It is holiday time! You have waited a serious amount of time for this monumental moment. The getaway! The time away from work! The all-inclusive bar and the children’s holiday club. Let the good times begin…
Except, wait just a minute. Before you leave your home behind for your sojourn into relaxation, let’s go through a pre-holiday checklist. As depressing as this sounds, you need to do some adulting before you can fully give into fun.
Room by Room
You should take the time to visit each room in your house and make some checks. First, you need to switch off all electrical items, barring the fridge/ freezer. We are in the business of saving money and the planet too. Switch stuff at the wall, especially TVs and monitors, which will continue to burn through electricity on standby.
Take time to programme your heating to come on for an hour a day. It is tempting to switch off central heating and underfloor heating when away. However, in winter, especially, a frozen pipe could mean the difference between a happy return and an enormous repair bill.
You should also take the time to clean before you leave too. If all you do is push the hoover around, you will be pleased when you return. However, you should genuinely think about emptying all the bins, especially in the kitchen and bathroom. No one needs that smell when they get back. You should also empty food out of the fridge that is likely to go off while you are away. Check your cupboards too. You need to be sure to clear our perishables.
Opening the washing machine and dishwasher’s doors will also prevent mouldy smells, as will airing the bathroom before you leave.
However, there are also tasks you can do to keep the relaxation going on your return. For instance, why not change your bed linen. There is nothing more delicious than the first night under clean bedding, and what a way to return home. Also, plonk a pizza in the freezer and grab yourself some long-life milk. It will stop you starving in the middle of the night when you are still in a different time zone in your mind.
Safe and secure
First, let’s talk about pets and plants.
You will have long made plans for someone to look after the family dog or cat; they are, after all, a loved part of your clan. However, you should also be sure to have that plan B ready- the just in case option.
Your plants will also need some attention while you are away. The good thing about inviting someone in to water the plants is that they can also pick up the mail from the mat and check that everything is secure. They can also be the keeper of your spare keys, which are not safe in your sock draw!
With your deliveries cancelled and the neighbours informed you will be away, you can be sure that you have done enough to counter the possibility of intrusion. However, you should really go around all your doors and windows and make sure they are locked. If you are leaving your car behind, you should lock it in the garage if you can. As a minimum, you should ensure the car keys are not left in the house.
There is some final life admin you need to do before you can jet off. First, you need to tell your bank you are going to be away. Imagine you are in that beautiful little bakery on the corner trying your best Spanish, and your card is declined. Your phrasebook doesn’t seem to offer you the “oops, I can’t pay” option. By telling your bank you will be abroad, you prevent the possibility that your card is frozen while you are away.
You should also contact your mobile phone company. You obviously want to stay connected while you are away, but the cost could be devastating. First, you will want to check if you have network coverage where you are going. If not, you might want to buy yourself a holiday phone when you arrive, a cheap one with a sim card.
If you do have network coverage, you should then double-check the roaming charges. People have been stung for thousands of pounds of data charges because they didn’t realise how expensive it was. It is one of those things that could ruin your holiday.
While all this is boring grown-up stuff, this checklist will help you enjoy your time away without worry. And those small moments of thoughtfulness now can help you feel just perfect when you return home later.