19 Items To Prep Your Home For Vacation. A Pre-Travel Checklist
A pre-travel checklist with 19 items that will prepare the house for your vacation. That’s what we’ll be discussing today. Because, yes, you have to remember to pack your curling iron, your son’s underwear, your daughter’s favorite pajamas, and maybe even your husband’s dress socks. Although listen, sister, if you’re packing his stuff, too, you need to seriously schedule yourself a massage and buy that new pair of Jimmy Choo’s you’ve been eyeing because you’ve EARNED them).
The fact is, beyond preparing you and your family for the trip, you also need to prepare your home for your time away. But no worries…prepping for vacation is stressful enough. We created a simple downloadable checklist for you to grab. Run through this list, and your house will be ready for you to leave and come home to, without a hitch.
*This pre-travel checklist post is sponsored by Chamberlain (CGI) myQ-Connected smart garage hub. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This content contains affiliate links. Please read our full disclosure policy here.*
Most of us will venture away from home for an extended period of time at least once between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And many of us try to skip town again in the months that follow in order to escape colder temperatures in the winter season.
We hope this checklist will be helpful. Many of these items, you will already know and be in the habit of doing when you leave. Others you may not have previously considered. Either way, having a printed checklist on hand as you run through the last-minute preparations will help prevent any panicky mishaps and musings on the way to the airport second-guessing whether you locked the back door or took out the trash.
Your Pre-Travel Checklist: 19 Must-Do Items Before Leaving Your Home For Vacation
1.) Turn off your water.
No one wants to come home to a flooded basement or a leak that sprang under the kitchen sink while you were snorkeling in sunny Florida. If you don’t know where your main water valve is, and how to turn it off, now is the time to find it.
2.) Stop mail delivery.
It’s not hard to put a hold on mail delivery services while you’re away. This link will take you where you need to go to get it done.
3.) Get prepped for in-garage package delivery.
Don’t miss out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales just because you’ll be at your in-laws. You’ll be able to shop without hesitation after installing a myQ-connected smart garage door opener. This system works with Amazon Key to provide Amazon Prime members free package delivery inside your garage!
The myQ Smart Garage Hub can be purchased on sale for 40% (that makes it under $30!) on Amazon and is very quick and easy to install. Click here to check if you are eligible for in-garage delivery in your area.
. Having a myQ-connected garage will give you peace of mind that your packages will be delivered to a safe location, inside your garage. No more worrying about missing packages or inclement weather while you’re out of town.
4.) Make sure the pet sitter has home access.
Another great reason to get you garage myQ-connected before vacation is to easily provide home access to a pet sitter. Pets not headed to Hawaii with you? If they’ll be home having a house party while you’re away, give the pet sitter or dog walker easy in and out access to your home, without having to give them their own key.
Through the myQ App you can share garage access with up to three additional people, without sharing your password, so they can come and go as needed to take care of your pets. The myQ App also lets you set alerts so you can keep tabs on when the dog walker is coming and going and know if the garage is left open by mistake.
5.) Make sure the washer/dryer are empty.
Ever come home from a trip and opened the door to a musty smell reminiscent of a middle school locker room? Then you know first hand the odor that will greet you if you forget to finish the laundry before vacating the house.
Leaving wet clothes in the washer OR dryer can both lead to the same result. So don’t leave unless those loads of laundry are clean, dry, and bonus points if you get them folded.
6.) Adjust thermostat.
No need to pay for or consume energy while you’re not home. Turn the thermostat down to the ’50s in the winter (warm enough to prevent pipes from freezing), or up to the mid-’70s during the summer.
One caveat – if pets will be staying in your home while you’re away, obviously make sure the temperature of your house will remain in a zone that is safe and comfortable for Fluffy, Fido and/or Fifi.
7.) Setup a timer(s) for interior and exterior lights.
Setting up an inexpensive timer, or a few, for a few key lights on the interior of your home, as well as for porch or garage exterior lights, is always a good idea while you’re out of town.
8.) Clear the fridge of perishables.
