I am ready to go BUT am I ready to leave?!
When planning for a vacation I am all about what can we do abroad, how much can we see, what can we fit into this adventure in, what can we afford, where can we hike, what do I have to pack, etc. This is all the exciting ‘looking ahead’ stuff but there is also some basic bits to think about related to what you are ‘leaving behind’!
From my brain to yours, here is a list of some of the things to consider and put in motion at home before you leave for your epic adventure.
- Mobile Phone: are you planning on using your current provider from home while you are abroad? Probably not. Consider suspending your mobile plan for the time you are gone, most providers are willing to do this without any fee or just a small fee. You can still take your phone and use it on Wi-Fi without the added concern that you might accidentally turn on your back home cellular service and pay a king’s ransom when all the texts you missed start flooding in!
- Car Insurance: are you just parking your car at home while you are gone? Consider reverting your insurance to just storage for the time you are gone. There is a small fee to do so but depending on how long you are gone and your insurance rates this can save you quite a few bucks!
- Utilities: will you house be all by itself while you are gone? Consider putting your home into power saving mode (home hibernation). Turn off the heater or furnace (for those in cold climates you may need to leave a little heat on), close and lock all windows, unplug all appliances (unused but plugged in appliances still draw power), make sure no taps are dripping, etc.
- Stuff Safety: is your home going to be safe without you? Consider asking a neighbour to swing by and pick up the paper or mail, have a light or the TV on a timer to turn on and off at different times to give the illusion someone is home, lock those windows (consider putting a bar or stick in the inside window seal as another extra way to prevent it from opening from the outside. Ask a someone to keep an eye on the place, and set your alarm before you go.
- Fuzzy loved ones: if you are leaving a pet(s) behind with a family member or friend make sure they know your fur baby’s routine. Pets can get pretty anxious when their fur mama or papa is away for a long time and just like skin babies, fur babies handle anxiety better when there is routine. Ask your fur sitter to feed, cuddle and walk your pet at the same times as you would. Make sure you leave enough food, treats (ok a few extra treats!), toys and the Veterinarian contact details behind. Might also be worth having a discussion on vet bills. If your friend took your pet to the vet while you are away are your worried about how much it might cost. Let them know how you feel and how they can reach you if this happens.
- Non-fuzzy loved ones: family and friends can be a bit worried for you when you are leaving on a lengthy vacation. Let the folks you know that will worry or would expect to hear from you during the trip an idea of what you are up to (sharing a quick itinerary and contact information for where they can reach you goes a long way to put their worry to rest). Even if you can’t name the hotel or hostel, just having an idea of the city you will be in helps – especially if your family watches the news!
- Your Safety: you are so excited to go and would hate to think that anything will happen to you while you are gone … but travel is full of surprises so you need to plan for awesome and be prepared for hiccups. Leave a copy of your passport, birth certificate, travel insurance, and itinerary with a key family or friend who you could reach anytime if needed from abroad. If you lose your passport, are in an accident, or some other not-fun thing; this person has the info needed to help you get back on track or speak on your behalf to a medical facility or Embassy.
- House Sitter: if you are lucky enough to have a house sitter, you can basically disregard the Stuff Safety section above! A few tips though for if you do have a house sitter: make sure they are trustworthy, let them know how all of the 5 remotes on the coffee table work, speaking of coffee … make sure they know how to use your coffee maker, tell them when garbage and recycle is picked up, give them insight on any weird tricks around the house (i.e. if you have to hip check the washing machine for it to go from rinse to spin cycle). Oh and if possible introduce them to or at least tell your neighbours someone is staying at your place! Leave them a welcome to your new-temporary-home present. We are leaving our house sitter and fuzzy, cute, lovable, moderately annoying Jack Russell named Lady Jane as her present!
- Clean it: nothing better than coming home after a trip abroad and just dropping your bags at the door, kicking off those dusty boots and get right down to chilling out in your own space. This feels much better when you come home to a clean house, clean sheets, happy bathroom (that means clean in our family), etc. No mess, no worries!
Well with all the above in mind, I am currently working on number 9 (my bathroom is still not completely happy, joyful but not quite happy rating) and also working on number 8 too for when our friend comes on Saturday to take over the place and love up our pooch for the 6 weeks we are gallivanting in Africa.
Speaking of fuzzing loved ones …
PS: You read that right, just 2 sleeps left!
PSS: I was looking forward to a nice quiet sleep tonight now that I am so prepared to go .. and then I got on the phone with my sister Shar and then my sister Hailey and now I am all beyond excited again! Thanks sisters! I think that bathroom is going to get extra happy clean with all this energy I have!