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18 Important Things to do before going on Vacation

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Intro: Going on Vacation

There is much preparation that goes into actually going on vacations. Aside from making the arrangements and coordinating logistics for the actual vacation whether you’re going far or staying closer to home, there’s always some planning involved. Once all of the details are set and you’re ready to actually go on your vacation, be sure you’re prepared by completing the following things at home before you leave. 

18 Things to Do at Home

Here’s a list of things to do at home before going on vacation (beyond packing!). Being prepared for vacation before you leave for an extended time is crucial in enjoying your time away and coming home to be more relaxed. 

1. Tell a Neighbor

Depending on your living situation, if you have a neighbor you trust and are close with informing them you’ll be traveling is a good idea. Then if anything seems off on your property they can keep an eye out for you.

2. Refrigerator

Nothing is worse than coming home from an extended time away to a funky smell in your refrigerator. Before leaving for vacation, try to strategically eat or use any fresh produce even if that means vacuum sealing it and throwing it in the freezer! 

Ensure that any leftovers in Tupperware or Pyrex are eaten or it’s disposed of before you leave. The same goes for any takeout or paper containers. Eat any leftovers or dispose of them/save them.

Once you’ve done that, wipe down the refrigerator inside and take inventory of items you may need once you return home, and add those to a grocery list for your post vacation shopping trip.

3. Clean

This isn’t necessarily at the top of everyone’s list of things to do before leaving on vacation. But, ensure your home has been tidied and cleaned. That means folding the blankets on the couch tidying up the living spaces free of clutter and wiping down the counters in the kitchen in addition to deep cleaning.

Ensure your bathrooms and floors are cleaned, your robot vacuum is programmed to run while you’re away on vacation and things are put in their respective places.

4. Trash

Once you’ve cleaned out the refrigerator, cleaned surfaces, and tidied up make sure you take out the trash. Items you may have discarded from the refrigerator need to go out so they’re not sitting in the garbage rotting and making a stinky mess.

The trash should be taken out all the way to the receptacles outdoors to eliminate the possibility of unwanted smells over time. 

5. Do Laundry

Making sure you’re up to date on your laundry and there are no lingering piles to do when you leave will make coming home a lot smoother. Depending on how long you’re leaving on vacation, you will have considerable laundry to do once you return as it is! Do not compound it by not doing your laundry before leaving! 

If I have time, I like to wash my sheets and all of the bedding as well. It’s nice to come home to a clean house with fresh sheets after possibly a long bout of traveling home to feel just cozy and fresh.

6. Make the bed

I’m a strong believer in making your bed every day! It just starts the day off on a good note immediately accomplishing something. After washing the sheets, making the bed so everything is tidy and in place just makes your home a place you want to return to.

7. Smart home timers

If your home is set up with any smart home plug-ins, lighting or timers ensure that they are set. You can change some settings so they don’t always come on at the same exact time each day, but just having some lights on regularly while you are away will create the illusion that you’re home.

8. Heating & Cooling

Depending on the time of year, set your thermostat either warmer or cooler than you would like it if you’re home. Don’t completely turn it off, but just be realistic and energy efficient because you won’t be there so it doesn’t necessarily need to be at a comfortable temperature.

If your thermostat has the capability for scheduling or programming it I would do so a little bit before you arrive back home so it’s at a comfortable temperature by then. 

9. Secure valuables

Definitely up there on things to do before vacation is securing your valuables at home. If you have a safe, I would ensure any valuables you’re leaving behind at your residence are secured within it. If anyone was to enter your property while you’re away, it’s just an additional layer of protection.

10. Notify Bank & Credit Cards

Notify your banking institution as well as your credit cards that you will be traveling. If  you use any type of online banking, this is pretty easy. There’s normally a form that you can fill out where you detail your plans and where you’re traveling along with the dates. The company will keep that on file and will refer to it before causing any red flags or fraud alerts to be triggered.

11. Currency

When traveling Internationally, I always like to have at least some currency on me for my destination. It isn’t always needed but it’s costly to get foreign currency in airports. Also, depending on your bank there may only be certain ATMs you can use that won’t charge you additional fees. Typically you can order foreign currency in advance (depending on your bank and what currency you need.) 

Then they will notify you when it’s ready to come and pick it up prior to your trip. Be sure to do this 2 – 3 weeks in advance of when you’re going on vacation. 

