What to do before you leave on holiday

November 27, 2021

Yay we can leave on holiday… well, sort of. Finally after so much stress and in and out of constant and ever changing lockdowns we are free to leave with the confidence we can  actually get back, well, we’re mostly confident we can get back. There are still a few shut-off regions in Australia and international travel is limited, but hey, it’s there (at least for now) so it’s well worth taking advantage of our so-called “summer honeymoon” and get out there.

For some of us it’s just about finally getting to see relatives who live far away and getting that Christmas cuddle (and presents). For others, we’re sick and tired of staring at the walls of our small home and need to stretch our legs.

With the tourism industry looking to attract people back there are some great offers available, especially for domestic flights, and don’t forget if you are in NSW to use those travel vouchers and get our wonderful small communities thriving again.

Before you head out and away from home there are a few key things you’ll want to do, and if it’s been a while since your last vacation (yep, that’s just about all of us) you might benefit from a brush up on what to do to make your home safe and secure while you’re away and comfortable when you return.

Plan ahead to make your home safe

Here are some things to put in place a few weeks before you leave so you can rest and relax on your holiday knowing it’s all taken care of for you.

Have someone you trust check in on your place from time to time.

If you are heading away for more than seven days, ask someone you trust to drop in on the house every few days. They can bring in the mail, turn on the lights for 30 minutes or so in the evening and make sure everything inside is going okay. This is a really big one for storm areas or places where heavy rains and big winds can cause damage. You want to know about these as early as possible so leave contacts for how someone can get in touch with you that includes mobile phones as well as contacts for where you are staying if possible.

Know what you need to pack

It’s best to take some notes on the key things you need to pack while you think of them. Once you get packing there are too many things to think about and you are probably rushed so make a list now while you have a clear head. That means when you get to the beach or pool, you have your bathers and sunscreen! It’s also handy for those things you use all the time but don’t think about like phone chargers. It helps to do this while you are booking or checking your accommodation details because there might be some reminders there to take your own bedding or to pack in washing detergent for the laundry facilities.

Care for your pets

If you are heading away during peak holiday season the pet hotels book out fast so you will need to have booked well in advance. In our previous blog we went over some great options for What To Do With Your Pets When You Go On Holiday you can read about that in more detail on the link. When you know what option is best for your pet you can pack or plan for them as needed with some of the must-haves below:

Pack a pet bag before things get crazy

If your pets are going with you on holiday then you will need to pack for them as well. Pack in their regular food as well as some treats and water for the trip. In a situation where you can’t get to a supermarket straight away, some food on hand will take the edge off their stress when you arrive.

Meet the sitter

Having someone stay at your home to look after your pets cuts down the holiday preparation to-do list and keeps your pet stress levels low. Meet your sitter if they are from a service to be sure they are a good fit and to give you both a chance to ask questions and run through how a usual day looks. As a bonus a friend or pet sitting services staying over will also secure your home and water your plants!

Pack a nice smell

Dropping your pets at a friend's or relative’s place for a mini break? Pack in something familiar from home to calm their nerves like a blanket or an old t-shirt or towel you don’t mind sacrificing.

Notify your bank

Credit card scams are a big thing these days and cost the banks a lot of money. Because of this any irregular spending on your cards or account is going to show up as a red flag on their system. If you are heading interstate, and especially if you are going overseas, let your bank know where you are going and when so they can green light your ATM withdrawals and keep you moving.

Pay your bills in advance

If you don’t already have an automatic payment system on your utilities make sure you pay your bills as early as possible and in advance (if accepted by your provider). This way you can relax knowing everything has been covered while you are away, as well as give you some financial breathing space when you get back.

Use up your fridge and freezer foods

In the week leading up to your holiday, make as many meals from leftovers as you can to use up what is already in your fridge, especially those fruits and vegetables so you don’t have as much to throw away before you head out. Remember to compost rather than bin for a healthy and happy planet.

Record your shows or news programs

Record your favourite shows or any special programs running while you are away. If you are leaving overseas for a month or more it pays to record news programs from time to time as you won’t always hear about current events you missed.

Ways to make your home comfortable when you return

  • Put clean sheets on the bed
  • Clean out the fridge
  • Put some bottles of your favourite drinks in to chill, ready for when you get back.
  • Water the plants
  • Empty the rubbish bin

Before you leave the house make sure your home is secure.

  • Close and lock windows and any back and side doors.
  • Close curtains and blinds
  • Turn off the taps connected to the washing machine
  • Turn off every power point at the wall and unplug your devices (unless you need an item running like the fridge or the TV box for recording your shows
  • Check the door is locked before you leave (make sure the keys are with you or delivered to the person looking after your property.

One thing I’d actually like to say as well is to look up maps to reach your destination and the surrounding areas before you go so you are familiar with them. We do rely heavily on GPS and while it usually goes okay, it doesn’t always so if you take a look at driving times, routes and things to do in the area before plugging in your directions to your destination on your phone, you have a better chance of releasing early on when something isn’t right and you have a more accurate way of knowing how long to expect to get to destinations and activities so you can make the most of your time away. That’s it. If you have any other travel tips, send them through.

Happy and safe travels everyone!

Who is Peta Stewart?

Award-winning conveyancer. Entrepreneur. Business mentor. Women’s cycling advocate. These are just some of the ways Peta Stewart is introduced. What ties them together is a steely determination to help people achieve their life goals and have fun in the process.

In 2004, Peta became the first licensed conveyancer in the Albury Wodonga greater region. Five years later, she launched her own business and started shaking up the industry with a good dose of personality, integrity and humanity.

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