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9 Things to Check Before Leaving Your House for Vacation

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Vacation. Ahhhh, that one word alone leaves me feeling adventurous. But what about your house? Your pets? We’ve gathered up some great tips on leaving your house for an extended period of time, and how to de-stress the idea of coming back.

Before you leave, after you’ve packed the last pair of shoes your toothbrush, take some time to pack your house up! When I say that, a few tweaks and changes can make all the difference when you check out of your hacienda for that much needed vacation.

9 Things to Check Before Leaving Your House for Vacation

9 Things to Check Before Leaving Your House for Vacation

1. Pets

Are you having a relative check on them daily, or having them boarded? Every situation is different, but ensure that the pet has enough food, toys, any medicines, and maybe their favorite blanket ready for them. This could be a stressful time for your pet, you want to make sure they are taken care of.

2. Fridge

One of my hard fast rules for vacation is we do not shop the week prior. We literally eat whatever is available in our freezer, fridge, or cabinets. This is NOT the time to make a large grocery haul, you don’t want anything sitting around while you are gone that could go sour. If you need milk for cereal, grab a half gallon to get through those last few days, or use one from your freezer.

RELATED: Tips and Tricks for Freezing Milk

3. Laundry

If your family is like mine, your laundry is never really finished. There is always something that needs washed. Do your “returning self” a favor and get as much of your laundry done NOW, so when you return, the stress of it isn’t so bad. You’ll have all of those vacation clothes to wash when you return home.

4. Plants

Have any outside plants that need watered? Hire a neighbor kid to water them when you’re gone, or depending on the length of your vacation, you may be able to get away with one of these as well.

5. Thermostat

We always pump up our thermostat while we are gone (in the summer)… about 5-10 degrees over what we normally have it set at. No one is there, no need to chill the house down to freezing.

6. Mail 

Have a trusted neighbor or family member regularly pick up your mail. Don’t let it keep piling up in your mailbox…or ask the local post office to put a hold on it. Same with the newspaper if you have a subscription.

7. Lighting

Leave a few lights on in your house, a lit house helps to deter burglars! We also leave our outside garage lights on. Don’t want to leave them on the entire time? Get one of these outlet timer 2-pks and they’ll turn off and on at designated times.

8. Money 

If you’re traveling with your bank or credit cards, contact your bank or credit card company. This will ensure your usage will not be flagged for fraud and make your trip easier. Give them the dates and locations, and consider where you’re going. Cashier or travelers checks may be the better route than cash.

9. Tell A Friend 

Make sure you leave your contact information, travel arrangements, and hotel information with a close friend, family member or neighbor. Just in case of emergency, someone knows where you are! I also recommend leaving a key with someone secure, and your security code…just in case someone needs in your house.

I don’t know about you, but no matter how long I am gone, home is ALWAYS sweet to come home to. Even if you do have dirty laundry piled up, suitcases to unpack and souvenirs to hand out.

Some things to prepare for when you get HOME from your vacation:

1. Meals

Have a prepared meal on hand for when you return. Last thing you’ll want to do after traveling all day is cook. If you’re arriving home around dinner time, have something readily available to cook fast. Make a double batch of Tuna Casserole before you leave and freeze the second pan full. Pop it in the oven when you get home and voila! Dinner is served.

2. Beds

Nothing like your own bed, right? Put clean sheets on your bed before you leave, turn the sheets down and fluff pillows. Your body, mind, and soul will thank you that first night home.

3. Clean

Don’t leave dishes in the sink! Clean your house before you leave, you won’t have any energy or desire to scrub toilets or sweep floors after your week of bliss.

What else do you do before heading out on vacation? Now I just need to find a place to visit and someone to pay for it. Ha!!

See more on vacations: 

Florida Vacation: Endless Fun, Priceless Memories (and why we didn’t spend the ENTIRE time at Disney)
How We’re Getting Our Family of Four to Disney World for Less than $1,000
All You Need to Know About Visiting Disney’s Magic Kingdom
Disney: Why You Want a MagicBand for FastPass+

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  1. Great tips. I always clean before we go. When I get home I always have a ton of laundry to do, things to put away the last thing I want to do is clean my house. Also, I like to put a meal or two into the freezer for when we get back. Gives me a chance to catch up on everything before life gets back to normal.
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