So by now I expect that you read the first two parts in this series which cover the more fun aspects of getting ready for your vacation (reservations, Pinterest board, wardrobe building, etc) and the essential but not so fun grown-up aspects of getting ready for your vacation (travel insurance, contacting your bank, etc). Today’s post will focus on how to get your home ready for vacation! Without even realizing it , most people complete many small chores every day that are essential to keeping their home up and running, but what do we do when we have to go away for a few days, or even weeks? Here is what I do to prepare
My top priority is my pets.
- Make sure to organize a pet sitter or boarding well in advance. If hiring a sitter, you want to make sure they are comfortable with your pet (and your pet is equally comfortable with them!). If boarding, book as soon as possible to ensure your pet has a space.
- Stock up on supplies for your furry/scaley/feathered friend ensuring the sitter won’t run out. I always make sure to have as much as will be needed for the duration of my trip PLUS an extra two week supply in case of an emergency.
- Leave a detailed letter with any pertinent information you pet sitter may need such as medications, feeding amounts, daily routine, and anything else that may be helpful. Make sure to include contact information for emergency contacts (at least 2!) as well as your vet information.
- Leave your credit card number with your vet with clear instructions on how you would like emergencies to be handled.
Take care of your plants
- Ask a neighbour to water your lawn
- Set water timers for your garden
- Ask your housesitter to water your indoor plants OR drop them off at a friends house. This can be a great job for young children who are learning responsibility, and they love being paid in Disney souveniers 😉
Empty your fridge. Unless you are performing a science experiment for school, eat or give away anything that is due to spoil before you get back home.
Take up to date photos of your home. If disaster strikes, these will come in very handy when dealing with insurance.
Arrange for regular walk throughs of your home to keep your insurance valid. If you will not be having a house or pet sitter, you will need someone to come by every day or so to ensure that your basement hasn’t flooded, you haven’t been burgled (I really love that word! It’s so fun to say), or some other terrible event has not occurred. Check with your home insurance to see how often you need someone to come by, it can be anywhere from 24 to 96 hours depending on the policy.
Tell a few trusted neighbours of your travel plans so they can help to keep an eye on things.
Buy a timer for your lamps and a radio. These are relatively cheap at under $20, and gives your house an occupied appearance.
Set your thermostat to a nice, low setting. You don’t want to be wasting energy while you’re away, but you want to make sure it doesn’t get cold enough for the pipes to freeze. And if you are leaving any pets in the home set it to a comfortable setting for them.
I know this sounds silly, but do a thorough cleaning. Yes, those last couple of days before you leave on your trip are crazy hectic, but make the time to do a good scrubbing on your abode and you will be grateful you did when you get back. The last thing you need after a relaxing vacation is to walk into a mess. This would be a great task for your spouse and kids while you take care of the laundry and packing!
Have I missed anything? Let me know if you have any additional tips!
The more organized you are before you leave, the more relaxed you will feel while on vacation :). Now go have a wonderful trip!