A Checklist: 9 Important Things to Complete Before Leaving for a Vacation

Whether it’s a volunteer vacation, adventure trip, cruise, or visit to see family, before you jet off there are several things you need to cross out on your checklist to ensure that your arrive back home feels almost as good as when you left:

  • Leave the House Clean. After you’ve come home feeling fulfilled from your vacation, you don’t want to go back to a messy and cluttered house. It can bring down your mood and end that unplugged feeling you found on vacation more abruptly than needed, so be sure to vacuum, dust, and pick up. If it needs it, now could also be a good time to hire a service to complete a deep clean.
  • Give Away Your Perishables. Make sure that you don’t leave food anywhere, and if you have perishables and will be gone for more than two weeks, give away your food items to the people you know.
  • Set Timers on Your Lights. Securing your home before you take your trip is also important. If you have timers on your lights, they can turn on and off to make people think that someone is still home. Try and set your lights on a random pattern so that it doesn’t turn on and off at the same time so that nobody can catch on to any trend.
  • Take Out All Garbage and Recycling. In the same vein as cleaning your home before you leave it, make sure that you also take care of your garbage and recycling in the house. If you leave your garbage inside the bins instead of getting rid of them, it might attract pests and all sorts of critters to come and play with your trash. 

Pro Tip: Before you leave, make sure that you test it out a couple of times to make sure that the timers work, and always make sure that there are no lights that come on during odd hours. For example, lights turning on in the middle of the night or early mornings.

  • Unplug and Switch Off All Your Appliances. Since you’re not going to be home for a while, you should unplug and switch off any appliances that you have in your house. Not only is it going to help you save electricity, but it is also going to ensure that your home is safe while you are away. You can unplug your TV, washing machine and dryer, and any phone chargers easily.
  • Turn Off the Water Supply. Another thing you need to do before you go on your vacation is to turn off the water supply to your home. Even if you know that your house doesn’t have any leaks right now, you might as well take the extra step and make sure that you don’t come back to a flooded home. It’s much more expensive to fix a flooded house than to turn off the water supply.
  • Set Your Home Alarm. Since you’re going away for a while, you should invest in a home alarm system to protect your house. It’s going to be a worthwhile investment because it gives you the peace of mind that your home is fine while you are away. Be sure to set the alarm to receive notifications in case something awry happens in your house while you’re away.
  • Place a Hold on Your Mail. If there’s anything that will indicate that nobody’s home, it’s going to be a mailbox full of mail. Contact your nearest post office to tell them to hold onto your mail while you’re away.
  • Tell a Trusted Neighbor You’ll Be Gone. Having great connections with your neighbors is going to come in handy during the times when you’re away. Ask any of your trusted neighbors to keep an eye on your house while you’re gone. Make sure that you leave your contact information with them so they can contact you if anything suspicious is going on.

Pro Tip: Alternatively, you can also ask a friend or family to stay in your home for a while. That way, your home is still inhabited by people.

  • Make Sure Every Door is Locked. Before you leave, double-check that all of your doors are locked and your windows are closed.

While you’re taking care of other things away from home, it’s best that you prep your home in a way that you’re sure you don’t have to worry about it while you’re away. When you return, you’ll be so happy you did. Have a wonderful trip!

Geraldine Mills is a self-confessed wanderlust from the land down under, Australia! She funds her adventures by working as a brand consultant and as a travel writer. She loves sharing the allure of backpacking and being one with nature.

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