10 Things to Remember to do Before you Leave for Vacation

Feature photo by mindaugasdanys

You’ve packed your bags, confirmed your hotel, and printed your boarding pass. You’re ready to go on a well-deserved vacation, right? Wrong, Happy Traveler. Before you bid bon voyage, don’t forget to run through Gozamos’ handy dandy pre-trip checklist.

  1. Prepay Bills– Make sure you pay off Verizon, ComEd, and whoever else wants a piece of your paycheck. The last thing you want when you get back is a stack of late fees and a voice mail box full of collectors calling.
  2. Timing is Everything– Buy an inexpensive timer and set the TV, lights, or radio to turn on intermittently while your gone.
  3. Clean Sweep– Chances are I’ll be exhausted on my way home. After plane delays, returning rental cars, and all the headaches of return traveling, the most energy I can summon up is to dump the dirty clothes into the hamper and flop into bed. I did my future self a favor and gave my house a clean sweep before left: took out the trash, made the bed, did the dishes, tossed the leftovers in the fridge, and ran the garbage disposal, which is no longer a hassle or sounds like 1500 screaming babies in a blender.
  4. Stop the Mail– Temporarily stop the mail and newspaper delivery or get a neighbor to hold on to it for you. A pile of newspapers at your doorstep is a red flag for potential burglars looking for an easy target.
  5. Unplug– Just like you need to unplug on vacation, so do your appliances. Unplug computers, coffee pots, and other electricity vampires.
  6. Water the Plants– Give your green friends a good drink of water or arrange for a neighbor to stop by and take care of them.
  7. Close the Windows– Make sure all the windows are closed and locked. Lower the shades to discourage any prying eyes.
  8. Alarming News– If you live in an apartment or condo, turn off the alarm clock! Your neighbors will thank you.
  9. Last Supper– Cook a meal and leave it in the freezer for your first night back home (or make sure you have a good take out menu and some cash at hand).
  10. Tell a Friend– Last, but not least, let a good (re: trustworthy) neighbor know you’ll be gone. If they spot anything fishy, they’ll be able to alert the appropriate authorities.
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