The holidays are known to be one of the most popular times for travel. Whether you are visiting with relatives & friends or jetting off to discover a new destination, you can ensure that your apartment is ready for your absence with these seven essential tips.
Tidy Up and Take Out the Garbage
We recommend cleaning your apartment and removing any garbage as well as going the extra mile where you can. For instance, if you have a food trap in your dishwasher or sink make sure to clean it out before you leave. Take a close look in your fridge and use up any food that could spoil while you're away. Do your laundry so that the only washing you'll have when you return is what's in your suitcase. By taking these steps not only will you avoid any mysterious odors but you will reduce the amount of chores to do when you come home.
Unplug Appliances & Electronics
Unplug all unnecessary appliances and electronics before you leave. If you happen to pay for your own electricity this will help you save money on your electricity bill. Unplugging these items also helps protect your valuable electronics in the unlikely (but not impossible) case of a power surge. You should turn the ringer on your home phone down or mute it completely. Finally, if you have a bedside alarm clock make sure that it is shut off.
Put a Pause on Parcels & Prepay Your Bills
It's a good idea to avoid making any online purchases leading up to your departure, in case the parcel arrives while you are gone. Something else that may come in the mail while you're away are bills. Don't fall behind simply because you are on holidays. You can prepay bills or set up automatic payments in order to avoid any late penalties.
Prepare Your Pets & Plants
Whether your pets are travelling with you or staying with a sitter, you will need to dedicate some time to adequately prepare and pack their food, bedding and toys. We also recommend cleaning out their litterbox and food bowls before you leave.
If you have house plants you may want to move them, arrange for someone to come water them, or leave them with a friend or family member. Another option that may work for you depending on the type of plant is a self-watering plant stake.
Protect Against Burglars
An apartment that appears to be empty can easily draw the attention of the wrong person. Using plug-in timers for lamps and a radio can make it appear as though your apartment is occupied. You can also turn an old iPhone or iPad into a security camera through the use of an app called Presence. Do one last check before you take off to ensure that the windows and doors are locked. As a failsafe, renter's insurance can help to provide peace of mind in case the worst were to happen.
Additionally, if you are leaving your car parked, be sure to remove any valuables, roll up your windows and double check that the doors are locked.
Let a Trusted Person Know
If you will be away for an extended period of time, you should notify your property manager, a close friend or a family member. This person should have your travel itinerary, best contact number(s) in case of an emergency and a spare key to your apartment. Don't forget to take down their contact details as well so that you can easily reach them if need be.
Be Ready for Your Return
Make sure that your first meal back is hassle-free. You can leave yourself a pre-made meal such as a soup or casserole in the freezer or have ingredients ready to go in your pantry. If you have a late arrival time, lay out a pair of pyjamas. One last tip: wash your bedding before you go. It's always a nice treat to come home to clean sheets.
How do you prepare your apartment for your absence? Let us know your tips in the comments below!