Going on a vacation is a wonderful thing. You’ve probably spent months planning it, putting aside some money so you can enjoy a bit of luxury and elegance once you get to your destination. This is the time when you forget about your job and all the stress and just enjoy the sunshine on the beach, or by the pool. However, while you’re out there relaxing and having fun, what about your home? Did you do everything to secure your house and yard before you set off? Here’s the ultimate check list before going on a vacation.
You never know what can happen, perhaps you misplace your own keys somewhere in your suitcase, and now you stand before your door, desperate to use the bathroom. Or you remember you left the water heater or sprinklers on and you need someone to check it, but they can’t get in. for situations such as these you need a pair of spare keys. Of course, you shouldn’t leave these on a windowsill or hanging by the door, but rather hide them somewhere safe: under a rock, or a flower pot, or leave them hidden in the birdhouse. You can even leave a pair to your reliable neighbors or good friends.
Keep your house clean
Of course, when you get back from a vacation a couple of weeks later, your house will probably be covered in dirt, but if you don’t leave it clean you may find some dangerous bacteria too. Throw away any food that might go bad in the time when you’re not there, and take out the trash from every room – you never know when something will start stinking. Pour a half cup of vinegar and a bit of water into your garbage disposal and run it to clean it up.
Leaving your appliances on while you’re away can become a costly problem when you get back home. Not only will they use the electricity needlessly, but they might break down while you’re not there. Smaller appliances should be unplugged just as some of the electronic devices. Leave a couple of them on, though, if you want your house to look lived in. Turn the water heater off or put it in “vacation” mode if you can. Your sinks, dishwasher, and washing machine don’t need to use water for a while, so you can turn off their water valves.
Mind the temperature
Turning off your thermostat is not an option, regardless of the season. You don’t want your house to freeze during the winter or become too stuffy during the summer. However, heating your empty home in the winter, and cooling it in the summer is also a bad idea. Your thermostat should be set to a temperature that is relatively close to the outside temperature, meaning warmer in the summer, and cooler in the winter. This way, your plants, furniture, and pets will be protected too.
If you have a pet, it can be really difficult for you to organize a vacation without having to think about taking them with you or finding a kennel. Both of these can be incredibly expensive, and the pet can be traumatized by sudden change in environment. To avoid all this and save some money, you can opt for house sitting instead: offer somebody to live in your home while you’re away and to take care of your pet. This way, your home and your pet will be looked after, and you will not have to worry about spending thousands of dollars more.
Don’t make your home look empty
Burglars are a real threat, and a house that looks empty is the best target for such criminals. However, you don’t want to leave your lights and your TV on for a couple of weeks, do you? Luckily, you can make your house look lived in with just a couple of clicks. Set timers on lights and radio or a TV so that they turn on periodically and make your home look like someone’s there. With different smartphone apps, you can turn on lights and home appliances as you’re getting a massage on a beach and sipping a cocktail. Try not to use regular patterns though, if your home suddenly comes ‘alive’ every day at eight o’clock, it’s a sign that timers are used.
This probably seems like a lot of work, and you don’t need that much stress – you are going on a holiday. On the other hand, if you don’t take precautions you may find yourself worrying about things back home. You will catch yourself stressing over the alarm and whether you left the water heater on. If you make sure you have done everything you can before your trip you will be more relaxed, sleep better, and have a great time without stress.