What is that funky smell?
It’s finally time to get ready for that amazing vacation you booked months ago. On top of all the packing, you also need to make sure you prepare your home for your departure. Here are some things I do to help ensure a smooth homecoming on my return:
Take out the trash – Nothing is worse than arriving home to realize you forgot to take out the garbage! Not exactly the atmosphere you want to experience when you walk in the door – the smell and the little critters (bugs, mice, etc.) that love being in the trash when no one is around to chase them away!
Clean out the Fridge – Throw out any leftovers and maybe offer any perishables that won’t last to your family or neighbors. If you have something that will keep in the freezer, throw it in there while you’re gone (such as shredded cheese). This is another one of those horrible things to come home to – moldy food in the refrig! Make sure to clean out the refrig before you take the trash out!!
Be sure someone has a key – find a trusted family member or neighbor and ensure that they have a way in to your home in case of an emergency. We have radiators and constantly worry about the electricity going off while we are traveling in the winter, leaving us to return to frozen pipes. Having someone that can check things out for you when needed definitely gives you peace of mind.
Find a way to have electronic copies of your credit cards, government issued ID, insurance cards and travel documents with you while you travel - just in case they are lost or stolen. Also make sure you have included a copy of your car insurance if you plan to rent a car. Having these items available electronically will enable you to easily access all this information as soon as you can get online. There are lots of ways to do this – take a picture of them on your phone, put a copy somewhere in the cloud (such as in Dropbox, Evernote, etc.) If you decide to take pictures of your docs on your phone and leave them there, make sure you have a security code set up to access your phone. If you don’t and then lose it, whoever finds your phone will have all your information right at their fingertips.
Unplug! – Disconnect as many appliances as possible while you are gone (think toaster, coffee maker and office printer). They can be a fire hazard, as well as using electricity even while you are thousands of miles away on the beach.
By following these suggestions, you can help assure that your next amazing vacation isn't ruined by a nasty surprise lurking inside your door when you return. It’s hard enough to deal with the fact that the amazing vacation you planned for months is over, but it will be even harder if you return to reality having to face issues at home. Trust me...I’ve been there and done that!