to add a couple more things to your list.  #sorrynotsorry

(Ok, I realize that I am not cool enough to pull off a hash tag in the middle of a post.  Won’t do that again. Promise.)

These things that I am going to add to your list of to-do’s, don’t have anything to do with the number of socks and underwear you will need to pack for a 10 day trip.  These, are more the practical tips that are often overlooked. You come home happy and relaxed, to find your home smells like a toxic waste plant, because someone forgot to flush, after the big deed, before you left.

(NOT ENOUGH PURIFICATION IN THE WORLD to fix that problem.  I speak from experience.  It left me scarred emotionally and a little physically.)

Summer is coming and that means more of you will be taking vacations.  Let’s take a look at a list that could make or break your homecoming from vacation this year.

Focus On What’s In Your Wallet:

  • Pull out anything, from your wallet, that you will not need or use while you are away .
  • For the cards that you will be taking with you, snap a picture of the fronts and backs of the cards.  Should you loose a card or your wallet, this picture will be so helpful to be able to call and put a hold on cards or even get replacements, easily.
  • Call your credit card company to give them a heads up that you will be away on vacation.  This will help prevent them from flagging and freezing your cards for possible fraud prevention.

Make a Note-  Open up a note in your phone and mark down flight numbers, airline phone numbers, hotel reservation numbers and addresses.  Putting all this information in one place will be so much more efficient than trying to find papers in your bags.

Check the Toilets- Not only do you want to check, check, and recheck that all of your toilets have been flushed, but it is also smart to shake some baking soda into the toilet bowls to keep the stank away from them sitting stagnant.

Place a Hold on Mail and Newspapers-  If you do not have someone checking on your home while you are gone, it is a smart idea to place a hold on mail and newspapers for the time that you are away.  Nothing says “rob me, please” than a driveway full of newspapers.

Use Steps To Conserve Energy-  Cut your thermostat back by 10 degrees.  No need to have the air running if you aren’t there to enjoy.  Pull curtains and blinds to keep the rooms from heating up.

Empty Trash Cans- Ahhh the memories of coming home from a wonderful vacation to a full on infestation of fruit flies.  I still can’t smell apple cider vinegar the same way.  Do yourself a favor and empty all of the trash cans around the house.

Empty The Dishwasher-  In the same way you don’t want to leave trash in the can, dirty dishes that have been left for a week in a stale environment, do not say “Welcome Home”.

Consider Turning Off Your Water-  Again nothing quite says “Your house missed You” than coming home and finding that the dishwasher leaked all over your hardwoods.

Turn Off and Unplug-  It is always a good practice to unplug appliances, computers, and other electronic devices before you head out.  Walk through on the way out and make sure that anything that doesn’t have to be on, is off.

Set up Automatic Light Timers-  A few well placed light timers are always a good idea as they give the home the appearance of life, even when you are gone.  Not to mention it will save you from walking in to a dark house on your return.

Take a Picture, It May Last Longer-  

  • Once again, your phone camera may come in handy in a valuable way.  Before you depart for vacation, take a minute to take a photo of each room of your home.  Highlight any valuables that are in your space.  Should the unthinkable happen, these photos will save a host of hassles with your insurance company.
  • While you have your phone out, snap a photo of your family.  An updated face shot of your spouse and children may be handy, should you get separated in an airport or at your destination.

Change the Sheets-  As excited as you are to go, there is no better feeling than coming home.  Especially if there are FRESH SHEETS on the bed.  Fresh sheet night is a pleasure like none other.  (I know I am weird.  I have embraced it.)   Taking just a few extra minutes and making up your bed will truly be a pleasure when you arrive back home.  Trust me on this one.

Just a few extra steps in your vacation prep can truly make a significant difference on your return.  As the saying goes; “A failure to plan, is a plan to fail.”  We certainly don’t want that.

Do you have any extra steps that you take to prepare for vacations?  If so, tell us in the comment section below.

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