With hot August approaching & Labor Day looming, I thought that this might be a good time to take a look at your home before you go on your vacation.
1. Take photographs of your passport, the labels on all your prescription medicine bottles, health insurance and anything else that you think you might need.
2. Adjust your thermostat. AC is a must during the summer months. Adjust the AC thermostat several degrees higher to save on your electric bill but never turn off. Many items can be destroyed by intense heat i.e. guitars & vinyl records warp. Adjust the heat too but never shut off. Plumbing pipes can freeze & burst in the winter months but lucky for us, not an issue in LA.
3. Turn on your email auto-response. Do this even if you are planning on checking email. It will relieve you of the pressure to answer quickly and reduce the number of emails you get.
4. Put the phone number of your airline in your cell phone speed dial. Put your fight info in your phone or save flight/hotel confirmation email.
5. Tell your credit card company you are going to be using the card away from home, so they won't assume the card was stolen and refuse the charges.
6. Hold all your mail and newspapers -- unless you want everybody (including burglars) to know you are not home.
7. Consider having someone keep an eye on your house when you are gone. Suggest that you give that person a key to the house in case of emergency and for a walk thru to make sure the house is secured & operating correctly. The person can bring in your trash barrels back to your yard too.
8. If you have a hidden spare key, remove it. The key is easily found by the professional thief.
9. Don't blab to everyone that you're on vacation. Who is reading your Facebook & Twitter feeds?
10. If you have windows where people can see into your house, close the curtains. Some blinds can be angled up so the light comes in but no one can see in. If you live in an area where burglary is a real concern you might want to look into timers so a lamp or two turns on at night -- and off during the day.
12. Check all windows & doors to make sure they are secured & locked. Don't about forget doggie/cat door.
13. Consider turning off all the water but at least turn off the water supply to your to washing machines, dishwashers, ice-makers and toilets.
14. Unplug toasters, TVs, computers etc.
15. Remove from your wallet anything you do not want or need when traveling.
16. Pay all bills that will be due while you're away.
17. Give any food that might spoil while you are away to a friend -- unless of course you are trying to grow the next miracle antibiotic.
18. Make sure you have not left any wet clothes in your washing machine or drier.
19. Don't leave any dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
20. You may want to hid computers, ipads, jewelry etc.
21. Water your plants. If you are going to be away for a long time, arrange to have them watered periodically. A neighbor's child would be happy to earn a little money.
22. Take out the garbage.
23. Make sure the proper people know how to get in touch with you if they need to. I'm not sure why, but my business picks up when I go on vacation.
24. If you left your car at an airport parking lot, write down exactly where you left the car so you can find it when you get back. Many phones have reminders list.
Arrange for pets to be taken care of while you're gone. Don't forget to clean out the litter boxes, animal/rodent cages and fish tanks.
Copyright@huffingtonpost.com/michael-kaye 10/31/2012 Rewrite by Barbara Allen 7/17/2015