Whether you’re planning a long or a short trip – planning on hitting the road or taking to the skies we have a travel checklist you should look at before you go…
1. Make it easy for friends and family to reach you. Leave your mobile phone number and an email address with a trusted neighbor, friend or relative. You could also include your vacation destination phone number/email address
2. Make your home look like its being lived in. Use timers to turn on/off lights around your home, leave a radio on, and ask a neighbour to use your garbage bins as well as their own on garbage collection day. Ask a friend or relative (hire someone if you have to) to mow your lawn while you’re away. Nothing says “I’m not home” more than long grass or a driveway that hasn’t been cleared 5 days after a snowfall.
3. Stop mail and parcel deliveries. Ask a neighbour or friend to stop by your house every couple of days to look for unexpected packages and pick up newspapers and flyers from your mailbox and/or front step.
4. Close down your kitchen – finish perishable foods before you leave or freeze them for your return. Turn off icemakers and water coolers and don’t forget to throw out your garbage.
5. Close valves. If your washing machine hose bursts while you’re gone it will easily flood the house, so turn off the valves before you go. Turn off any other potential problems too. We live in the country, so I just unplug the water pump that brings water into the house.
6. Don’t forget about your car. If you plan to leave your car at home, make sure it’s parked safely and out of the way. If you’ll be gone for a long time (3+ months) – consider asking someone to drive your car once every few weeks.
7. Home emergency contact list. Make a list of your contact information for your regular/trusted plumber, electrician, and handyman. Leave one at your home, and take another one with you on holiday. In case of an emergency, a neighbour or house-sitter can alert you to needed emergency repairs, but you won’t have to scramble to remember names and contact numbers.
It’s easy to spend a lot of time preparing for your travels and easily forget about what you’re leaving behind. One more tip… as you are locking up the house, get someone else to follow you and confirm that you’ve locked all the windows and doors – there’s nothing worse than being on the beach and suddenly thinking: “Did I remember to lock the garage door?!”
Iain Shankland & Gail Shankland started blogging in order to inspire and motivate people to travel the world from their perspective – specializing in having the most fun while using the least amount of money, travelling on the cheap without sacrificing comfort.
Copyright © 2013 Iain & Gail Shankland / TravelBloggers.ca (at) Gmail.com
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