If you don’t I guess the upside is you’ll have the basic ingredients for an awesome science fair experiment right there in your veggie crisper drawer. Ewww.
When you know you’re leaving in four days, that’s the time to have leftover night, three nights in a row. Eat anything and everything in your produce bin that will be headed south at the same time you’re flying south if you know what I mean. Eat those perishables before they perish.
Have salads for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if you must, but clear out that fridge of greens before you leave…or the greens you face upon your return will most likely be quite cringeworthy.
9.) Take out the trash.
Don’t forget to collect trash throughout the house, and get it outside to the trash can or the curb before you lock up and leave. Plane leaving Friday but trash day isn’t till Monday? This is when it’s nice to have friendly neighbors.
Ask a neighbor to haul your can to the curb. And then be sure to return the favor at some point down the road.
10.) Mow the lawn.
If needed, mow that grass. This is especially important in the spring and summer months. If you don’t mow before you leave town for 10 days, you’ll return to a jungle and may not be able to make it to your front door without a sling blade.
11.) Unplug electronics.
Unplugging is the best thing to do before heading out of town. If you really don’t want to shut down your computer for whatever reason, then at the very least, protect your valuable electronics with a surge protector.
And remember that many electric appliances still pull power, even when not in use. So unplug everything you can to avoid using (and paying for) unneeded energy while you’re out of town.
12.) Care for drains and disposals.
It’s always a good idea to run your garbage disposal one more time, and throw a bit of baking soda down the sink drain as well to eliminate lingering odors.
The same goes for the toilet. Baking soda, or even leaving a bit of bleach in the bowl before you leave can prevent that ugly ring around the toilet from cropping up while you’re out of town.
13.) Have a meal ready to defrost in the freezer.
Truth? I have NEVER been organized enough to actually accomplish this one. That said, would it not be a dream come true for this item to get checked off the pre-vacation checklist one day? The thought coming home from vacation to pre-prepared bowl of homemade chicken soup? Chicken soup that you don’t have to make while jet-lagged? Sounds pretty fantastic.
14.) Clean the house and change sheets.
I know, I know. This one is the PITS. But let’s face it, we all feel better when we come home to a clean house.
It’s a good feeling to know that your sheets are clean, and the house isn’t a complete disaster area that you’ll have to attend to after your 13-hour car ride in holiday traffic.
15.) Run the dishwasher and put dishes away.
It’s best to run the dishwasher AND get the dishes put away before you leave town. Otherwise, anything that stayed a little wet after the dishwasher cycle may end up mildewy and need to be re-run. If you can’t get that done? Open the dishwasher a smidge before you run out the door. Some airflow will help the Tupperware dry and hopefully get enough moisture out to avoid a re-wash.
We typically run our dishwasher the afternoon before we leave town. Anything we eat the night before is done on paper plates, OR, is hand-washed and dried so we don’t have to worry about anything wet lingering in the dishwasher.
16.) Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets (in winter).
If you’re leaving town in the colder weather months and plan to lower your thermostat while gone, it’s a good idea to open any base kitchen and bathroom cabinets which house plumbing.
Pipes can freeze in frigid weather and leave you with a huge disaster on your hands if they should burst while you’re away. Opening the cabinet doors allows better airflow and helps keep the space under those cabinets a wee bit warmer.
17.) Check window/door locks.
Do a quick check to make sure all windows and doors are locked and secure.
18.) Water house plants (plant nanny)!
Invest in some “plant nannies” for your trip (heck, I use mine ALL the time…they are the ONLY reason I’m able to keep any plant alive).
Or if you are a serious green thumb goddess, you may be paying a real-life plant nanny to come into your house. If that is the case, this is one more reason a myQ-connected Smart Garage Hub will come in handy. Give your plant caretaker a guest code to open and close the garage, or open and close it for them with your smartphone.
19.) Turn down water heater.
Just like your thermostat, you should adjust the temperature of your water heater before leaving for an extended period of time. Lowering the temperature will save energy and money on your gas or electric bill.
And that wraps it up! Click the image below or on this link to download your free printable checklist! Have a wonderful vacation!
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