For some people, a vacation might be a weekend getaway. For others, a vacation could be a month-long trip out of the country. No matter where on this spectrum you fall, there are always steps to be done to keep your home safe, in addition to other preparations, so that everything from departure to coming home goes smoothly and without a hiccup.
Preparation is the key to so many things in our lives, it is a wonder we spend so little time preparing ourselves and our homes before taking off on a vacation. Lack of preparation before a vacation can lead to missed flights, forgotten luggage, and general stress. Understanding why you should prepare yourself and your home before vacation might seem to be easy, but you would be surprised what other people (probably including you!) forget to do.
Start with a List
Speaking of forgetfulness, the first thing you need to do to prepare for a getaway is to make a checklist. If you do not write out exactly what needs to be done before you leave, it is likely that you will forget something, or at least feel like you have forgotten something. Studies have shown that people who make checklists are significantly less likely to do something that they are supposed to have done.
Do Not Forget the Pets
Make sure that you have made arrangements for your pets, either with a sitter or with a pet-boarding company. If you are leaving your pet with a sitter, make sure that you give them plenty of pet food, some toys, and any medicines that your pet might require. If you are leaving your pet at home and having someone check in with them several times a day, do not forget to leave your house key for them, and make sure that anything valuable or dangerous that your pet might get into is put safely out of reach.
Some people may have plants instead of (or in addition to) pets. These require care too. Make sure to get a friend to water your plants as necessary, or purchase self-watering plant stakes.
Secure Your Home
If you are taking a short trip (a couple of days) leave a lamp on in a few different rooms. This will deter thieves from attempting to break into your home. If you are going on a lengthier vacation, you should purchase light timers that can turn your lights on and off at specified intervals. You should also let any alarm system companies that you might use that you are going on vacation so that they can keep a closer eye on your home.
Something that many people do not think of when it comes to securing their home before a vacation is having their mail held at the post office. If a potential burglar sees your mail piling up, they may realize that you are not home. That makes you an easy target.
Nobody wants to come home from a relaxing vacation just to realize that they left their house a mess. Make sure to clean out your refrigerator before you leave, and toss any food that will expire in your absence. Take care of any laundry you have laying around before you leave, and spray insecticide in any areas of frequent bug activity.
Just like with the chores, there are some things you can do to make your transition back into everyday life easier. Try to purchase some non-perishable goods before you leave that you can have for your first meal back. Make sure that you do not leave any dishes in the sink, and wipe down all of the surfaces in your home. Give your bathroom and kitchen a quick clean, and sweep or vacuum all of your floors. The day of your departure, put clean sheets on your bed so that you can unwind in comfort after a long day of travelling.
Preparing for a vacation does not need to be stressful. If you start your preparations early enough, they almost seem like the chores you do on a daily basis anyway. When you leave, you will feel much more comfortable knowing that your home is in good shape, and secured against criminals.