Earl Wilson once said, "A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.", one of the most apt meanings of the word ‘vacation’. This Vacayholics checklist makes your life easier by jotting down just what you need to do before you take leave.
Plan Your Return Before You Leave!
☑ Make the beds with crisp, clean sheets for a comfortable first night on return.
☑ Stock the fridge with cereal, coffee, and shelf-stable milk for a trouble-free breakfast.
☑ Install room fresheners to avoid walking into a smelly house.
☑ Sweep all rooms so that you are welcomed by a clean home.
Trust me, this is not at all a lot to ask for. You don’t want to come back from your trip to an empty refrigerator, messy bed sheets, and smelly rooms. Planning ahead sure does go a long way.
Clearly, the word ‘excitement’ doesn’t even begin to cover what you are feeling right now, just as you are getting ready to leave on your most-awaited trip. But, in all the rush, don’t forget these most important things you need to do so that you enjoy a hassle-free vacation.
Make this one a memorable trip but surely, not by virtue of the problems you had along the way!
Things To Do at Home Before You Leave
☑ Empty your Refrigerator
Stop loading it with supplies, a couple of days before your day of departure. Leaving the fridge stocked with food will only make the food stale, and the fridge smelly. However, do stock up enough shelf-stable supplies for easy-to-prepare meals on the day of your return.
☑ Hold Mail and Suspend Newspaper Delivery
Overflowing mailboxes and newspaper stands attract unwanted attention and suspicion. Plus, it’s just extra work for you to clear them out when you get back from your relaxing vacation.
☑ Arrange Pet and Plant care
Some people take their pets on the vacation with them. If you are one of them, make a separate checklist of things to do while taking your pet on a vacation. If you plan to leave it behind, make proper arrangements for its stay and food. Make arrangements for timely watering of your pet plants and mowing of your lawn.
☑ Do the Laundry
Leaving undone laundry behind is a bad idea. It will not only affect the quality and longevity of your clothes, but also make your washing machine messy, by attracting pests and fleas, and make it stink.
☑ Pay your Bills
You wouldn’t want your bank, or your landlord, to call you up in the middle of your exotic spa session, and start ranting about unpaid bills, expiry dates, and overdue.
☑ Ensure Asset Safety
Secure cash, gold, and important documents in lockers or safety deposit boxes. This way, you can enjoy your vacation in a more carefree way.
☑ Hire a House-sitter
Leaving your house unattended for a long time is unsafe for the most obvious of reasons. Hire someone who can check up on your haven every once in a while at different intervals.
☑ Check the Main Water Supply
Imagine what might happen to your home if a faucet or pipe begins to leak while you’re away. Scary, isn’t it? To save yourself the trouble, turn off the main water supply to avoid a potential catastrophic water leakage in your home.
☑ Make Appropriate Adjustments in your Thermostat
Turn it up if it’s a summer vacation you are leaving for, and down if you are headed out in the winters.
☑ Set Timers on All the Lights
Timers will ensure that lights go and off at different times of the day. This trick will mislead burglars into believing that the house is occupied, when actually it is not.
Things To Do at Work Before You Leave
☑ Inform the Management
Always, always do this! Apply for leave well in advance. This way it becomes easier for you as well as your colleagues and the management to plan work. Depending on the duration of your leave, work can be distributed among other members of your team, and your responsibility can be shared to maintain uninterrupted flow of work.
☑ Set Targets
Try to accomplish your targets before you leave. Just because you fail to meet your targets, others shouldn’t suffer when you leave them lurking clueless. Do this to enjoy a guilt-free vacation.
☑ Delegate Effectively
If you head a team, delegate proper roles and responsibilities before you leave. Effective and appropriate delegation of work and responsibilities will ensure streamlined and uninterrupted work flow even in your absence.
☑ Leave Communication Details
You never know what emergencies may need your attention while you are away. Always leave multiple contact details (your number, the hotel’s number, co-travelers’ numbers, etc). Do mention that you should be called only in case of dire emergencies.
