There is nothing quite like taking a much-needed vacation. It can restore our spirits, inject fun into our lives, and bring us closer to our loved ones. However, instead of enjoying yourself, you may end up worrying over whether you closed the garage door or if you packed batteries for your camera, so take some time to plan out what you need to do to make this vacation perfect.
Make a Checklist
The best way to ensure you have a stress-free trip is to make a checklist of all you need to do before you leave. If you have trouble writing things down or being organized, there are plenty of apps that can help you. This way, not only will you be sure your home is secured, but you’ll also know you packed your fully-charged camera and are ready to travel safely with your electronics. There is no worse feeling than getting on a plane or hitting the freeway for a road trip and not knowing whether or not you locked your front door.
Home Security When You’re Away
Nothing beats the confidence of having a home security system while you’re away. Some allow you to remotely monitor from a distance through phones or laptops, which can allay concerns whenever they arise. However, there are steps you can take even if you don’t have a contract with a security company. For example, add deadbolts to your doors and keep your curtains drawn. By placing a wooden rod in your sliding doors, you can block them completely and make them impossible to open. You can even get a timer that will close the garage door automatically if it’s been left ajar for a few minutes. These little precautions can go a long way in making you feel more secure about leaving your home for a few days.
Additional Home Preparations
Should your planned vacation last more than a couple of days, you’ll need to prepare your house for your absence. This is where your checklist will come in handy. By tangibly ticking things off, you can give yourself peace of mind that you really did lock all the windows, turned your electronics off, and secured any outdoor furniture. Use up all the food in your refrigerator before you go so you don’t come home to spoiled goods and a stinky house. Don’t worry about waste, though, as you can gift some fare to friends, or cook ahead and freeze dinners for later.
Think About Pets
One of the most difficult aspects of going on vacation is leaving your pets behind. Some hotels allow them, but bringing them along can be a challenge for you and may cause your furry companion undue stress.
Are you on good terms with your neighbors? You could ask one to stop by and check on, feed, and walk them in your absence. Of course, you shouldn’t expect them to do it for free, so have a gift prepared in addition to covering essentials, like pet food. If you are uncomfortable with such arrangements, you can hire a pet sitter to make sure your animals are well looked after.
Bills and Banking
When we go anywhere for an extended period of time, we need to figure out how we’ll pay our bills and how to keep our cards from being frozen because we’re in a new area. If visiting multiple cities, plan out your route and know what days you’ll be in each town. This way, you can inform your bank so they won’t freeze your accounts. You can also set up automated payments for bills, or pay them online before you go or while you’re away.
Don’t be unprepared and wing your trip. You never know what can happen, and you don't want to be distracted by things you may have missed because you didn’t take the time to prepare. After all, this should be a restorative time, not a stressful one.