There’s nothing more liberating than being able to break your routine, refresh your mindset and gear up for adventure or relaxation with a holiday. You’ve booked your flights, accommodation and got the okay from work, now all that’s left is making sure everything at home remains as you left it by ticking off the following tasks from your pre-travel itinerary.
1. Your Home Security
It is crucial that your home remains safe and secure while you are away. While paying or lending your home to a house-sitter is a good way to keep an eye on things, it can cost you significantly if it’s hired help. You also can’t guarantee 24/7 protection as they will still need to attend to their daily activities and work commitments.
What you can do, is use smart home security devices. This includes key safes and smart deadbolts operated by Bluetooth, pin codes and mobile apps for that extra layer of protection. Apply them to your doors, gates and cabinets and if you need someone to go by your home for any reason, you can safely send them your security code from your phone while you’re away!
2. Your Dependents’ Care
It goes without saying that if your trip is adults-only, the kids should be in the care of someone whom they, and you trust, like a relative or family friend. Even if they’re younger, you should leave your contact details and ensure they understand how they can contact you.
All pets great and small will notice when their owner is away, so it’s important that someone responsible whom you can trust is able to provide them with food, water, companionship, and any necessary grooming or care. Luckily, if you don’t have a relative, friend or neighbor to take on the role, professional pet-sitters are actually in high demand – you can hire someone to care for your pets while you are away.
3. Don’t Forget About The Plants
Returning home to dried out, dead or unkept plants is a common consequence of travel. Enlist the help of a friend, relative or neighbor to water your plants. If you’re away for a while, you should note any seasonal changes to your watering schedule. If you require a fair bit of gardening maintenance, hiring help from a gardener may be more suitable. The more cost-effective option if you have a larger garden, however, is to avoid planting new sprouts or any high-maintenance items if you’re anticipating a holiday.
4. Your Mail
An overflowing mailbox doesn’t just look bad – it’s a huge giveaway of an unoccupied home that can attract unsolicited ‘visitors’ who like to steal. The easiest solution is asking a neighbor to collect your mail while you’re away and where applicable, change mailing options for things like bills, to email. If you don’t receive too much mail, you could also just place a lock on your mailbox so nothing gets out until you change your lock settings.
5. Life Administration: Bills, Money & Travel Documents
Make sure you take care of these tasks so you don’t have to waste your holiday time thinking about them. Pay your bills or arrange for them to be sent via email so you can sort them out while you’re away, organize your international driver’s license (if needed), your travel money card or cash exchange and any travel Visas you may require, as early as possible.
Once you’ve got all of these tasks sorted, you can relax knowing your home is safe and secure so while you’re away your only focus is enjoying yourself!