Among Murphy’s Laws for travelers is this: If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong while you’re on vacation. So if you are planning to go on a vacation or travel with your kids, friends or family, make sure that you plan for the worst thing that could happen while you are away.
Summer is that time of the year when school is out and vacation destinations are most inviting. Everyone needs to take a break and spend some time off from our busy schedules. But while you are planning where to go and what to do on the trip, you must also make sure that you leave your apartment or condo safe while you’re out. The last thing you want is to get a call about a condo emergency just as soon as you set foot on the beach.
And while you are preparing your itinerary, remember that you have to come back. Sorry, that is just the way it is. You don’t want to come home to an apartment or condo that reeks of mess and chaos and makes you forget all the fun you just had. So, for a worry-free vacation and a stress-free return, here is a travel checklist if you are leaving your condo for a longer period.
Let them know
Inform your condo administration that you will be away. This way, they won’t let anybody in (unless you asked a cleaner to drop by) and will be on alert if some activity is monitored inside your unit. Leave your contact information so they would know how to reach you when something untoward happens.
Lock it up
This is a basic in every condo checklist. When you leave, you lock the doors and windows. When you leave for a longer period, you lock the doors, windows and all entry points, even your cat’s secret passage. Close all blinds and draw window curtains closed as well. It will also help if you install a security system for added condo safety.
Return to sender
Stop the mail and newspaper subscriptions while you are away. A letter or magazine left outside your door means nobody’s home and invites intruders to come in. If not, ask a friend or a neighbor to pick them up for you.
Pull the plug
Protect your condo by unplugging all electronic appliances. Turn off the main switch too if you will be gone for days. Not only will this save you from potential power surge when you are away, it will also save you money. Did you know that anything plugged is drawing power? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, $100 more is added to the electricity bill every year because of putting appliances on sleep or standby mode.
You want to leave your condo looking like it is being lived in. This will put off burglars. You may put timers on lights in different rooms and set them on different hours so it will look like there is somebody inside flipping the switch.
Pay your bills
Avoid getting distracted on your vacation with calls from your bank or Credit Card Company. Make sure to settle everything so you won’t have to suffer the disruption in services when you return.
Take out the trash
Make sure you take out all trash if you do not want to go home to a stinking condo. This will keep your place free of bugs and pests.
If you can’t finish everything up, toss out perishable items from your refrigerator. The smell of spoiled food does not really mean “welcome home.” Unplug the refrigerator and leave the door slightly open to prevent mildew, odor and mold. You may also put a deodorizer to neutralize odor.
Don’t forget the toilet
Put a deodorizer on your toilet or an odor eliminator on your bathroom. You may also just sprinkle baking soda to ward off the foul smell. Toilets and comfort rooms that are not used for a long time tend to stink more.
Keep plants alive
An article published by USA Today enumerates ways to keep your plants alive while you are on vacation. Among them it to keep indoor plants away from direct sunlight. Trim your plants and pinch off withered blooms and dead stems. You may place them on a tray filled with water and pebbles. Water the plants well before you leave and cover them with plastic to lack in moisture. You may also just hire someone to look after them.
Wanted: Pet sitter
Some just leave their pets with enough food and water but that may mean coming home to a disaster. If you can’t take your pet with you on vacation, hire someone who will look out for them while you are away. You may also drop them on boarding homes especially for our furry friends.
Other than packing your clothes and shoes, make sure to have an itinerary and a map with you. While getting lost is part of the adventure, knowing where to go will save you time. Another thing to do when you travel is to follow a schedule or itinerary to make sure you don’t miss out on places you’d like see and foods to eat.
Take a photo of your passport, tickets, hotel reservations, and other travel documents for back up.
Check the weather
The weather is the single factor that could affect your vacation positively or negatively. While you might have a general idea of whether it will be warm or cold, it will be best to check the extended forecast. This will tip you on what items to pack.
Make sure your first aid kit is complete especially if you are travelling with kids. Refill your prescriptions enough for the long vacation.
Change your bed sheets and pillowcases before you leave. Nothing feels better than lying lazily on a tidy bed after a vacation or days on the road.
Remember that it is better to be safe than sorry. This condo checklist before going on a vacation will guarantee the safety of your home while you are away. It will also assure you that you and your family will have the time of your lives on that much-deserved vacation.