When planning for a long vacation, most people tend to focus on the trip itself and their packing. However, one important thing that often gets forgotten about is the home.
Preparing your home for extended time away can help prevent any issues from arising while you are gone. It can also ensure you have time to rest upon your return, rather than having to deal with cleaning or other chores before jumping back into your daily routine.
This article will further discuss why prepping your home should be part of your vacation checklist, as well as tips for how you can get your home ready before you leave.
Why Prepping Your Home is Just As Important As Prepping Yourself Before Traveling
One of the most exciting things about planning a trip is deciding where to go, what you’ll do, where you’ll stay, and what clothes you’ll wear. And while these are all important things, it is also crucial for travelers to consider what needs to be done around the house before they leave.
Home logistics are just as important as the travel logistics themselves. People prepare themselves for trips and plan everything out to ensure smooth sailing and mitigate issues, but the same should hold true for their home. Just because your home is out of sight and out of mind while you are traveling doesn’t mean something won’t go wrong.
Thus, you should put just as much effort into preparing your home to mitigate issues just as you would prepare yourself for your vacation. Furthermore, not only should you prep your home to avoid something going wrong, but it’s also nice to return to a clean, well-maintained home instead of returning to a mess or chores that need doing.
How to Prepare Your Home Before an Extended Trip
As most people are used to the typical travel checklist that doesn’t involve home prep, we’ve put together some helpful home-prep steps to get you started.
Clean and Declutter
No one wants to come home to a messy space after traveling. Not only can this ruin your post-vacation bliss, but it can also cause stress and anxiety that makes it harder to ease back into your daily routine. So before you leave, take some time to go through and declutter and tidy up.
This can include giving things a good cleaning and sorting through things to get rid of what you don’t need. You don’t need to do an entire overhaul of your space, but preparing for a long trip is a good excuse to declutter and get rid of old stuff that has been piling up.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Making sure your thermostat is at the right setting while you travel can save energy, which can help keep the cost of your monthly bill down and reduce your carbon footprint. It’s also a good idea to adjust the thermostat to make sure things don’t get too hot if you’re traveling in the summer or too cold in the winter.
Put Lights on a Timer
Putting your lights on a timer so they will turn on for a short period at night can help keep your home safe by giving the appearance that someone is home. When a home sits dark for an extended period of time, it can attract burglars.
Arrange for Mail Pickup or Pause Delivery
Mail piling up on your front step or in the mailbox is also a sign to potential intruders that no one is home, and it also puts your mail at risk of being stolen. So make sure you arrange for someone to collect your mail or have delivery paused until you return.
Turn Off or Unplug Appliances
While your refrigerator should be kept running, you likely don’t need other appliances or devices to be kept on. This can use up energy, and if something short circuits, it could cause an electrical fire. So it’s always best to just turn everything off or fully unplug them to avoid any issues.
Clean Out Your Fridge
One of the worst things to return to after a vacation is food that has gone bad in the fridge. You never know if the power might go out, and even if it doesn’t, food still only lasts for so long in the fridge. So to avoid returning to a smelly home, clean everything out that is likely to go bad.
Empty the Trash
On a similar note, garbage can also stink up your home if it is not emptied before you leave. So while you’re cleaning out the fridge, don’t forget to take out the trash as well.
Make Sure Everything is Secure
Another crucial step in prepping your home for extended travel is making sure everything is safe and secure. When you are going to be gone for a while, security should be one of your number one priorities with your home. Make sure everything is locked up tight, don’t leave any hidden keys lying around outside, put your valuables in a safe, alert your neighbors you’ll be gone, and invest in a security system if you can.
The last thing you want to deal with while enjoying your trip is a call from a neighbor or the police letting you know that something happened to your house while you were gone. So it’s always best to go that extra mile when planning for your vacation to thoroughly prepare your home as well. You’ll feel much better for it and have more peace of mind while enjoying your travels.