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Travel Checklist – Get Your House Ready for your Vacation – FREE Printable!

Clothes. Check. Undies? Check. Camera. Check, check.

My family and I recently returned from a two week trip. It was amazing and we had a blast! The decompress after a trip is always the hardest part for us. But we made some preparations beforehand that allowed us to come home to a house that was in order. What a relief!

There are several necessities we all take on vacation. It’s a balance between anticipating what we’ll need while we’re gone, and yet not packing our entire bathroom cabinet. But what do we do to get our house ready for our absence?

Weather you’re traveling for the holidays or getting ready for a summer vacation, make sure your house is prepared for vacation too. To help you do that, here is a travel checklist for your house.

Travel Checklist - Get Your House Ready for Vacation

Travel Checklist – Get Your House Ready for your Vacation

In no particular order, here is a list of things you should do before an extended leave (ie longer than three days/nights.)

Turn down the water heater. Why waste the money to heat water you’re not going to use?
Turn down the thermostat/ac. Don’t cool/heat your house just for kicks.
Unplug anything you’re not using (computers, washer/dryer, tv, radios, lamps clocks, etc). Vampire power is a real thing. Your appliances will continue to suck energy while you’re away. Plus, if you unplug your big ticket items, you don’t have to worry about a power surge shorting your computer or starting a fire.
Pour baking soda in your drains. This prevents bacteria and mold from growing. It keeps your sinks from smelling stinky!
Leave your washing machine open. If you have time, run a “wash the machine” cycle before you go, then leave the door wide open. It keeps moisture, mold and smells away. Same goes for dishwasher. You don’t want to come home to two week old food stuck on your dishes!
Stop your mail. You have to stop it for a minimum of 3 days. You can find the link to do that here.
Stop your newspaper or ask a neighbor to run over and pick them up for you. Nothing advertises “I’m not home! Come steal from me!” like a pile of newspapers on your front porch.
Lock your doors.
Close your windows.
Ask someone to check in on your house at least once while you’re gone. Generally speaking, this is strictly a precaution. However, one of my good friends came home from her two-week honeymoon in Europe to find the AC had broken and flooded their bedroom. All that standing water equaled mold in their carpets, clothes, bedding, etc. Not only was their house a literal disaster, but they went without air conditioning for weeks. In the middle of summer. In Las Vegas. The last thing you want to do is come home from a trip to a crisis.
Kennel your pets. If Fido’s not coming with you on your vacation, make sure he’s cared for while you’re gone.
Empty garbages. You do NOT want to come home after two weeks of vacation to find chicken has been fermenting in your garbage. Gross!
Water your plants. Bring any frost susceptible flower pots inside.
Make your bed! You don’t know what a joy it is to come home to a clean bed.
Mow your lawn. Or ask someone to do it while you’re gone.
Clean out your fridge. You don’t want to find a science experiement when you come home.
Do your laundry. You’ll have clothes to wash when you get home. Don’t exacerbate the problem by leaving yourself piles of laundry before you go.
Make arrangements to have someone take your garbage to the curb if your vacation overlaps on your garbage day.

With just a few simple steps, you can make your vacation end on a happy note. Why wouldn’t you want to protect your biggest asset?!

House vacation preparation

And to make your travel preparations easier, here is a free printable!

House Checklist

Enjoy your vacation!

What other tips or tricks do you do before going on vacay?

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