Whether you’re getting ready to lie on a beach somewhere or explore a new city, we’ve got you covered with this list of 8 things you should do before you leave for your vacation.

So you’ve finally decided to take that much-needed vacation from work. Now it’s time to make sure you haven’t forgotten to do anything before you leave so you can enjoy your time away with total peace of mind. Even if your neighbour will be watching the place when you’re away, there are still things that need to be done before you go, no matter how short or long your trip is.
Leave your home in confidence after checking off this list of things to consider when leaving your house for vacation.

Related read: How Renter’s Insurance Covers You While Travelling

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1. Pack Your Suitcase Ahead of Time

Packing your suitcase and setting out a list of all the things you need to bring before you head out the door will help prevent any last minute runs back into the house. If you’re worried about your suitcase getting dirty, pack it into a large garbage bag (or other protective cover) so that it stays clean. It’s also a good idea to label it with your name and destination as well, just in case it gets lost in transit.

2. Arrange for Someone to Water Your Plants

Before you leave on vacation, make sure your trusted neighbour knows to water your plants and check in on your place. Making sure to leave detailed instructions for those extra picky plants will ensure that you come home to just as many live plants as you left. To be extra safe, set up plant lights on timers to ensure they get the right amount of light while you’re gone.

3. Set Your Thermostat

While it can be tempting to completely shut off any heating or cooling systems while you prepare your home in order to save money, the truth is that this can actually be detrimental to your property. For instance, excessive heat can have negative effects on sheetrock or drywall, and too much cold could cause frozen pipes.
And once you get home from vacation, it’ll cost you more money to heat up or cool down your house again from scratch. It’s best to leave your home at a moderate temperature, as trying to save costs in this way can end up costing you more in reheating, recooling, or repairing your home.

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4. Unplug All Electronics

Now it’s time to unplug. This means turning off the water, shutting off the lights, TV, and anything else that’s electric or that could be a fire hazard. Having a smart home system like Google Home is a great way to set your lights to turn on in the evening and turn off in the morning, provided you have smart bulbs. This is a great way to save money on electricity while still making it look like someone is home, so you’re less likely to be targeted for burglaries.

Related read: The importance of home or renters’ insurance before holiday travels

5. Bring in the Mail and Stop Newspaper Delivery

Before you head out the door on vacation, make sure to check your mail and have a trusted friend or neighbour stop by to collect any newspapers that may have been delivered while you’re gone. If you’re planning on having any packages delivered, you may want to call the delivery company and have them put the mail on hold, cancel, push the delivery back, or change the address to have it delivered somewhere else. This can help avoid having important packages stolen from your doorstep while you’re gone.

6. Tell Your Neighbour You’ll Be Gone

Heading out the door and leaving your home unattended while you’re on vacation is always a concern, but there are steps you can take to make the place feel more secure. One of those is to ask a trusted neighbour to stop by every day or two to check on things.
You can even ask them to stay parked in your driveway for a few days at a time so it looks even more lived in. At the very least, don’t forget to let them know that you’ll be gone so that they won’t worry if they don’t see any lights or hear any noise.

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7. Arrange for Pet Care

Not everyone can afford to take their pets with them when they go on vacation. Depending on the level of attention your pet requires, you can ask a neighbour, family member or friend to check in on them, have them house sit, or drop off the pet with them to take care of while you’re gone. Remember to give detailed instructions for any special care or medicinal needs that your pet may require, and leave them with enough food, treats and any special toys that they may have.

8. Double-Check Your Insurance

Perhaps you got your travel insurance policy when you booked your travel accommodations, or maybe just a few weeks before you’re planning on leaving. Regardless, you should make sure that you’re covered for things like trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and even lost baggage.

Having the correct Homeowner’s Insurance or Tenant’s Insurance policy is also an important step before going on vacation. If anything should happen, these helpful policies could save you from having to pay out-of-pocket for any damages.
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