Travel tips: how to prepare your home before going on vacation

Preparing your home before a trip can make coming home less daunting. Photo / Unsplash

Whether you’re going for a short weekend on the road or going on a longer vacation, there’s a lot of stress that can be avoided by getting everything in order at home before you leave.

While the rush before a trip can make travelers feel like they have no time to waste, taking a few moments to get organized could reward you with a smoother return trip. It will also help prevent nightmare scenarios – no one wants to come home to foul odors, sky-high electric bills, or unexpected infestations.

Get rid of leftover food and trash

This is one of the most important tasks to complete to ensure your space is ready for your absence. Taking out the trash, emptying perishables from the fridge, fruit bowls and pantry, as well as cleaning dirty dishes, will make your home safer in several ways.

First, it will prevent odors and mold. Secondly, you will divert the interest of unwanted creatures – even a few “harmless” crumbs could make you popular with critters and rodents. Finally, it leaves your storage areas ready for the hearty grocery store you’ll likely make when you return.


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Giving your plants a little love before the trip can make all the difference.  Photo / 123RF
Giving your plants a little love before the trip can make all the difference. Photo / 123RF

Water your plants

This step is very easy to forget, especially when you’re going on a short trip and you don’t have a house sitter. Be sure to keep your plants well hydrated before your trip and install a watering system if your itinerary calls for it. On a short trip, you can fill a sink or bathtub with some fresh water, if you have very thirsty plants (just make sure you have turned off the taps!).

Turn off devices

Turning off appliances can help you save money on your electric bill and conserve energy usage. This also includes turning off all lights and checking that wall outlets, not just the appliances themselves, are turned off.

Clean up your space

Tidying up your space can make coming home less daunting, but it’s also handy for getting rid of crumbs and junk scattered in places that aren’t immediately obvious. It can also help you locate items crucial to your travels that might have wandered around in a panic before the trip.

Clean, crisp sheets could help you regain your energy after vacation.  Photo / Provided
Clean, crisp sheets could help you regain your energy after vacation. Photo / Provided

Arrange fresh leaves

While this step can be handy for preventing odors and keeping a clean space, it’s also a luxury to treat yourself to your future self. Coming home after a trip can make you feel tired and, if you say goodbye to the holidays, a little sad. By providing you with comfort and clean bedding, the first sleep at home will be rejuvenating, giving you the best chance of recovery after the holidays.


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close windows

Securing windows and doors before you leave is the last thing to check off the pre-departure list. Making sure every entrance has working locks is something you might want to check a few days before too, so you don’t end up with a nightmarish DIY right before departure.

Check your schedule

If you have a big commitment very close to your return time, it may be beneficial to organize the things you will need for that event. You may need to pack some clothes, pack a bag, get some important work done, or brief important people on key details. Doing these things can mean that you are also completely relaxed during the holidays and not worried about transitioning into everyday life.

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