12. Confirm Reservations

This is one of my top travel tips! It seems so silly, but confirm your plans and reservations prior to leaving. Check the details of your flight(s) if applicable and all of your accommodations. It’s a real bummer when you’re actually on vacation and realize you made a snafu when booking and accidentally forgot a day! (Believe me, it’s happened before!) And you can definitely do without this type of stress while on vacation! It’s best just to do a once-over to alleviate any possible logistics 

13. Bills & Autopay

Before you go on vacation, be sure to review your budget and bills. These days most people’s bills are on autopay but just double-check that your bills are set to be paid while you’re away so you don’t have to worry about it while you’re on vacation.

14. Mail Hold

Depending on how long you’re going on vacation for, it’s a good idea to put your USPS mail on hold. If you have an account on you can go online and fill out a form for a mail hold saying you do not want your mail to be delivered for whatever timeframe. You will indicate when you’ll return and the mail hold will no longer be in place. This is when you will receive all of your mail that came over the course of your vacation.

15. Wallet

More than likely you will be taking your wallet with you on vacation. But, you might not need ALL of your credit cards or loyalty cards, etc. So, go through your wallet and leave the non-essentials at home. Typically I only carry two credit cards and my bank card with me when I travel. Just in case something were to happen if you lost or misplaced your wallet, it’s better to not have absolutely everything in it.

16. Document copies

Make copies of important documents to leave at home and have a digital version. Examples of this include flight information, where you’re staying, and copies of passports or IDs. Typically a digital copy of all of these is great and then you can even email it to family or friends.

I usually also keep a scanned copy of my passport with me while I am traveling. If it is lost and you have to go to the embassy, at least having that will help.

17. Weather

Sure, when you initially start to pack you check the weather. But, it’s always important to check it again closer to when you leave. You can get a more accurate representation of what to expect while going on vacation there by looking at a 10-day forecast. You may want to throw in an additional sweater or jacket and tweak some of the items you were planning on packing accordingly. 

18. Security

The last thing, literally before you’re going on vacation and walking out the door is to ensure you lock all of your doors & set the alarm. You want to have your house be as secure as possible while you’re away so you don’t have to worry!

FAQs: (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How do you say I’m going on vacation?

I’m going on vacation is a perfectly acceptable way to state it. However, the British (and other Europeans) sometimes will refer to a vacation as going on holiday. Going on holiday would be the equivalent of saying you’re going on a vacation. Other ways to state it would be I’m traveling, I’ll be out of the office, or unavailable. 

How many times should a person go on vacation?

As much as you possibly can! Going on vacation depends on several factors such as the cost, time off from work, and other obligations you may have. Making it a goal to go on at least a few vacations a year can positively affect your physical and mental well-being. 

What does it mean to go on vacation?

Going on a vacation means going somewhere you do not reside full time for a short amount of time to take a break from your day-to-day responsibilities. It isn’t necessarily a vacation if you’re still working and not doing things that you enjoy. A vacation gives you a reprieve and something new.

Does going on vacation make you happier?

Yes! Unless you really don’t like going places you haven’t been before, vacation generally makes people happier. Gives you a greater sense of how you fit into the world and that life isn’t always about the things that are familiar and boring. However, some people vacation to the same spot repeatedly.

Why do people go on vacation?

The motivation for people to go on vacation is different for each person. More broadly people want a break from day-to-day life. To experience different scenery, food, cultures, or experiences that differ from where they live. It’s to appreciate the world around us and the beautiful diversity of people, places, and things. 

Is going on vacation alone weird?

For some people going on vacation alone may be weird. For many, it’s a chance to seek solitude. It might be weird or feel awkward, but go anyway! Many people will go on a solo adventure to learn more about themselves and even as an excuse to find themselves or have the time to think through something troubling them.

Should I go on vacation alone?

Yes! If you’re at all considering it, do it! Many people find that they realize you don’t need someone else to rely on and that you truly can do it yourself. This can be a very empowering experience! But you can feel lonely sometimes. There are plenty of group opportunities for tours and activities to combat those feelings.

Should I go on a vacation or save money?

Both! You can be both fiscally responsible and go on vacation. The vacation may look a little different and more budget-friendly. But, if there’s a will there’s a way! It comes down to your priorities and what is more important to you. You can leverage rewards and credit card points to capitalize what you spend already into “free” travel perks.

Inspiration for Going on Vacation

Now that you know what to do before you’re leaving for vacation, here’s some inspiration to plan your next trip.

15 day Italy itinerary

7 days in Iceland

7 days in Ireland

New York City Thanksgiving itinerary

Minnesota Vacation Travel Guide

Top Tips for Visiting Mall of America

Conclusion: Going on Vacation

Preparation is key to get ready for vacation.

Hope this helped to make you more prepared for going on vacation. Are there any things that you do that I forgot? I’d love to hear them, send me an email via the contact me section of my website or send me a DM on social media!

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