Leaving for vacation soon? No matter how much you may be looking forward to your vacation, there’s always that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that you have forgot something important.
We always run those worst case scenarios in our minds. To help put your mind at ease, we’ve compiled a list of things you should do before leaving for vacation.
Take a few hours and check them off as you go and rest assured knowing that when you’re finally relaxing on your vacation – especially if its weeks or months before you return home, all your bases will be covered!
Whatever your reasons, extending your holiday beyond the standard two or three weeks can be a great way to get more out of your next vacation. Maybe you take long wintery holiday vacations, a family trip, an extra long honeymoon or romantic getaway or you are a travel blogger – it’s important to plan ahead so you can enjoy it worry free!
1. Is your home ready?
It pays to ensure your house is prepared when you’re heading away for an extended period. If the vacation will last more than a few days, it makes sense to review and adjust your home security settings.
Apart from taking out the trash, turning down the heating/cooling, putting lights on a timer – here are a few more things to not forget before you folks leave town.
Unplug Electronics: Make sure to unplug all electronics throughout your house, from TVs, computers and appliances. This will help avoid any potential electrical hazards and will reduce your power costs while away.
Secure Doors and Windows: Make sure all doors and windows in your home are securely closed, locked, and any alarm systems set up. This will avoid any possible intruder while you are away. Setting timers on lights can also give the impression that someone is at home when you are away.
Shut off Water Supply: Before you leave for vacation, make sure to shut off the water supply to avoid flooding or pipe bursts.
Empty Your Fridge: Empty out your fridge and throw away any food that is near its expiration date to avoid spoiling it. If you have a chest freezer, make sure to defrost and deep clean it before leaving for vacation as well.
Additionally, consider canceling any mail, deliveries or subscriptions that may arrive at your property during your absence. This will save money and protect against thefts from unattended mailboxes and driveways.
2. Notify Your Neighbors
Letting your trusted neighbor(s) know you’re leaving for vacation is a good idea, just to make sure that they are aware of who should or shouldn’t be around the property while you’re gone. This will also give them the opportunity to alert you or the authorities in case of any strange thing or suspicious activity.
Have Someone Check-In On You Home: Ask a trusted friend or family member to periodically check in on your house while you are away. This will help ensure everything is secure and provide someone with access in case and it will help deter potential burglars and keep your home looking lived in.
3. Have you considered travel insurance?
Before embarking on any trip, even a holiday one, it’s important to consider how to protect yourself in any unfortunate incident or emergency.
It’s not uncommon for many people to neglect travel insurance and make their way through an extended holiday without it, hoping that nothing untoward happens.
But this is a false economy, as should something bad happen, being unprepared can cost much more than what it would have cost to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy in the first place.
Plenty of different types of policies are available depending on your needs; some offer medical coverage, while others cover lost baggage or unforeseen cancellations.
It pays to do your research and shop around for a good deal before committing to any particular policy — after all, you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re covered for any eventuality, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
4. Why not put your vehicle in storage?
If you’re planning a more extended holiday, it makes sense to consider something like StorageArea.com car storage for your vehicle if you can.
Not only will this save money on gas and parking fees at your destination, but it also reduces the risk of vandalism or theft while you are away.
Look around for car storage facilities that offer short-term rentals for extended holidays. Companies offering these services generally provide secure compounds with CCTV monitoring and 24/7 security guards to keep an eye on stored vehicles.
Some even go as far as providing comprehensive insurance policies to cover potential damage while in their care.
5. Have you prepared an emergency contact list?
No matter how well we prepare, it pays to have an emergency plan in place should something unexpected occur. Before embarking on an extended holiday, it’s crucial to think about who you can call in the event of an emergency.
Make a list of contacts (family members, friends, and colleagues) that could be called upon in a crisis while you are away. Note down their contact details and any other relevant information, such as their relationship with you or any special medical conditions they may have.
6. Organize your finances
Though it may seem like the last thing you want to do before a vacation, organizing your finances is an important step to take before traveling. Otherwise, you may find yourself stuck in a foreign country without access to your money.
To avoid this, start by ensuring that all of your bills are paid and that you have enough money saved up to cover any unexpected expenses. If you plan on using credit or debit cards while abroad, call your bank to let them know so they don’t flag your account for fraud.
It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the currency of your destination and withdrawal limits at local ATMs. With a little preparation, you can ensure that your finances are in order before embarking on your next adventure.
When you’re traveling, it’s important to have access to your money. Make sure you have more than one account that you can draw from in case anything happens to one of them.
Consider opening an account with a bank that will refund any foreign transaction fees- this way, you can avoid extra charges when accessing your funds abroad. Check with your bank first though- they may already offer a similar program.
And lastly, notify your bank/credit card companies you will be traveling!
7. Double Check your passport and visa are up to date.
Many countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months after the planned return date of your trip, so make sure to check before you depart.
Also double-check any visa requirements you have to meet before entering a destination, like India or Brazil. To make the process easier, consider using a travel agency that can help with visa applications and advise on the best route for your journey.
Finally, make sure all of your important documents are scanned and saved online in case you need access to them while away. This includes your passport, driver’s license, insurance documents, and any other important paperwork you may need during your vacation.
The list above might seem daunting, but it shouldn’t be. Turning off your house water, for example, will take seconds and become second nature each time you go on a long trip.
I recommend that you use this article to create a packing checklist specific to your situation. Reference the list every time you leave or return from a trip, which will serve as a reminder of what needs to be done before and after your travels. This method has worked well for us in the past.
The best part about following the above recommendations is that you’ll have peace of mind if you’re away and it will make coming home less stressful. No more worrying about water in the basement! Planning ahead is key when it comes to extended holidays.
Ensure your home is secure, get appropriate travel insurance, consider storing your vehicle and prepare an emergency contact list. With these tips taken care of, you’ll be able to make the most of your holiday break and return refreshed, recharged, and ready for the next stage in life.