You step off the plane ready to relax on your summer vacation when all of a sudden, your heart is pounding. You’re feeling a bit dizzy like the world is closing in around you. Sweat forms on your forehead as you struggle to remember. Did I turn off the stove before we left???
Yes, it’s almost time once again for that American classic – the summer vacation. 45% of Americans take a summer vacation, and we bet a sizable number of those vacationers will procrastinate their trip prep until the last possible second. Are you one of them?
- Make copies of all your important documents. Let’s face it. Sometimes things get lost on vacation. Bring along copies of passports, insurance cards and emergency medical contacts. Make sure to give a copy of your itinerary to a relative or trusted friend so you can be reached if necessary.
- Pack protective toiletries. Tuck sunscreen and bug repellant into your suitcase. You might be able to buy these where your headed but at some destinations, they may cost a small fortune. Keep your budget (and blood pressure) in check by shopping at your local store before you leave. And remember to bring along a small first aid kit (i.e. band-aids, pain relievers).
- Make sure you can power up. Assemble the power cords & chargers for all the devices you’re bringing along.
- Call your financial institutions. Especially if you’ll be traveling out of the country, you’ll need to let them know where you’re headed and what dates you’ll be there. If you don’t, you risk the institution tagging out of state or international charges as fraud and freezing your account.
- Clean out the fridge. Unless you want to come home to the smell of spoiled food, throw away all perishables. You can restock when you return.
- Stop snail mail. Stop by your local post office to put a hold on delivery. You want to protect yourself and your home from any unwanted “visitors” while you’re away. Nothing says, “we’re not home” more than an overflowing mailbox.
- Auto-pay upcoming bills. If you have any coming due while you’re gone, arrange for automatic payment. This may be one you want to keep going even when you return.
- Unplug the appliances. Give yourself an “energy” holiday. Unplug televisions, computer and small appliances such as microwaves and coffee makers.
- Lock all the doors. Check each one. And if you have a home security system, set the alarm.
And if you are paranoid about the stove, take a quick photo of the dials before you leave. When that little voice in your head says, “Did I turn off the stove?”, you can sneak a peek at proof that you did.
Now go and enjoy your well-deserved stress-free vacation!