The waiting has been long and dreary. And now that the waiting is almost over, you are probably itching to leave your house and go on long vacation somewhere ideally faraway. However, you should not get ahead of yourself. Sure, your tickets and hotel rooms have been booked. Your luggage has been packed. Your health requirements have been passed. And your loved ones have been informed about your travel plans. Yes, you are almost a hundred percent ready, except for one thing. You might not have checked your house yet for anything that could turn into a problem and ruin your vacation.
The last thing you want to happen is while you’re sipping a margarita on a deserted island, someone from the front desk comes to you and informs you about an emergency back home. So for your peace of mind, go through this list before leaving.
Doors and windows
Burglars strike when they know you’re not home. Buff up your house’s security by checking that the locks in your doors and windows work as they should. If anything’s suspect, call your trusted locksmith and have it fixed.
If you have a garage, do not forget to check your garage door, too. Make sure that your discerning eyes have assessed all points of entry before leaving.
You can choose to turn off your thermostat. But that could lead to mold and mildew building up in your house’s interior, especially if the indoor climate turns humid while you’re away. Alternatively, you can adjust your thermostat based on the season. If it’s a cold month, set it to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (ca. 10 °C). On a warm month, 85 degrees Fahrenheit (ca. 29 °C) is the magic number. However, you can only do that if your thermostat is programmable.
Ideally, you have programmable lights installed. If you do, you can control your lights at home even while you’re away, using your smartphone. You will be able to deter burglars with a light schedule that makes your house look like it’s not abandoned. Have those lights turned on at different times within the day. A fixed schedule makes it obvious that there’s no one home.
Turn off your main water valve. That’s most critical if it’s winter. Consider putting your water heater on “vacation mode” too. These simple tricks will prevent the possibility of you coming home to frozen pipes. That is on top of you saving money on energy.
If you have a front yard or backyard with a garden, do not fret. Your sprinklers will still activate even if your house’s main water supply is turned off.
The best approach is consuming everything you have in the fridge before you head out of the door for a long vacation. That way you can turn off the fridge and save on electricity. However, if that’s not possible, at least make sure to throw out any expired food and perishable goods from the fridge. Leave a cup of baking soda in the fridge to absorb odor. You do not want to come home tired from a long flight and be welcomed by a horrible smell emanating from your refrigerator.
This is quite obvious. But more often than not, the most obvious are the ones usually forgotten. So consider this your reminder. Throw out trash from all the rooms in your house. Do not forget the trash can in your toilet. You may leave your empty trash cans in your garage, or outside the house, to deter pests from coming into your house.
If you’re old school and keeps a landline, do not forget to leave a message for your callers. Sure, you’ll have a smartphone with you, and people could reach you wherever you are, but still, you cannot neglect those contacts that only have your landline number. Keep them informed about your whereabouts too.
A vacation should get you excited for sure. However, you must maintain a certain level of levelheadedness, at least pre-departure. That will allow you to take care of things that need to be taken care of. You’ll get to prepare for your vacation needs with great attention to detail. You won’t be one of those travelers panicking on the plane that’s taken off because they remember to have forgotten something important.
And once you’re at your destination, have all the fun that you deserve. Just make sure that you behave in a way that’s not offensive to the local community.