With the holidays coming up, chances are you may be planning a trip to visit family. Whether you’ll be gone for just a few days or more than a week, there are some household ends you should be sure to tie up before you head out to keep your home safe and save money.
Rather than bother your neighbors or extended family to pick up your mail every day, the U.S. Postal Service will hold your mail if you’ll be gone for more than 3 days and deliver it upon your return. Visit their website to set up a hold service up to 30 days before you’ll be gone.
Figuring out what to do with your pets can be a tricky part of planning a trip. Look into a pet boarding service if you can’t find anyone to look after your furry friend or have someone you know look after your pets for a more budget-friendly option. Just be sure you notify them early so you don’t get hit with a last-minute problem.
As the weather starts to turn, be sure you change your thermostat while you’re away. Don’t get stuck heating an empty house. Flipping the thermostat down just a few degrees while you’re away can save you substantially on your next utility bill.
Don’t overlook your indoor plants and come back to a house full of dead plants. Be sure to give them plenty of water before you leave and either have someone stop by a few times or set up a way to water them while you’re away.
If you don’t already have automatic payments set up, be sure to check your bill calendar to see what will be due while you’re away. Pay them beforehand or set up an automatic payment to ease your mind and ensure you won’t be making any late payments.
6. The Fridge
Nothing is worse than returning from a trip, worn out from traveling, only to find the food in the fridge has gone bad. Avoid the terrible smell and waste of food with some savvy grocery shopping beforehand so you only get what you can use before you leave.
If you’re worried about leaving your place empty while you’re away, invest in some simple light timers. A few of these placed strategically around the home will give the appearance that you never even left.
If setting up light timers isn’t your style, exercise your neighborly spirit by asking a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on things and notify you if something seems suspicious.
These and other to-do’s before leaving for a trip are all part of creating a plan early and sticking to it. Once you know when you’ll be gone, set up a checklist of everything you need done ahead of time and you can head out this holiday season with a clear head ready to relax with family.