When a much-needed vacation is just around the corner, the excitement tends to distract you from some very important things you need to do before you lock up and head to the airport! We all know that there are a lot of preparations that go into planning a holiday; tickets, accommodation, itinerary and packing are just a few of them. With so much to do for the trip, it’s easy to overlook some of the things you need to do for your home prior to it.
While a weekend getaway doesn’t require much preparation or a long checklist to go with it, trips that are 3-4 weeks long will definitely need some careful consideration where your idle home is concerned. To ensure that everything is taken care of while you’re happily vacationing far away from home, check out our top six things to do before you lock up and head out.
Leave a Spare Key with Someone Trustworthy
Whether it’s a relative or neighbor; if you have someone you can trust wholeheartedly with a spare key to you home, it’s advisable to give them one. This is because you can never be too sure if at some point you’re going to need someone to enter the house for emergency reasons. In other cases, you may want someone to come in and water your plants or simply check on your house while you’re away. It will truly put your mind at ease to have someone you can trust to keep an eye on the place.
Shut Off Your Water Supply
The chances of coming home to a flooded house are one in a hundred but why take that chance, right? Even if there is a possibility that a leaky tap will drip-drop into a sink and down the drain, there’s no reason to waste water; hence, we advise shutting off your main water supply or simply closing the valves that supply your taps/showers/faucets with water.
Donate Any Perishable Foods
Check your fridge/pantry for foods that are likely to expire or rot while you’re away and donate them to a shelter. While there are some food items that can be left refrigerated and consumed when you come back, it makes sense to donate or give away those that are closer to their expiration date rather than letting them go to waste. These include vegetables, fruits and other perishables. Remember, rotten foods can cause quite a stench and make cleaning your fridge very unpleasant!
Unplug Electrical Appliances
This is kind of a big one where potential hazards are concerned. An unexpected lightning storm, power cuts or a short circuit can all lead to havoc in your home if switches are left on or appliances are left plugged in. From televisions and microwaves, to computers and air conditioners; unplug all appliances and electronics from wall sockets just to be on the safe side. If your fridge is going to be left on while you are vacationing, turn off other phases in the house so that only one room has electricity. This will minimise the risks of electrical hazards in your home.
Stop Newspapers from Being Delivered
If newspapers start to pile up at your front door, every passerby is going to know that no one is home. This makes your home a target for burglars and crooks. Hence, we advise putting your newspaper subscription on hold until you’re back. Similarly, make sure your mailbox can accommodate your mail for the time that you’re going to be out of town or simply have your mail forwarded to a neighbour.
Lock all Windows and Doors
Double-check that all windows and doors are locked securely before you leave the house. This includes bathroom doors and windows, as well as cupboards with locks on them. Keep your precious jewelry and other valuables locked in a cupboard as any prying eyes will be tempted to break in if they see anything of value lying around. Lastly, if you have a security system, don’t forget to set it when it’s time to head out and get your vacation started!