☑ De-clutter your Desk
Before you leave for your sweet little vacation, make sure you tidy up your desk. It just makes the office a better place for your colleagues, unlike you who is enjoying mind-blowing sunsets and beautiful lakes as a daily view.
Things To Do To Ensure That Your Vacation is a Success
☑ Make Confirmations in Advance
Confirm your room and travel reservations (flight, hired cars, etc.) days before you actually leave for your vacation. Do this to avoid last-minute cancellations, changes in the hotel’s policies, or any other misunderstandings.
☑ Plan a Travel Itinerary
Unless you have set out on an impromptu trip, drafting a travel itinerary is most essential. Another way to enjoy a hassle-free vacation.
☑ Note Down Emergency Numbers
Keep these numbers at a handy place which is easily accessible. You will require these numbers in case of an emergency; you don’t want to fumble in such a situation.
☑ Inform only Close Relatives
Inform a few people about the details of your trip, and tell them that unless it is an emergency, you shouldn’t be disturbed.
☑ Notify Patrol Police
To ensure safety, request the patrol police to frequent the surroundings around your home more often and with increased vigilance.
Things To Do to Ensure Medical, Financial, and Travel Ease
☑ Confirm Travel Documents
Documents can sometimes be life saviors on a vacation. These include boarding passes, passports, visas, a specific dictionary (if traveling to a foreign land), credit cards, ID proof, etc.
☑ Confirm Medical Insurance
An out-of-town, away-from-home-and-your-doctor medical emergency is the last thing you want on your vacation. But, just in case, make sure that you are clear on the policies and facilities your medical insurance provides when you are traveling.
☑ Confirm Travel Insurance
What’s better than a vacation? A vacation that’s fully (or mostly) insured! Speak to your travel agent about the plans your travel insurance covers, and you might enjoy stuff at less than half the rates.
☑ Carry Extra Prescription Medicines
You can forget anything but not your medicines and a compact first-aid kit (guide/manual, antiseptic and alcohol wipes, soap strips, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic cream, thermometer, instant cold packs, sterile bandages and dressings, aspirin, scissors, tweezers, crepe bandages, safety pins).
If going on a vacation to someplace that you know was hit by an epidemics or disease breakouts in the recent past, make sure that you strengthen your immune system by having appropriate vaccines.
☑ Call your Bank
Let your bank know that you are traveling. This way the bank is aware that it is you who is using your cards abroad.
Things To Do Just Before you Step Out of Your Home
☑ Unplug Appliances
Honestly, there’s no point in keeping the electricity meters running with no one in the house. It will also prevent accidental fires or damage due to a short-circuit.
☑ Secure Doors and Windows
Make sure that you double-check all doors and windows. Leave no room for any potential mishap.
☑ Check the Luggage
This includes toothbrushes, shaving and first-aid kits, phone and laptop chargers, clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.
☑ Take Out the Garbage
A smelly and flea-infested kitchen, and germ-hoarded home will only add to your frustration. Avoid this, take a walk, and empty that garbage can.
☑ Draw those Curtains
After locking the doors and windows, you also need to draw all curtains. This way you half ensure that your home is free from the gaze of unfriendly neighbors and notorious burglars. Shift valuables and expensive objects away from the plain line of sight.
☑ Label your Luggage
With a sign or code language that only you and your family members or friends can recognize. Refrain from mentioning phone numbers or home addresses, as this information can be misused (in case you are unfortunately robbed of your bags and baggage).
☑ Leave a General Voicemail Message
In a voicemail message, never mention the details of your travel. Your callers should know you are away but not for how long, as this would mean more-than-necessary information for some callers.
☑ Empty your Wallet
Hold on! Not by removing all the money and credit cards from it! How do you plan to pay for your exorbitant travel and food expenses, then? Just take out the cards that you know you won’t use. By doing this, you ensure that if you do fall prey to a theft, you’ll be required to cancel lesser number of cards.
Save this list on your personal computer. Along the way, add points to list every time you come across things-to-do that are noteworthy. This list is a keepsake that will be of use to you every time you head out for a vacation. Happy Traveling!