Before you even begin to think about taking a vacation, consider how you’re going to prepare your car and home for your vacation. It’s important to begin preparations well in advance of a lengthy vacation. Whether it’s a cross-country road trip, a short trip to the town over, or even a lengthy stay in a foreign country, it’s important to make a car and house checklist before vacation.
Below are some of the things you should include in your car and house checklist before vacation. The sooner you write these down and do them, the better!
1. Tune-Up your Car
First and foremost, it’s important to cross ‘getting a tune-up’off your car and house checklist before vacation! A tune-up is important to obtain for the safety of you and your loved ones while out on the road. Without getting the help of an auto body shop to help you fix maintenance issues, you’ll more than likely end up stranded on the road while out on a cross-country trip.
Getting a tune-up is also helpful even if you plan to let your car just sit in your garage. For instance, if your car has low battery power before your vacation, leaving it in the garage for a lengthy period of time might just make the battery die out altogether! Simply put, it’s important to get a tune-up on your vehicle whether or not you’re using your car on your vacation.
2. Repair Dents or other Hazards
It’s important to get the help of a collision shop in case you’ve been in an accident previously and are now trying to use your car for a family road trip. Repairing dents and other hazards, such as cracked windshields, can help your car not only look good but be safe on the road as well.
3. Rotate Out your Tires
Before you start driving cross-country, rotate out your tires and replace any tires that have low tread. This will help you not only avoid an accident but also prepare for inclement weather wherever it is you decide to vacation. This might be one of the most important items on your car and house checklist before vacation, as some states will find you at fault if you cause an accident due to a tire blowout. Get the help of personal injury attorneys if that is the case. However, it’s best to simply avoid blowouts on the road by simply filling up your tires with the correct air pressure and replacing worn tires.
4. Buy Snacks and Caffeine for the Road
One of the best items on your car and house checklist before vacation has to be buying snacks and coffee for the road trip! If you’re planning on taking a long trip with your loved ones, buying snacks can not only be a fun family experience but also help keep you full and satisfied during your long drives.
5. Fix your AC Unit
If you’re looking to use your car for a cross-country road trip, make sure that your air conditioning unit is properly working. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of a hot area with no air conditioning to cool you and the kids off! Taking the time to fix your AC unit and mark it off your car and house checklist before vacation is crucial for comfort!
6. Make Sure All Safety Features Are Working
If you drive a modern luxury vehicle, chances are you have certain safety features such as brake assist, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and many others! Before you take off on your cross-country road trip, make sure that these safety features work as part of your car and house checklist before vacation. If you find that some of your safety features are not functioning, or that your car has to get new parts such as brake parts, take the time to invest in these before going on vacation. Your safety and the safety of others on the road is paramount!
7. Get Medical Clearance Before Travelling
It’s important to get the okay from a doctor before traveling for a lengthy period of time. From taking extra vaccines to prevent certain foreign-born illnesses, to taking the right medication with you, it’s important to get medical clearance before you set off on your long vacation. This is especially important if you’re planning on traveling with children or other loved ones that might have a medical condition that needs care during your vacation.
8. Pack All Necessary Medications
After you get the go-ahead from your physician to go on vacation, make sure to look throughout your house for any medication you might need. Pack them up with you to ensure you don’t miss any doses. Equally as important is to continue to follow the directions on your medication, especially if they tell you not to drive. Driving while on medication and then getting into an accident can put you not just at fault for the accident, but worse, have legal consequences. Get the help of an auto accident attorney if this is the case, or simply prevent this from happening at all by packing and following the directions of your medication during your trip.
9. Find Pet Accommodations
If you have pets at home, whether it’s small fish, reptiles, cats, or dogs, chances are they’ll need to have accommodations before your vacation. This is one of the most important parts of your house checklist before vacation. Get pet accommodations by either dropping them off with loved ones, hiring a pet sitter, or investing in a pet hotel for the duration of your vacation.
10. Get a House-Sitter
Getting a house sitter is a crucial item to check off of your house checklist before vacation. Although you can leave your home unattended while you’re away, for bigger homes it can give you peace of mind to know that someone is at home to protect your property. A house-sitter can even help provide care for your pets, or simply just report to you if they notice any suspicious activity occurring in your home.
11. Do Necessary House Maintenance
If you plan on leaving your home for an extended period of time, it’s important to cross off ‘house maintenance’ on your house checklist before vacation. House maintenance can include anything from repairing your HVAC unit to making sure your home has proper insulation, replacing siding and roof tiles that are cracked, and anything in between. By doing home maintenance before your vacation, you can rest assured these issues are taken care of and won’t get worse after you return from your stress-free vacation.
