13 Things To Do Before You Leave for That Extended Vacation
Wait! I know you are so ready for that extended beach getaway vacation or ski trip in the mountains but aren’t you forgetting something?
Before you rush off to your holiday, make sure you take care of a few things at home first. The last thing you want is to come back from your soothing vacation with stuff overflowing, unpaid bills and smells you can’t identify.
Here are 12 Things you should do before you catch that next flight!
Alert Credit Card Company
Make sure you let your credit card company know that you will be traveling ahead of time especially if you are going outside of the country. If your bank statements aren’t riddled with overseas adventures, this trip may set off some alarms.
You can alert the credit card company that you will be outside of your local area with a few clicks of a button on a mobile banking app, or, simply give them a call.
The last thing you want is for your credit or debit card to be frozen while on vacation.
Stop Mail Services
Don’t let your mail pile up! Put a hold on your United States Postal Services (USPS) mail before you leave town. This will not only eliminate the overflow in your mailbox but it will also make sure your mail is kept safe.
Also, leaving mail in your mailbox may inform thieves that there is no one home.
Simply go online and put in a request for a temporary hold on mail services.
Go to the USPS website, create an account, go to the USPS Hold section, confirm your identity and mailing address and you are all set!
If your extended vacation is going to have you out of the house for quite some time, I recommend going through your place and unplugging a majority of electronics. This includes, but not limited to, lamps, toaster, coffee maker, computer monitors, and TVs.
By unplugging these items, you will reduce your energy consumption, and protect your items in case there is bad weather while you are away. The last thing you want is for an storm to come through and potentially spark a fire.
No need to worry about unplugging your fridge especially if you are leaving food in there. Just get the smaller items taken care of.
Turn Off Water Supply
In the same line of unplugging electronics, go ahead and shut off your water supply to the house. If no one is at your home, there is no one that will be taking a shower. This will prevent potential leaks and coming home to an exhorborent water bill that you werent anticipating.
Clean Out/Eat Food that May Spoil
Did you just buy a new gallon of milk? Well, drink it up before you lock the door!
Don’t leave behind any food that will spoil or expire by the time you leave. If you can’t get rid of the milk or other perishable items in time, give it to a friend or neighbor, or pour it down the drain. Coming home to a smelly home is not what you want.
Before I leave for vacation, the week of I limit my grocery shopping and focus on eating what I already have in the fridge. This way, I am less likely going to have to throw good food away.
Stop Ice Maker
This is one I totally forget to do. Turn off the ice maker! How many times have we come home to an ice maker overflowing with ice cubes? Too many for me.
Newer reridgerators have a sensor that will stop creating new ice if the tray is full. If you don’t have this feature, make sure to reach into your freezer and turn it off.
Water Indoor Plants
Take some time to water your indoor plants. Give them a nice drink of water before you head to the airport. Depending on the length of your vacation, your plants still may wilt a little while away. However, giving them some water before you leave will be less likely for the plants to die.
Some planters are self watering. Check out these self watering inserts from Amazon.
Lock All Windows and Doors
This goes without saying. Make sure both your doors and windows are locked! Once you lock them, make sure you lock the door you leave from on your way out as well.
To give you some peice of mind, take a picture of the locked door as you leave. This way, you have no doubt in your mind that you did lock your door.
If you have an app that can tracks and ensures the house is locked and secured, then even better!
Inform Neighbor or Friend to Watch Home
Before you head out, let a trusted neighbor or friend know that you will be away from your house for a specified amount of time. Have that person watch out for anything suspicious and make sure your home is ok.
It’s also good if you ask a neighbor to pick up your mail and packages while you’re away. Leave them an emergency contact number and number to where you are staying just in case they need to reach you.
If you aren’t friendly with your neighbors, then here’s your chance!
Alert Alarm Company
If you have an alarm system installed at your home, give them a call to let them know that you will be away from your home for an extended vacation. The alarm company will then make sure to take extra precaution if an alarm is set off at your home.
If you have a camera system installed, make sure that it is fully functioning. You can monitor activity at your home while away,
Put Car(s) in Garage
Here’s another tip you may not remember. Put the cars in your garage. Leaving your cars out could expose them to the elements especially if temperatures get to freezing.
Also, placing your cars in the garage will leave them out of harms way. If someone knows that you aren’t home, then they may see the opportunity to try to break a car window, or worse, steal it!
Pay Bills Ahead of Time
Get the mortgage, utilities, maintenace, etc paid before you go! If you’re anything like me, then you may have spent more time picking out your outfits than thinking about paying bills. Trust me, you will be happy you did it!
The last thing you want to worry about is questioning if you paid your bills on time. Make sure everything is scheduled and paid off before you leave. Plus, this will save you from overspending. If the rent is already paid, then you won’t spend the rent money.
Set Up Whatsapp (If going out of country)
Going out of the country and not sure if you will have phone service? Some companies offer coverage in certain places overseas. I personally enjoy the use of Whatsapp. It’s a free app service that is linked to your phone number that allows you to text and make calls from your phone anywhere! You can make calls to long distance numbers too at no extra cost! As long as you have a decent wifi connection, then you are able to use it.
But, make sure you get your Whatsapp account set up BEFORE you leave. You will have to confirm your phone number when you sign up and you will need to use your cell service. Set it up and test it out before you leave.