We know having a house checklist for a vacation isn’t exactly the most glamorous part of travel. There’s already a lot to take care of before a vacation: travel documents, packing, planning, last-minute shopping, vaccinations, and now you’re supposed to prep your home and life as well? Hear us out though, because it will make you the smoothest of travellers.
Coming back after a vacation can be stressful, so thinking ahead can help with keeping your post-vacation bliss going for longer. Whether you’re going hiking and trekking or experiencing culture in Europe, implement a handful of our travel hacks before you step foot on the plane, and coming back home from your adventure will feel a little easier. Is it too soon to say you’re welcome?
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Getting things in order pre-vacation
Sometimes when we’re getting ready to travel, because there’s so much going on, we can forget certain things that will make or break a trip without even realising. These suggestions may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many times travellers have found themselves in hot water because they forget to do them! So before you hit the beach, check out this pre-vacation checklist.
Check expiry dates on travel documents when you book your flights: You wouldn’t believe how many people have to miss their trip because they forget to check the expiry dates on their travel documents. Most countries require passports to be valid for at least six months with blank pages in them.
Start your to-do list early: If you find that you’re one of those people who is trying to get things done hours before departure, putting together a list of things to do a couple of weeks before your trip will make the world of difference. This way you can space everything out and you’ll be sipping on that drink in the departure lounge with a smug smile on your face instead of wondering if you remembered to do everything!
Don’t forget to pay your bills: Imagine being on holiday and finding that your credit card has been declined? Likewise, you don’t want your mobile phone to be barred because you’ve forgotten to pay a bill. Just make sure everything is up to date!
Don’t forget to tell your bank about travel plans: Banks are quick to block credit cards and debit cards if they think suspicious purchases are being made, this often happens when people use their card away from home. Make sure this doesn’t happen by informing the bank of your travel plans.
Check your roaming plan and data plan: Avoid hefty charges by making sure you know your mobile phone plan inside out or by purchasing a roaming plan. If you don’t have a plan, don’t forget to switch off roaming or cellular data in your phone’s settings prior to landing.
Don’t put off visiting the doctor: Have you been ignoring something health-wise? It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’ve been experiencing anything health problems out of the ordinary, don’t travel without visiting the doctor.
Put your subscriptions and mail on hold: Do you get weekly meal deliveries or produce boxes delivered to your house? Don’t forget to put a pause on those. If you live in a house, ask someone to collect your mail for you or put it on hold. That includes delivery of newspapers and magazines.
Insurance: Buy your travel insurance. A lot of credit card plans now come with travel insurance, but it’s worth double-checking to see what you are and aren’t covered for and it may be worth purchasing additional insurance. You can’t put a price on peace of mind! While you’re at it, read up on your car and home insurance to make sure you’re covered while on vacation.
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Don’t wait until the day before a vacation
Nothing kills your holiday high quicker than coming back to a home and life in disarray. This list of basics will help you prevent that from happening.
Clean: Keep your post-vacation bliss intact for as long as possible by cleaning up your home. Do it a couple of nights before your departure, there’s no need to do a deep clean – the following is plenty!
- Do a quick scrub of the toilets and sinks.
- Vacuum or sweep.
- Give kitchen counters a little wipe down.
- Give your refrigerator a once-over at the beginning of the week. Use up any ingredients during the week, freeze what you can, and throw out any perishables that look worse for wear. Leave a box of open baking soda inside the fridge to kill odours.
- Remember to throw all the trash out before you leave for vacation.
Water: Turn off water valves to sinks, toilets and appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers.
Electronics: Unplug lamps, televisions, and kitchen appliances such as microwaves and blenders. Likewise, adjust the thermostat to a base temperature for while you’re out of town.
Be safe: Give your home a lived-in feel by parking the car inside the garage, if possible put lights on a timer and do not post vacation pictures on social media until after you come home. Make sure all doors and windows are locked.
Valuables: Put all valuables in a safe or secure spot or give to a trusted friend or family member while you are away.
Spare keys: Leave a trusted friend, family member or neighbour with a spare key in case you need someone to pop into your home.
Additional tips for winter: Prepare your house for a vacation in winter as recommended above, but remember to set your heating or thermostat at higher temperature. Storms could also blow in so secure anything outside that’s loose or freestanding or put it in the garage!
Okay, so these may seem like additional chores, but trust us on these ones. You’re welcome.
Wash the bed sheets: Coming back home and sleeping on freshly washed linen after a vacation is one of the best feelings in the world!
Throw some meals in the freezer: If you’re cooking during the week or doing meal prep over a weekend, cook a few extra portions and freeze them. This way you haven’t worry about food for the first couple of days after you come back from vacation.
Share your pre-vacation tips or tricks in the comments below!