There's nothing quite like the excitement of leaving for vacation, especially over the holidays. You've planned ahead, finalized your itinerary with friends and family, and now you're looking forward to fun and relaxation.
While there's always a long list of things to do before you leave home, you need to be mindful of prepping your home for vacation. Here's are some things that should be included on your "before we leave" checklist.
1. Put mail on hold
Nothing quite lets strangers know that you're gone like an over-stuffed mailbox or a pile of newspapers on your doorstep. You can easily request a hold on your mail on the United States Postal Service website and let your newspaper's circulation department - or delivery person - know that you'll be gone, as well. If Hold Mail is not an option for your area, call up a neighbor who will be in town to gather your mail.
2. Call your bank
Make a quick call to your bank to let them know that you're going out of town and that there could be some unusual or new charges on your debit card. This is particularly important if you're traveling internationally and could make a variety of foreign charges.
3. Leave the lights on
Lights are perhaps the best way to give the appearance of being home and a well-lit house is much less attractive to potential intruders. You can buy timers for your lamps or have an electrician install some on your light switches. Day/night sensors on outside flood lights provide another protective measure.
4. Check the fridge
Don't forget to check the refrigerator before heading out town to make sure there aren't any perishable items that will spoil while you're gone.
5. Take out the trash
Remember to take out the trash after you’ve dutifully cleared the fridge to ensure that your home smells fresh and clean when you return from vacation.
6. Unplug appliances
One way of prepping your home for the holidays while cutting energy costs is to unplug appliances that aren't essential - such as printers, fax machines, exercise equipment, etc. Energy is used even when these items aren't in use and there is no need to waste that energy when you won’t be using it.
7. Pay bills
You don't want to be responsible for late fees on bills, so make sure that all of your pending bills have been paid and/or set up an automatic payment plan for them.
8. Wash your sheets and laundry
This may not seem like a high priority when you're prepping your home to head out of town, but there's nothing like coming home to a fresh bed and clean home. Help your post-vacation self out by only needing to tackle the laundry you have from your holiday trip.
9. Check your smoke detectors
Make sure all of your home's smoke detectors are in good working order before you leave to ensure your home stays safe.
10. Talk to your neighbors
Let your neighbors know that you're heading out of town and ask if they can keep an eye on the house while you're gone. If you want to give your house a "lived-in" look, you can even ask if they'd park their car in your driveway.
We take pride in our communities and our relationships with the people who live here in West Texas. We are honored to be "People That You Know,” and we hope you have an amazing Christmas holiday!