This post is sponsored by Embassy Suites.
The only thing about travel I don’t love is the hectic leadup to the trip. All those mundane details to remember in addition to packing for vacation!
We’re in the midst of vacation prep ourselves, so I thought it would help us both if I shared my pre-travel home “shutdown” checklist. It’s not complete — variables change based on weather, age of home, presence of pets, etc. — but at least this covers the major bases.
Read on, and let me know if I’ve missed anything in the comments.
1. Run the dishwasher the night before.
You don’t want to come home to dirty dishes. You also don’t want to leave the dishwasher running after you’ve left. Set a reminder to run the dishwasher the night before you go.
2. Stock the fridge/freezer.
Save yourself the hassle of having to run to the grocery store right when you get back. Stock the freezer with a meal or two, and leave an unopened carton of milk in the fridge.
3. Hold the mail.
Use the USPS Hold Mail Service to set it up in minutes. The postal carrier can deliver all of your held mail the day after you get back.
4. Stop the newspaper.
Call your delivery service and ask for a vacation hold.
5. Set your thermostat.
You don’t want the heat or air conditioning running the entire time you’re gone!
6. Turn off the water main.
Something to consider especially if your neighborhood is expected to experience freezing temperatures while you’re away.
7. Unplug electronics.
Saves power and protects your electronics from power surges.
8. Give your neighbor contact information and an extra key (and the alarm code).
It’s always a good idea for someone to know where you are and how to reach you (and get into the house in case of emergency). While you’re at it, ask your neighbors to take out your trash cans and recycling for pickup while you’re away.
9. Place your lights on timers.
Anything you can do to give your home a “lived in” look while you’re away is a good idea.
10. Set travel notices on your credit cards and bank accounts.
This will help prevent your cards from getting stopped for fraud while you’re traveling (a hassle to deal with on the go). You can take care of this using your bank’s online banking system, or with a call to the 800 number on the back of your credit and debit cards.
11. Get extra prescription medication for your trip.
If you will run out of prescription medication during vacation, ask the pharmacist for a vacation override to get enough to cover you until you get back.
12. Cancel home services.
Do you have a housecleaner, gardener, or other home service provider? Be sure to let them know your plans.
13. Notify schools.
Will your kids miss school while you travel? Notify the attendance office before you leave.
14. Empty your car.
If you park your car on the street, take charging cables and anything else remotely valuable out of your car and trunk.
15. Make the beds.
This one’s optional, but homecoming always feels better when the bedrooms aren’t an absolute disaster.
Did I miss anything? Please leave a comment!
This is my last post for sponsor Embassy Suites. They have been a fantastic supporter of Parent Hacks this year, and I highly recommend them for family hotel stays. All rooms are two-room suites with a refrigerator, microwave, and coffeemaker. Also included: a free hot, cooked-to-order breakfast, and a nightly reception with snacks, drinks, and fun activities for the kids.