Everyone deserves a long, relaxing vacation after working so hard. A lengthy break can refresh your body and mind and allow you to replenish your motivation to pursue your goals. With the excitement and flurry of preparing for a long leave, it’s easy to forget things that don’t have to do with your trip.
If you’re leaving your house unoccupied for quite some time, you need to keep a these considerations in mind to make sure you don’t come back to a ransacked or messy home.
Contact the Pet Sitter or Kennel
If you can’t take your pet with you, you have to arrange a comfortable accommodation for them before you leave. Contact your preferred pet sitter to watch over your pet while you’re away. Depending on your agreement and the length of your trip, your can let the pet sitter stay in your home or have them host your pet at their place.
Not everyone is comfortable with letting another person staying in their home unsupervised. That’s why there are boarding kennels where you can leave your pet when you travel can’t take them. But leaving your pet with strangers can be traumatic for them.
If you’re planning to leave your pet in a boarding kennel, you have to prepare them for it. Get to know the staff, and inspect the facilities. Make sure that the kennels have pet sitters who are professionally trained to handle all kinds of pets with different temperaments.
Also check if the kennel’s facilities are clean and safe for your pet. If you’re satisfied with both the staff and the facilities, you can take your pet for a visit (or two) to let them get comfortable in the new environment.
Increase Your Home Security
Empty homes are a favorite target for break-ins. Before leaving on a long trip, you should fortify the security of your home. Install security systems to deter burglars.
If you don’t have the resources to install security systems before you leave, add decoy decals on your gate and your front door. This may not always be effective all the time, but it helps lessen the risk of your home being broken into.
If you’ve lost a key recently, you may want to change the locks in your house. This is to prevent unscrupulous character who may have picked up or stolen your keys from getting into your home. Windows are also favorite entryways for burglars, so make sure to install window stops before you leave.
You should also take care of the minor details to protect your home when you’re away on vacation. Fill your trash, and have it put out regularly. Ask someone to collect your mail and newspapers too so burglars don’t suspect that no one is home. And if you have a home automation system, set a timer to turn out the lights outside your home every night.
Pay Your Bills
It’s easy to forget about some things with so many things to prepare and plan for when you’re leaving on a vacation. That’s why it’s extremely important to deal with your monthly bills days or weeks before your departure date.
Vacations are supposed to leave you feeling contented and relaxed. You don’t want to be stressed out after finding your electricity and water cut off when you get home.
You should also hand in your loan and mortgage payments early on to avoid incurring expensive penalty fees. Even though there are ways to transfer money when you’re far from home, you never know what circumstances you will meet. In these cases, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Put Your Mail on Hold
An overfilled mailbox in one sign that the house’s occupants aren’t home. This can entice unsavory characters to break into your home and steal your stuff. Arrange for a friend, neighbor, or family member to collect your mail regularly, or better yet, put your mail on hold.
Talk to your local post distributors to ask how you can put your mail on hold. If you usually use USPS, be sure to submit your request for official USPS Hold Mail Services 30 days in advance, and they will hold your mail and packages at the post office until you get back. It’s easy to do this since everything is digital.
Inform Your Bank
Banks and credit card companies have security measures to prevent fraudsters from using your card or stealing your information. If you’re traveling to another state or abroad, call your bank and inform them where and when you are travelling and how long you’re planning to stay.
This reduces the risk of your credit card purchases from getting declined, saving you the trouble of calling customer service and the embarrassment of holding up the cash register’s line.
Banks send in correspondence from time to time. If you inform them of your absence, they will stop sending mail to your house until you get back. This helps keep important bank and personal information from getting into the wrong hands.
Clean Your Fridge and Trash
Pest infestation can cause you so much stress to deal with, not to mention, cost a lot of money. Before leaving on a long vacation, clean your fridge and the trash inside your house. Don’t leave food inside your fridge since you’re going to turn it off anyway. Moreover, throw out the trash inside the house so they don’t attract insects and other pests.
Rotting and expired food can also produce an awful smell that may spread all over the house. If you don’t want to go home to a stinky house, make sure to thoroughly clean up before you leave. Don’t forget your pantry too.
Unplug and Switch off Electronics
Leaving electronics plugged in when they’re not in used wastes a lot of energy. It’s called phantom energy, and it accounts for 15 percent or more of the energy consumed by these electronics.
Avoid wasting energy, and cut down on your monthly bill by unplugging unused electronics in your house. Plus, it’s dangerous to leave plugged in electronics unattended for a long time.
Make Copies of Important Documents
If you’re just visiting another state in your country, you may not need to make copies of important travel documents, like your passport, IDs, and cards. However, going out of the country is another matter.
You read and hear about a lot of travel horror stories of losing travel documents and getting in trouble with authorities. If you don’t want that to happen to you, make copies of your travel documents, and store them in a secure in your luggage. If you end up not needing these copies, you should be very thankful.
Leave a Copy of Your Itinerary with Family and Friends
Don’t stop at informing your family and friends that you’re leaving on vacation. Leave a copy of your complete itinerary and the contact details of the place where you’re staying, especially if you’re going abroad.
No matter how much you research about the place you’re visiting, you can’t anticipate unexpected events. In case troubles find you, your family and friends will know where to look and how to find you.
Turn On Your Email Autoresponse
It’s common courtesy to inform people you know that you’re not available at the moment in case they need something from you. At least when there’s emergency from work or personal life, they will know why you aren’t able to attend to them right away.
You may also want to leave an emergency contact number in your email autoresponse so people can reach you for emergencies.
Pack Everything You Need
Packing is one of the most crucial parts of preparing for a long trip. You need to make sure you have enough and the right clothes for the place and duration you’re leaving. Moreover, you have to ensure that you’ve packed necessities, like medication and hygiene products, that you won’t be able to find there.
Create a checklist of your travel essentials before your scheduled leave. Don’t pack too early since you may need to add some things you may need. Aside from your trolley bag, bring a durable military duffel bag to place stuff you may need on hand (e.g., your wallet, phone, IDs, and passport) at the airport so you don’t have to rummage your luggage for them.
Keep Safe All the Time
Many unexpected things can happen when you’re on vacation, especially if going outdoors. Being prepared can make a lot of difference if you encounter a potentially dangerous situation. Charge your phone before you go, and bring a power bank in case your phone runs out of battery before you get back to your accommodation.
Some places don’t accept credit cards, so always take cash with you in the currency of the place you’re vacationing in. Put a card with your emergency contacts in your wallet so people can contact your family and friends in case you get into trouble.
If you’re going camping or hiking at night, be sure to wear a LED reflective safety belt, and ask your companions to wear one too. People can easily get lost in the wilderness, especially after dark. Wearing a reflective belt will help you stay within sight of your companions and vice versa while giving off a little bit of light to find your way around.
No one can anticipate accidents from happening, so the best you can do is to arm yourself with the knowledge, skills, and tools to deal with any situation.
Vacations are a time to leave your worries and stress behind to relax and recharge your body and mind. But before you can leave, you need to make sure your other affairs are taken care of so you can properly enjoy your vacation.
Increase the security of your house so you don’t go back and find all your valuables missing. Pay your bills to avoid getting your energy and water cut off. Throw out all the stuff that will rot, cause bad odor, and attract pests.
Pack everything you need days before you leave. Finally, as a safety precaution, inform the necessary people and institutions where, when, and for how long you’re going away.