It's that time of year! Vacation plans are forming like clouds over the mountains. With travel comes some stress, so here's a list to follow when you're closing up the house and hitting the road. There's nothing more annoying or frightening than forgetting some essential task, only to remember it when you're 20 miles down the road.
Inevitably my husband will turn to me on the way to the airport and say, "Did you pack...."(fill in the blank) or "Did you remember to..." (fill in another blank). Agghhh!!! Sometimes one of us has forgotten something we'll desperately need on the trip. Other times it's been a household task. To help others avoid frustration, stress, and getting off to a bad start on vacation, here's a handy list to check BEFORE you leave home.
1. Stop newspaper and mail delivery.
2. Lock the windows.
3. Turn down the hot water tank to "vacation" mode if you'll be gone for several days.
4. Adjust A/C or heat to vacation mode too.
5. Turn off power strips to electronics or unplug them during summer T-storm season.
6. Take out the garbage.
7. Have a light on a timer which will turn on for a few hours in the evening. Your home won't look vacant while you're gone.
8. Let a neighbor know you'll be away. If you're in a Neighborhood Watch area, notify the local police of your vacation dates. Exchange cell phone numbers with the neighbors for emergency contacts.
9. Make sure all passengers are in the vehicle before leaving and that the dog is at the kennel.
Vacation Prep and Packing Tips
1. Lay out all chargers for electronics where you can see them and then pack in the same suitcase. It's so much easier than tossing them in randomly.
2. Meds should be double checked before going out the door. Make sure you have a couple of extra days of prescription medicines--just in case. Keep those meds with you and not in checked luggage.
3. Make sure your camera battery is charged before departure.
4. Be certain you've then packed your camera with the battery inside.
5. Use a white noise machine for sleep? Pack it!
6. Have some ready cash in your wallet with smaller bills. You'll be prepared to tip the luggage handler or the the airport shuttle driver.
7. Throw some gum or breath mints in your bag. Traveling makes your mouth dry.
8. Individual snacks are always welcome. Crackers, baby carrots, apples, fruit and nut mixes are perfect for munching.
Walk through the house before you leave to double check that you've done all of the above. This saves a lot of questions in the car.
Lock all the doors. Watch the garage door go all the way down before you leave the driveway. You don't want to wonder if you left it open when you're almost to the airport.
Bon Voyage! If you have any travel prep tips, please share them in the comments.