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.
- 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.
- Timing is Everything– Buy an inexpensive timer and set the TV, lights, or radio to turn on intermittently while your gone.
- Clean Sweep– Chances are you’ll be exhausted on your 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. Do your future self a favor and give your house a clean sweep before you leave: take out the trash, make the bed, do the dishes, toss the leftovers in the fridge, and run the garbage disposal.
- 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.
- Unplug– Just like you need to unplug on vacation, so do your appliances. Unplug computers, coffee pots, and other electricity vampires.
- 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.
- Close the Windows– Make sure all the windows are closed and locked. Lower the shades to discourage any prying eyes.
- Alarming News– If you live in an apartment or condo, turn off the alarm clock! Your neighbors will thank you.
- 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).
- 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.