Heading out of town soon? We have compiled a list of things you should do prior to going on your holiday.
THINGS FOR YOUR HOME
Get it FIXED
Is your bathroom tap slowly dripping water every few minutes? You may have already mentally checked into holiday mode and may think, “Ah, I’ll deal with it when I get back. It’s only a drop here and there, it can wait”. WRONG. Get that fixed ASAP, whether by you or a professional. If you don’t want to deal with it before your holiday, I can guarantee you definitely don’t want to deal with it straight after you get back. Between now and when you are ready to get back into the swing of things, many days and weeks will have passed and that slow drip you didn’t think much of, has racked up a sizeable water bill that you didn’t intend on happening.
INSTALL security cameras
For whatever reason you are heading out of town – perhaps a family vacation or just a business trip, you don’t want any unwelcome surprises on your return. A hot tip you can take on is to install security cameras before you leave. Ensure you are able to remotely access the live or recorded feed with just a WIFI connection. Vacant homes are prime real estate for burglars. Don’t make it easier for them by not installing cameras and having nothing about them to go on from. If you’re lucky, the mere sight of security cameras may just deter them. If you are unlucky, you can only hope that you may have recorded footage of their face or a car plate.
TELL a trusted neighbour
Before you leave, tell a trusted neighbour of your holiday plans so they can keep an eye out for any suspicious activity on your property. They can also help you collect your mail (if you don’t ask the Post Office to hold your mail) while you are away, as a build-up of mail can indicate to strangers that no one is home to take them inside. Depending on how long you intend to go away for, you may also want to give them your car keys if you are leaving your car behind. They can go over weekly to start your car up for a few minutes to ensure your battery does not go flat while you are away.
Turn it OFF
Unplug and switch off all your appliances that won’t be in use to save money and electricity. Things like your coffee machine, washing machine, microwave etc. Ensure you keep your fridge connected of you still have products inside as you do not want it going off when you get back.
Ensure you thoroughly go through all the entries into your home (doors and windows) in your home to ensure everything is locked up. You don’t want to make it easier for someone to enter your property by leaving a window unlocked. Just before you leave for your trip, check every window and door to ensure it is locked. Even though you may have checked a couple of weeks prior, someone may have unlocked it since, so it is recommended you do a final check.
CALL your bank
If you are headed overseas and will be taking your credit card with you, ensure you call your bank to let them know. Otherwise, they may flag the transaction as fraudulent as they think you are still in the country.
UPDATE your email response
This is especially important if you have a work email where someone may need to get a hold of you. You don’t want the person emailing you to be wondering why you haven’t got back to them within a few business days. Ensure you create an automated email response to state the dates you will be away and the details of someone in the company that may be able to help them. You may also want to include your personal number if it is of utmost importance, that they get a hold of you. This last option is totally up to you.
EMPTY your wallet
Go through the contents of your wallet and take out all the unnecessary items inside. Perhaps you keep all your receipts inside your wallet and forget to take them out, so now your wallet is fat with receipts and not cash. You can also remove other clutter from your wallet, such as loyalty cards as you will only want to carry the bare minimum on you, in case you lose it.
WRITE a list of things you brought
This is helpful when you are packing for your return, as you can physically check off items you brought along. You will be able to easily figure out if you have forgotten or missed your favourite jumper. You can also write a list of things you should remember to do before you leave. Things such as emptying your trash will only be applied right before you leave, so whenever you think of anything you should remember to do, list it down on your phone or a piece of paper to come back to.
Going through the contents of your fridge should start a week or so prior to your departure. Instead of doing your weekly grocery shop, check to see if there are any perishables you can consume so they are not left to go off whilst you are away. You may also decide to clean out the entire contents of your fridge and kill the power there too. I have heard disaster stories where the power was killed and even though the fridge was empty, the contents of the freezer thawed out. I don’t even need to mention the smell to you for you to get what I’m saying. Ensure you also take out the trash, so upon arriving home, the smell of rotting food will not also be wafting throughout your house.
Complete a FINAL check
Going through your home, one final time to ensure everything is as it should be, is crucial, especially if there are other people in your home that are going on the trip too. Check your bins, unplug and switch off appliances, turn off any lights, close your blinds and give your keys to your neighbours after you have locked up.