Use this checklist before you leave home on vacation

vacation checklist

Vacations are much anticipated and often necessary to recharge and reboot.  It can be stressful to prepare to leave, especially for adults with homes.

There’s a lot to remember to do in order to ensure your home is ready to be unoccupied, yet appear occupied for a time period.

Remove some of the pre-vacation stress with this handy checklist.

  • Stop/hold your newspaper and mail delivery or have a neighbor collect it every day.
  • Water your houseplants.
  • Hire someone to mow your lawn.
  • Ask a friend or neighbor to water outdoor pots if needed.  If water won’t be needed, shut off the water main valve.
  • Unplug electronics and small appliances.
  • Order and pickup Rx refills.
  • Notify your credit cards about your travel dates.  Using your cards outside your normal area may be a red flag and your credit might be frozen.
  • Pay bills, including the ones that are due a few days after you return.
  • Toss food from the fridge that will spoil while you are away (milk, vegetables, leftovers, deli meat, etc.) or offer the food to a neighbor or friend.
  • Take out the trash after tossing food.
  • Ask a trusted neighbor to put your trash bins at the curb on collection day and return them to your garage after collection, if needed, as well as keep an eye on your property.
  • Clean out the non-essential cards and other items from your wallet.
  • Lock windows and doors including the side door leading into your garage.
  • Adjust the air conditioning or turn it off.
  • Set timers for lights, or your smartphone app, so it isn’t obvious you are gone. 
  • Close some blinds or drapes to keep the temperature from rising to sweltering inside your home. 
  • Arrange for pet sitters or boarding well ahead of time, especially if it’s a time highly requested time period.
  • Freeze a meal or have a frozen pizza on hand.  You won’t have to immediately run to the store when you return.
  • Clean your bathroom and do a quick tidy.  I love returning to a clean home.  It makes re-entry a bit less stressful.

Click here for a printable checklist.


Is there anything you would add to the list?  Please comment below.

Have a safe and relaxing vacation!

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