A Home Checklist for Vacation

I am so excited to be leaving for a holiday in Costa Rica. As someone who has become somewhat of a homebody lately (I'll blame it on winter and working from home), I became slightly overwhelmed when I thought about all of the loose ends I would have to tie up before leaving.

First there's work to wrap up and trip planning which is all about the details like scheduling shuttles to the airport, renting a car, booking hotels, and making a budget. In my particular situation I had to coordinate dog care and make sure that my tenant had proper coverage in the event of an emergency or even a snow storm.

On the home front though, there seems to be just as tiny details to think about. Here is a concise list to help you be organized so you can travel in peace.

1. Set up an auto responder for personal email
This of course is only if you want the flexibility of being unreachable. I am looking forward to being disconnected for a short while but I suspect many do not feel that way. I do think being unplugged presents a nice personal challenge for those who get anxious at the thought alone.

2. Tell someone the details of your trip
You should let someone know your whereabouts and general itinerary just in case.

3. Make a spare key
It's always good to leave a key with a friend or family member just in the event someone needs to get into your place. In my case, I imagine my basement flooding or my furnace catching on fire and people needing to get down there to handle it.

4. Water your plants
Winters are especially dry for plants so keep them hydrated. Water them the night before you leave so they are healthy when you return.

5. Turn down your heat
There is no need to keep your house toasty when you are away. Do not turn your heat down to less than 62 degrees or so though, because your pipes could freeze and ultimately burst.

6. Remove perishables from fridge
You won't want to deal with expired food items when you return so throw out perishables before you go away.

7. Take out your trash
After you remove the perishables throw them out permanently.

8. Close your shades
This may be a bit neurotic but I always close my shades and curtains when I am away so people can't peer in. (Be careful to leave your plants some light though or they will get deeply depressed.)

9. Tidy up
There is no better feeling than coming back to your own clean house. I once came back from a trip and left my apartment in such disarray that I panicked when I first walked in thinking someone broke in!

10. Shut down your computers
I go as far as unplugging them so they too can rest.

Am I missing anything? What do you do to your homes before leaving on an extended trip?

(Image: Violet Marsh Photography)

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