Packed your bags? Ready to go on a holiday trip? Going out for family summer vacation is real fun. But there's a big list of tasks and chores that need to be taken care of before stepping out. In addition to enjoyment, long travel brings stress of leaving home unsecure. Whether you are going for a long weekend holiday or month-long getaway, this handy traveling checklist will let you take a break with peace of mind.
- Alert your credit card company and bank about your travel dates and locations. There are many banks and credit card companies that deny charges in popular foreign locations without prior information of travel plans.
- Pay off all utility bills especially if you are on a month long holiday trip (or even more). Arrange for pre-payment of mortgage or rents, and other utilities. This will prevent utilities from shutting-off.
- Make sure you carry all important travel documents including passport, driving license, and medical insurance cards. Confirm your reservations and if possible opt in for e-tickets rather than paper tickets. Check your credit cards are working and do take a listing of 800 numbers to call in case of theft or loss.
- Check your cell phone plan covers you while you are on the go, so its service is not disrupted. Inquire if you can get any short-term international usage plan for avoiding higher charges.
- Carry enough prescribed medicines along with you and keep a copy of actual prescription and your physician's contact information.
- Make a list of clothes, shoes, accessories and other things you need to carry, according to your travel plan and pack them.
- Find out current insurance policies on rental cars and check your health insurance gives coverage when you are overseas.
- Stop mails, newspaper and magazine services temporarily. Bundles of newspapers and other stuff lying in the porch would indicate that you are out.
- Update luggage tag on all bags indicating your name and phone number. It will help in case of missing luggage.
- Turn off the main water-supply and unplug air-conditioners, refrigerators and other electric appliances. Nobody wants to rack up high electricity bills while they are away from home.
- Make arrangements for your garden before going out. You would never want those plants to shrivel due to lack of care while you are away. Keep soaker hose to keep your plants alive, or ask your neighbors to water them. If it's winter make arrangements for snow shoveling too.
- If you are a pet owner, ask someone to take care of your furry friend.
- Nothing is worse than stepping in a stale house. Clean all leftover dishes and wet clothes before leaving.
- Empty your refrigerator by using or giving away all those perishable items. Stuff some frozen food in refrigerator so you don't have to rush for something to eat the day you come back.
- Trash out garbage as you would not like stinky house when you return. Ask your neighbors to put trash and recycle bins out for regular pick-ups.
- Spray disinfectants or baking soda in toilets. During winters, flush water in tanks so it won't freeze and crack the porcelain. Also pour some antifreeze in toilet to prevent them from freezing.
- Rainwater flooding the basement is another nightmare. Make sure sump pump is working properly.
- Check phone message machines, voice-mailers and faxes. Don't leave any message that you are out in your voice-mailers. Instead, forward text message to important business associates and others informing about your vacations.
- To make your home feel more secure from burglars or robbers, set timers on lights of your rooms. With help of timers lights will be automatically turned on and off at different times; projecting there's someone living in. You can even set radio, music system or television on timer.
- Put on fresh, clean sheets and bed covers on beds, as it's good to come to a lovely home.
- Carefully cover all the see-through windows with curtains, so that people don't get an illusion of an empty house.
- Ask your friends, relatives, or a neighbor to drop by your house to check on all things at different times every day. If your area is prone to thieves and buglers, ask them to home sit and spend night at your home.
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