The best time of my year is spent away from home. I dream of returning to Tahiti but often end up much closer to home, getting there by car rather than jet-setting by plane.
That’s OK though. Take me anyplace where I don’t have to cook, clean and run errands and that’s vacation to me.
Before racing out the door I go down my to-do list that’s designed for safety, money saving and piece of mind when I return. Here are some things every traveller should do before he or she locks up.
Take out the Trash
Who wants a trail of ants ransacking their trash can? Not me, that’s why I leave with all trash cans emptied. Hit the refrigerator, too, and dispose of anything that could go bad, especially milk.
Change the Sheets
After several days away it’s a wonderful feeling getting into your own bed. And if that bed is freshly made with fresh, crisp sheets you can count on a comfy night’s sleep.
Set the Lights
Keep unwanted visitors away by turning on the lights, but use a timer to conserve energy. You’ll also want to turn up the thermostat and if you’re gone a significant amount of time, turn off the water.
Put Mail on Hold
Don’t forget to cancel the mail while you’re away. It’s quick and easy to do online at usps.com. Also, put your newspaper on hold and don’t leave out the trash cans. Be weary of any signs that shout: Owner is away, come right in.
Contact Your Bank
If you’re travelling out of state, and especially to another country, let your credit card company know. Banks monitor suspicious activity and will often reject charges if anything seems out of the ordinary.
Inside and out, make sure your plants get a healthy dose of water before you leave. Be sure sprinklers are set on a working timer.
This is where the family comes in. Issue the decree: no clean up, no vacation. Put everything away and do a quick wipe of the counters and sweep of the floor. If you have time, throw in a couple of loads of laundry. Remember, you’ll have a lot more to do after your trip so cut that in half. You’ll leave the house smelling fresh and clean and there’s no better way to say welcome home than that.
What’s on your to-do list before you go on vacation? Share with us here.
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