The excitement and anticipation of going on a vacation is rejuvenating in itself. It doesn’t matter if you’re going on a camping trip to the nearest State Park for a week or traveling abroad for the summer, the prospect of time away from the usual routine can be exhilarating. As you prepare for your adventure, you also want to make sure your home will be safe and secure in your absence. You also don’t want to come home to any unpleasant surprises.
Begin with the End in Mind
As exciting as your vacation will be, if you’re like most people, you’ll be glad to be back at your own home, and in your own bed. With that in mind, you need to prepare your home so you can have a comfortable return. You don’t want to come back to a house full of fruit flies, musty smelling rooms, and clutter all over the beds. Start planning for your departure early and you’ll have less to do when the day actually arrives.
Before you leave, there are some things you will need to do in advance to ensure a worry-free trip. First on your list is getting your mail and papers held or stopped for the time you will be gone – beginning either the day before or the first day of your trip. A pile of newspapers or an overflowing mailbox is an indicator no one is home and it’s an open invitation for mischief; including temptation for thieves.
If you have pets that will not be accompanying you on your trip, the earlier you make arrangements, the better. If you have a neighbor or relatives who can pet sit while you’re gone, great. If not, then you may need to find a boarding place that meets your standards of care. Visit the facility and talk to the staff to make sure your pet will be well taken care of. Don’t forget smaller pets, fish, reptiles, and birds. Though there are ways for these pets to be self-sustaining during your absence, you may want to have someone look in on them from time to time while you are away.
Coming home to dead houseplants is depressing. There are self-watering plant stakes available, and if you use this, you may want to do a trial run before you leave. You’ll be very disappointed if you come home and find out they didn’t work as well as you thought they would. The other option is to have someone come in and water your plants while you’re gone. Make sure it’s someone you can trust to do the job and don’t forget to show them where all of your plants are located.
After you have your mail, papers, pets, and plants taken care of, the next thing to tackle is making sure you get to come home to a clean, orderly house. This is not something you want to leave until the last minute. Plan in the time to get your house in order so it’s finished a day or two before you leave.
Getting Your Home in Order
You don’t want to leave a fridge full of food, so make plans to either eat up the perishables or toss them. Meals close to your departure date should be easy and leave as few leftovers as possible, unless you plan to freeze them for later use. Don’t leave any food out that might rot or be a breeding ground for bugs. There’s nothing worse than coming home to a fruit fly fiasco due to a little piece of fruit left on the counter.
Consider spraying the perimeter of your home with insecticide to ward off any insect invasions in your absence. This little preventive measure may keep ants and other little creatures from exploring for food in your home.
Give your house a good once-over with cleaning a day or two before you leave. Do the laundry and change the sheets on your bed. When you come back, the rugs will be vacuumed, the floors mopped, dishes put away and everything will look welcoming and best of all, you get to relax.
Before You Leave
There are just a few more things to do before you leave for your vacation. Turn on a light. Investing in timers is also a smart move. Set your timers so lights go on and off at appropriate times. Adjust the thermostat or turn it off. Don’t waste energy or money by leaving the air conditioner on while you are gone. Check doors and windows to make sure they are closed and locked. If you have an alarm system, make sure it’s armed when you leave.
Following these tips will make your return home more pleasant and relaxing. Now, go enjoy your vacation!
About Joanne Aubuchon
Joanne is a resident writer for SERVIZ, an on-demand home services company offering everything from Plumbing repairs to Carpet Cleaning across the US. Joanne is a writer by day and reader by night. Joanne loves writing about saving money, raising kids and improving the quality of our lives. When she is not writing, you can find her trying out new salad recipes, playing ball with her kids, or cheering in the stands at her son’s soccer games.