9 Things to Do Before You Go on Vacation

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A young couple walking out the door of their apartment with luggage in hand, ready for the vacation of a lifetime.

There are few things in life as great as the anticipation of going on vacation. Whether you’re flying to an exotic destination thousands of miles away, boarding a ship that will take you to a peaceful island, or driving to the nearest national park for the camping trip of your life, vacations give you a chance to recoup, relax, and enjoy several days of not thinking about work.

But before you leave for your upcoming vacation, there’s still a little work left to be done in your apartment. Gone are the days when mom and dad would take care of all the little chores that needed to be done before you could head to the airport — now, it’s all up to you.

Here’s a list of things you’ll definitely want to do before you go on vacation. Trust us when we say that your homecoming will be a lot nicer if you take the time to tend to these tasks ahead of time.

Get Someone to Check the Mail for You

In this digital life we all lead, it seems impossible that we still get so much mail delivered to our houses on the daily. If you’re going to be gone for more than a few days, chances are that mail will start to seriously pile up in your mailbox. Do your mail carrier a favor by asking a friend or a family member to check your mailbox and place everything in a safe spot in your apartment while you’re gone. Be sure to also alert this person of any packages you might be expecting to receive while you’re gone. The last thing you want to come home to is news of a porch thief. If you’re short on available friends and family, you could always ask the property manager if they could take care of things in your absence.

Check the Weather and Prepare If Necessary

You might have religiously checked the weather for the place you’ll be vacationing in (you have to know what to pack, after all), but what you might not have thought to check is the weather in your hometown. If you’re going on vacation in the dead of winter, it’s a good idea to ensure that your pipes won’t freeze while you’re gone. To do this, just open up your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors and leave the faucets on a slow but steady drip.

If you park your car outside, you might also want to go ahead and slip a car cover over it and lubricate its doors to prevent them from sticking after they freeze.

Let Your Bank Know You’re Going on Vacation

Okay, so this isn’t something you have to prepare in your apartment, but it’s a very important step you need to take every time you leave for vacation. Alert your bank and credit card providers that you’re going to be traveling for a certain amount of time so that they won’t think it’s fraudulent activity and leave you without access to your funds. Nowadays, you can easily get all this done online.

Clean Out Your Refrigerator

This might be the most time-consuming task on this list, but it’s also the most worthy of your time. What’s good in your fridge today will smell rotten by the time you come back home, so throw away anything perishable like meats, fruits, vegetables, and herbs. You should also toss any leftovers and give your shelves a good wipe down to prevent any bacteria from building up.

Take Out the Trash

Even if you only have a couple of things in your trash can, it’s a good idea to go ahead and take it out to prevent any unwanted smells from greeting you when you walk in the door at the end of a long flight. Pop a fresh liner in afterwards, and you’ll be good to go.

Bring In Any Patio Furniture

If you have any patio furniture or plants on your balcony, consider brining them inside before you leave. You’ll be thankful if it gets unexpectedly windy or rainy while you’re away.

Unplug Electronics Throughout the Apartment

Hand taking a plug out of a socket.

When you’re on vacation, there’s no reason for your home gadgets to be plugged in. Go around the apartment and unplug all appliances, televisions, and other electronic devices to conserve energy and money.

Wash Your Sheets and Blankets

This step may seem unnecessary, but there is absolutely nothing better than diving into a bed with freshly washed sheets, blankets, and pillow cases after a very long day of travel.

Clean Your Bathroom

When you go on vacation, it’s easy for products to get strewn about as you’re deciding on what to pack and what to leave behind. For that reason, you should always do a quick tidying up in your bathroom so that everything feels orderly and clean when you return.

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