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5 Vital Things to Do at Home Before You Travel

published Jun 1, 2023
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Credit: Ring

In the days before a big trip, our to-do lists just seem to get longer: Pack an extra phone charger! Pick up that prescription refill! Don’t forget to check in for your flight! There’s so much to remember when preparing yourself for travel that it can be easy to forget to prepare your house, too.

Making sure your home is safe and sound while you’re gone is a crucial part of travel prep — but luckily, it’s not complicated. From better security outside to easier maintenance inside, these simple precautions will help you enjoy your travels with extra peace of mind.

1. Unplug Small Appliances

It’s a no-brainer way to reduce your energy use: Save a few dollars by unplugging your TV, computer, and other small appliances. (Whether you spend that savings on an in-flight cocktail is up to you.) To conserve even more energy, you can also adjust your thermostat and turn your water heater down or off.

Credit: Ring

2. Get an Extra Set of Eyes

A Ring doorbell or camera can keep you in the loop from anywhere. Replace an existing bell with the Ring Video Doorbell Wired or choose the battery-operated Ring Video Doorbell 2nd Generation: Both feature high-quality live video, motion detection and alerts, and two-way talk. Or try the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Plus, which has a wide-angle view and bright LED bulbs, plus a built-in siren. And it can’t hurt to have an extra set of eyes inside, which is where the Ring Indoor Cam 2nd Generation comes in handy. (Tell your cat we said hi.)

3. Pause Your Mail

Nothing says “no one’s home” like an overflowing mailbox. If you’re going to be gone for longer than a couple of days, stop delivery of your mail and newspaper. Plus, this way your mail won’t get damaged by the weather while you’re gone.

4. Don’t Forget Your Plants!

We’ve all come home to find a drooping and disgruntled houseplant that’s gone too long without water. Give them a good drink before you leave. Depending on the length of your trip, have a friend stop by to water them while you’re gone, or use self-watering stakes to keep them hydrated.

Credit: Photo: Rikki Snyder; Props: Margaret Ward; Talent: Choco

5. Clear the Air

Three words you never want to say when you get home: “What’s that smell?” Prevent things from getting that far by cleaning out the fridge, emptying the litter box, and taking out the trash. Rinse the garbage disposal with vinegar to clear out any lingering food scraps. And — this one is easy to overlook — toss any fresh-cut flowers. You’ll thank us after your trip.