Don’t Forget to Do These Things Before Leaving on Vacation

published May 14, 2015
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(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Vacation season is finally here! You know to make travel plans and pack (that’s the fun part!), but don’t forget to do these things around your home that will keep it clean, protected and even conserve some energy while you’re gone.


Change the sheets — When you come home from your trip exhausted, nothing will make you happier to be home than falling into a fresh bed.

Take out the trash — And nothing will make you more miserable than opening your door to two-week old rotting garbage.

Empty the fridge — Ditto on sad, old celery wilting in the crisper. Give your perishables to the neighbors!

Run the garbage disposal — Save yourself from having to clean dried grime from those blades by making sure it’s food-free before it sits around unused during your trip.


Close and lock all windows — You know to lock your doors of course, but don’t forget to check the windows, too (especially that little one in the bathroom you keep cracked open for the humidity).

Give a trusted someone a key — Even if you don’t have plants or pets that need attention, make sure someone in your area has a way into your house in case of an emergency.

Email yourself copies of your ID and travel documents — Just in case something happens to yours (pickpockets?!?), you can still access all your relevant info easily from anywhere you are. Remember to photograph both sides of your credit and insurance cards!


Pause the thermostat — If your home heats and cools automatically, make sure to pause the cycle so you’re not wasting resources (and money) when you’re not home.

Unplug your appliances — Those vampire appliances could really suck you dry if you keep them drawing energy (even just a little adds up over time) while you’re away. Extra credit if your turn up the temperature on the fridge while you’re not storing any perishables.

Try a timer — If you like to leave the lights on for security purposes, think about investing in a timer. They’re cheap, easy to install and having the lights turn on and off will further the illusion that someone is home after all.

Tell us, what else do you do to secure your home before a trip?