It’s always an exciting time when you’re planning a vacation. However, with the excitement of booking flights, hotel arrangements, and other travel plans, it’s easy to forget the things you need to take care of at home before leaving. If you fail to properly prepare your apartment before heading out, it can lead to major headaches when you get back from your travels. In order to avoid this, follow these tips for preparing your apartment before you go.
Inform Your Landlord: There may be something in your lease about the pre-vacation procedure. Read your agreement, then give your landlord a written note of when you’re leaving and when you’ll be back.
Think About Your Car: If you’re going to leave the car at your apartment while away, make sure it is safe. First, take all valuables out, make sure all the windows are rolled up tightly and double check the doors are locked. If you have a designated parking spot, keep it parked there. Otherwise, make sure that you park your car in a well-lighted area to deter break-ins. If you have a friend or acquaintance in the building ask them to check on your vehicle and leave them your contact info while away in case anything happens.
Adjust Your Thermostat: You want to be comfortable when you’re at home, but when you’re away, you can save money and energy by letting the temperature creep up a little. If it is winter, set the thermostat at 50 degrees to keep the pipes from freezing. If it is summer, shut your air conditioner off to keep from paying to cool the apartment while you are away.
Ask a friend or neighbor to check on things while you’re gone: If you are going on an extended vacation as snow birds do frequently, it’s very important to have someone check on things while you’re gone. If you can get a friend or family member to stay in your apartment, that is the ideal solution otherwise invest in a timer that’ll turn on your lights at certain times of the evening. However, just having a friend come by every couple days to water your plants and check on things is okay, too. Check you’re insurance policy to ensure that your coverage does not have a home vacancy clause that makes it invalid if you are away for more than a described period. Many policies have this regulation.
Manage your mail: If you have someone who is looking after your place, have them collect the mail also. However, if you’re unable to find anyone to check on your apartment while you are on vacation, go to the post office to fill out a form and stop your mail from being delivered while you’re gone. The local post office will hold mail instead of delivering it to your mailbox.
Unplug Electronics: Just before you leave, unplug all electronics in your home with the exception of your refrigerator. Keep in mind that electronic items use electricity when they are plugged in even when turned off. This is less wasteful and may save you a few bucks in costs.