How to Prepare Before Leaving for a Vacation

Best thing ever: Vacation.

Worst thing ever: Coming home from a vacation to a disaster of a house. It immediately takes you from that stress-free vacation mode to I-want-to-curl-up-and-cry-like-a-banshee mode.

So, to keep you from needing a vacation after your vacation, here are four simple ideas on how to prepare yourself and home before leaving for a vacation so your homecoming is clean, organized, and banshee-free.

1.    Pack -- Of course, you’re going to pack. But how you pack is key. Don’t just willy-nilly throw everything on the bed and then have a cram party in your suitcase. A little planning and organization will ensure you’re streamlined on the trip -- and will keep things clean and simple when you return. There are lots of packing checklists and videos online to prepare for vacation (like Money Crashers’ 6 Tips & Checklist of What to Pack,) but the general idea is to have specific reasons for everything you pack. There’s also a science to how you physically pack a bag. We love the ideas in How To: Pack Like a Pro (mostly because the video is narrated by a British voice, which just makes everything seem more impressive.)

2.    Clean – O.K., so it’s literally the last thing you want to do pre-vaca, but a little house scrubbing now will pay off later. So, get to it. Want to spice things up and have fun? (Fun? While cleaning? Yes. You read that right.) Check out Better Homes and Gardens Five Fantastic Tips for Making Cleaning FUN! We especially love their number two suggestion: Get Good Gear. Might we suggest Shop-Vac® Home & Apartment Series Wet Dry Vacs? After all, there’s a lot less to scrub when you can just suck it away instead.

3.    Pets – Don’t forget your fur-babies. If you’re not taking them with you, make sure they’re taken care of. If family, friends, or a pet sitter will be watching your pets, ask them as soon as you can to avoid scheduling conflicts. And remember: Your pets will miss you. They will probably be a little sad and bored. Here’s 7 Ways to Entertain Your Pet While You’re Away. Pretty good ideas in there if you don’t want to come back to a house filled with sofa cushion guts everywhere. And be sure to bring the pets back something special. Animals love touristy trinkets too.

4.    Spare key – What if the key you gave the pet sitter doesn’t work or is lost? What if you have an emergency on your trip and grandma needs to get in the house to find important documents – but doesn’t have a key? It’s always a good idea to hide a spare key somewhere around the outside of the house. It’s easy these days. You can buy fake rocks, fake sprinklers, fake frogs… just about anything to hide your key. Just remember the key’s precise location to avoid grandma picking up a real frog in the backyard.

That’s it. You can go on your vacation now. Have fun at the beach or mountains or Walley World® or wherever you’re going. P.S. We like touristy trinkets too. Hint. Hint.

 

 

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