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Following a thorough home departure checklist is essential for a worry-free vacation

Preparing for a vacation involves much more than just packing your bags and booking flights. Just as important as your travel checklist is the home pre-departure checklist to ensure the safety and security of your house while you’re away.

From arranging for pet care to securing your home, several crucial tasks must be completed before embarking on your journey.

Pet and plant care

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If you have pets, finding a reliable pet sitter or boarding facility is essential to ensure their well-being in your absence. Additionally, make arrangements for someone to water your house plants and tend to outdoor plants and lawn maintenance. A well-maintained lawn and plants will prevent giving away the fact that your home is unoccupied.

Mail and newspaper (if you still read one)

Stopping mail and newspaper deliveries or asking a neighbour to pick them up is crucial to avoid piles of newspapers on your driveway, which can signal that your house is empty. Also, remember to arrange for the collection of any flyers or packages left at your doorstep.

Key arrangements and itinerary

Leave a set of keys with a trusted person who can take care of the tasks mentioned earlier. Share your travel itinerary and contact numbers with someone you trust. Make a copy of your passport and give it to a friend or relative, enabling them to email you the information in case your passport is lost or stolen.

Minimizing wallet contents and bill payments

Take only necessary cards, such as ATM and credit cards, with you, leaving behind items like library cards. Ensure all bills are paid or set up online payment arrangements, especially for longer trips.

Digital presence

Update your voicemail and set an email auto-reply message if needed. Make arrangements beforehand if you have a website or plan to blog during your trip.

Final home pre-departure checklist

Before leaving, complete the following:

  1. Set random timers for lights to create the appearance of occupancy.
  2. Lock all windows and doors and adjust the thermostat.
  3. Turn off ceiling fans susceptible to power surges.
  4. Shut off the water to the washing machine as a precaution.
  5. Power down computers and unplug small appliances.
  6. Adjust the hot water heater to vacation mode.
  7. Empty trash and discard perishables from the refrigerator.
  8. Disable or set the garage door opener to vacation mode.
  9. Leave a spare set of car keys with a neighbour if your car is alarmed.

Double-check and secure

Before departing, go through the home pre-departure checklist to ensure everything is in order. Check in online for your flight, lock your luggage, and attach proper identification tags.

Secure your home

Before leaving, set your house alarm and head out for your vacation with peace of mind, knowing that your home is safe and well-prepared for your absence.

Following a thorough home pre-departure checklist is essential for a worry-free vacation. Taking care of your pets and plants and ensuring your home’s security will allow you to enjoy your trip thoroughly. With your house in order, you can focus on creating lasting memories during your well-deserved vacation.

| The Frugal Traveller

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