12. Get a Babysitter
Just like you should get a pet or house-sitter, you should also get the help of a babysitter if you feel your child is too young to travel. It’s best to get a qualified babysitter with a great list of references, a clean background, and who has had experience caring for children while parents are away on a vacation. Better yet, get the help of family members to ensure your baby gets the care they need while you’re away from home.
13. Lock Up Valuables
If you have any valuables in your home, one of the most important house checklist before vacation items is to lock these up in a safe or elsewhere. If you have a safety deposit box at a bank, consider leaving your valuables there for the time being. If you do own a safe, make sure all valuables are stored in it before taking off on your vacation.
14. Pack Up All Necessary Documents
Check the house and make sure you’re not leaving any necessary documents behind before going to the airport or cross-country driving. These can include anything such as your:
- Driver’s License
- Insurance Paperwork
- Travel Itinerary
- Car Registration
and any other important documents you might need while on vacation.
15. Update your Security System
Leaving on vacation can be a scary experience if you’ve never left your home alone for an extended period of time and if you’re leaving it without a house sitter. Update your security system, such as outdoor and indoor cameras, motion-sensor lights, alarms, and locks before heading out on your vacation. This might be the most important house checklist before vacation item on this list, as no one wants to come back from vacation to a home that has been burglarized.
16. Make Sure Lights are on Timers
Before you go on your vacation, make sure any lights are working beforehand and are hooked up to timers. If your lights are hooked up to timers, this can deter would-be robbers from breaking into your home and give the appearance of someone still occupying your home. This might not work if your neighbors have already been told that you’re going on vacation, however. Try your best to give the appearance that your home still has occupants!
17. Empty Out the Fridge
You don’t want to come home to rotting food from your vacation! Taking out perishable food items from your fridge is one of the simplest, yet most important items on your house checklist before vacation. Empty out any food that can spoil, such as eggs, cheese, butter, meats, and also any fruits and vegetables that might be on your countertop. The same goes for any soft food that your pets might have leftover in their food bowls if you plan on leaving the food bowls untouched during your vacation.
18. Winterize your Plumbing
If you’re one of the many Americans planning on taking a vacation during the cold winter months, one of the most important items on your house checklist before vacation is winterizing your plumbing! Failing to winterize your plumbing can cause water to freeze in your pipes, leading to burst pipes that can be costly. If you’re unsure of how to winterize your plumbing, get the help of a local plumber beforehand.
19. Fix Broken Windows and Doors
From depriving your home of insulation, to letting in the elements, broken windows and doors can be dangerous and must be fixed or replaced before you go on vacation. Not only is this an important item on your house checklist before vacation, but also your business if you own your own office. Replace your frameless glass doors in your office building if they seem in need of repair, fix any cracks in windows, and most importantly, replace issues with your own home’s door if you notice them.
20. Put Away Construction Materials
If your home is the in middle of renovations, make sure all materials such as construction scaffold, exposed wiring, piles of materials, and any other potential hazards are put away before you go on vacation. You don’t want to come back and immediately have an accident in your own home, so prepare for safety even before you leave on vacation.
21. Unplug Appliances
Unplug any appliances including small heaters, hoverboards, computers, laundry machines, and more before you go on vacation. Doing so can help prevent fires, and also help in reduce electricity costs while you go on an extended vacation!
22. Mow your Lawn
You don’t want to come back to a lawn that is overgrown, or a driveway that is covered in snow. If you’re planning on leaving for a short, or even long, vacation, take the time beforehand to mow your lawn, tend to your garden, or shovel your driveway before departing. Doing so can save you the stress of having to do this exterior maintenance right after getting back from your vacation.
23. Lock Up Your Garage
Never forget to lock up your garage before going on vacation. Your garage can be an entry point into your home, and burglars know this! Repair any issues you might have with your garage as well, such as broken locks or a garage door that won’t close all the way.
24. Hold your Mail
Many post offices have the option to hold your mail if you’re going to be away. This helps save you the headache of having to go through piled up mail in your home, and also prevent mail from being stolen while you’re away on vacation.
25. Don’t Post on Social Media
It’s tempting to post your vacation on social media, especially if you want to show off great souvenirs like that iron on vinyl shirt! Unfortunately, sharing your vacation on social media before your return can alert intruders that your home is vacant, and cause you to be the victim of a burglary! Instead, wait until you are home from your trip to post about your vacation.
With these tips, you’ll be all ready to leave for your vacation. The key to a great trip is being properly prepared, and starting at home is key to that!
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