Prepare a home pre-departure vacation checklist

A home pre-departure checklist is just as important as a checklist for your packing

CALGARY, Alta. Oct. 3, 2016/ Troy Media/ – A home pre-departure checklist is just as important as a checklist for your packing. You’ve made all the plans for your holiday but, while you’re gone, you want your home to be safe too.

If you have pets, you will have to make arrangements for a pet sitter or find a place to board your furry friends.

Did you arrange for someone to water the house plants? Will someone mow the lawn and take care of outdoor plants? If your lawn grows long and shaggy, it could be a give away that you’re not home.

Did you stop the mail and the newspaper or arrange for a neighbour to pick them up? How about any flyers or packages left at the door. Again, a pile of newspapers littering the driveway signals the house is empty.

pre-departure vacation checklist
Forget something?

What else should go on your home pre-departure checklist? You might need to leave a set of keys with someone to take care of some of the things we’ve mentioned. It’s a good idea to leave a copy of your itinerary with someone and contact numbers if you have them.

Make a copy of your passport too, and leave it with a friend or relative: they can e-mail you a copy of the information in case your passport is lost or stolen and you lose the copy you have with you too.

Take any unnecessary cards out of your wallet. You’ll only need a couple of ATM cards and credit cards. No need to carry your library card or a handful of credit cards.

Make sure all your bills are paid or make arrangements to pay bills online, especially if it’s a long trip.

Update your voice mail and set an e-mail auto reply message if you want to. If you have a website, make sure it is up to date. Do you want to blog on your trip? Arrange for that ahead of time if you’re not a regular blogger.

It’s finally time to leave on vacation, so here are the last few things on your home pre-departure checklist:

  • Set timers in your house to turn lights off and on. Make them random timers if you can to look more natural.
  • Lock all windows and doors, and turn down the thermostat.
  • Turn off ceiling fans that tend to come on with power surges.
  • Turn off the water to the washing machine … just in case.
  • Power down your computer and unplug small appliances.
  • Turn the hot water heater to vacation mode.
  • Empty the trash and clean perishables out of your refrigerator. Who wants to come home to sour milk or green mould?
  • Disable the garage door opener or set it in vacation mode.
  • If your car is alarmed, leave a spare set of keys with a neighbour.

OK, you’re nearly ready to go out the door.

But first, go through your home pre-departure checklist and make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

Check in for your flight online. Lock all of your luggage and make sure all pieces have proper ID tags.

Set the house alarm and have a great trip!

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