Tips to Prepare for an Extended Vacation

Published online: Jul 21, 2021 / Renters

Are you planning a vacation in the next few months? You may be ready to pack your bags, but is your home or apartment ready for your extended absence? Take a look at these quick tips for preparing your home for its own vacation.

Get a friend to check on your home

Even while away, the worries from home can follow us just about anywhere in the world. Consider asking a friend or relative to check in on things from time to time. Knowing your home is safe and secure can provide you the assurances you need to enjoy your time off. Forgot to water the plants? Thanks Jerry! Does the cat have enough food? You saved us a week of worry, Brittney! Vacations are meant to be savored with both mind and body, so start savoring.

Ask a friend to get your mail or have the post office hold your mail

If you anticipate receiving important mail while you’re away, consider having it held or picked up, particularly if you don’t have a USPS-secure mailbox. With the rise of porch-pirates, it wouldn’t hurt to have a neighbor or close contact stop by to secure your unattended property. Alternatively, contacting the USPS or delivery service to hold your packages or mail during your vacation can easily ensure a safe shipment upon your return.

Give your landlord a heads up

Landlords are not to be neglected; your contract may even say so. Some rental agreements specifically request notice in advance if your apartment or home will be unattended (typically a week or two). Protecting the property is paramount for both you and your landlord, so providing a heads up for your time away can save you the worry of having others check in on things. Additionally, by not contacting your landlord in cases of signed clauses and rental agreements, you may find a fine or further legal consequences in lieu of a welcome arrival.

Adjust your thermostat

Adjusting your thermostat can save some easy extra cash. For summer vacations, set your thermostat higher to avoid unnecessary cooling. For winter vacations, set temperatures lower to counter excessive heating. However, the threat of freezing pipes is a constant consideration depending on your season, location, and the temperature of your home.

Unplug electronics from outlets

To avoid the risk of spontaneous fires and avoidable power costs, unplugging appliances is a simple and effective practice for extended periods away from home. Power savings for one to two weeks may be more or less unnoticeable, but every penny counts when it stays in your bank account. Furthermore, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, 6.3% of all fires originated from electrically based failures between 2014 - 2016 alone, meaning unplugging some of your older appliances could save you far more than those few pennies.

Clean your apartment

Clean your apartment before you leave to prevent pests from staying rent-free while you’re away. Ants, roaches, flys, beetles, spiders, and more can find their way to leftovers throughout the house. Avoid leaving piles of clothes on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink, or perishable foods on the counters. Take out the garbage from the kitchen and bathrooms, you’ll ease back into reality without the stress of house maintenance and pest control. 

We all procrastinate, especially when the freedom of a long awaited vacation is on the horizon. But take the time to coordinate with the proper people and resources you need, you’ll thank your past self more than you know. You plan enough for your vacation, so plan ahead for the proper home and apartment upkeep that follows for a happy, safe, and problem-free vacation.