Preparing Your Apartment for Vacation: 24 Must-Do Tasks
Leaving for a vacation is an exciting time, filled with dreams of adventure and relaxation. But before you head out the door, it’s important to ensure that your apartment is secure, energy-efficient, and ready to welcome you back. ✈️🏝️🌅
Apartment living comes with unique considerations, from locking up to managing your belongings, and we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of 24 essential tasks to complete before embarking on your journey. We’ve also included three common vacation myths to consider. By following these steps, you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation with peace of mind, knowing your apartment is in good hands.
1. Lock All Doors and Windows 🔐🚪
Before you leave, make sure all entry points to your apartment are securely locked. Check windows, sliding doors, and any other potential entrances to prevent unauthorized access.
2. Unplug Appliances 🔌🏠
Unplug non-essential appliances like toasters, coffee makers, and chargers to save energy and reduce fire hazards.
3. Adjust Thermostat 🌡️🏠
Set your thermostat to a more energy-efficient temperature. During the summer, you can raise the temperature a few degrees, and in the winter, lower it to conserve energy.
4. Turn Off Lights 💡🔌
Switch off all lights to save on electricity. If you want to create the illusion that someone is home, use timers or smart plugs to control your lights remotely.
5. Check Faucets and Appliances 🚿🔍
Double-check that all faucets are turned off, and ensure no appliances using water, like washing machines or dishwashers, are left running.
6. Empty Trash 🗑️🚮
Dispose of any perishable items from the refrigerator and take out the trash. This will prevent unpleasant odors and avoid attracting pests.
7. Clean Out Fridge 🍏🥦
Remove perishable food items from your refrigerator to prevent mold and spoilage during your absence.
8. Secure Valuables 🔐💰
Store your valuable items, such as jewelry and important documents, in a secure location or a home safe.
9. Water Plants 🌱💧
If you have indoor plants, water them adequately before leaving or ask a trusted friend or neighbour to take care of them.
10. Set Up Mail Hold 📬🛑
Contact your local post office to hold your mail while you’re away or ask a neighbour to collect it for you. An overflowing mailbox can signal your absence.
11. Arrange for Pet Care 🐾🏡
If you have pets, make arrangements for their care. This could be through a pet sitter, a friend, or a kennel.
12. Notify a Trusted Neighbour 🏠🔔
Inform a neighbour you trust about your travel plans. They can help keep an eye on your apartment and report any unusual activities.
13. Check Smoke Alarms 🚨🏠
Ensure that your smoke detectors are in working order and replace their batteries if needed to maintain safety.
14. Check for Leaks 💦🔍
Inspect your apartment for any potential water leaks or issues that could lead to damage in your absence.
15. Secure Outdoor Items🔒🌳
Lock or secure any outdoor furniture and belongings on your balcony or patio to prevent theft or damage.
16. Notify Security 🚨👥
If your apartment complex has security personnel, inform them of your vacation plans. They can include your unit in their regular patrols.
17. Notify your landlord 🏠📣
You may not be legally required to inform your landlord about your vacation, but it’s often a good practice. Check your lease for specific requirements, and consider notifying your landlord for security, maintenance, or emergency access reasons. Clear communication with your landlord can help maintain a positive relationship and ensure any issues are addressed during your absence.
18. Unplug Electronics 🔌📱
Unplug sensitive electronic devices such as computers and TVs to protect them from power surges and save energy.
19. Adjust Curtains and Blinds 🏡🌙
Before you leave, leave curtains and blinds partially open or closed as they usually are. This helps maintain the appearance of an occupied apartment.
20. Check for Perishable Items 🍞🕵️♂️
Examine your pantry for any perishable items that might go bad during your absence. Consider donating them to minimize waste.
21. Lock Storage Areas 🔒📦
If you have a storage unit within your apartment complex, ensure it’s locked securely to protect your belongings.
22. Set Up Auto-Payments 💳🔄
Arrange for automatic payments for bills, so your services are not disrupted during your absence.
23. Inform Emergency Contacts 🚨📞
Share your travel itinerary and contact information with a trusted friend or family member in case of emergencies.
24. Travel Documents 📄✈️
Finally, don’t forget to pack your essential travel documents, including your passport, tickets, identification, and any reservations you may need.
Debunking Vacation Myths:
Myth 1: Leaving Lights on Deters Burglars
Many believe that leaving lights on while you’re away creates the illusion that someone is home, deterring potential burglars. While it’s true that a well-lit home can discourage criminal activity, leaving lights on 24/7 can be a telltale sign that no one is actually home. Instead, use timers or smart plugs to simulate your presence. Set them to turn lights on and off at different times during the day and night, creating a more convincing illusion of occupancy.
Myth 2: A Closed Door is Enough Security
Some apartment dwellers mistakenly believe that simply closing their apartment door is enough to ensure security. However, it’s essential to lock all doors and windows securely before leaving. An unlocked sliding door or window can provide easy access to intruders. Double-check all entry points to prevent unauthorized entry and protect your home during your absence.
Myth 3: Posting Vacation Updates on Social Media is Harmless
Sharing your vacation plans and updates on social media is common, but it can also alert potential burglars to the fact that your apartment is vacant. Avoid posting about your trip until you’ve returned home. It’s best to keep your travel adventures private to maintain the security of your apartment.
A well-protected apartment not only guarantees peace of mind during your vacation but also contributes to a seamless transition back to your daily life upon your return. Whether you’re off on a short weekend getaway or an extended adventure, this checklist will help you set off with confidence, knowing that you’ve taken every precaution to safeguard your apartment and valuables.
So, set out on your journey and make the most of your vacation!