>While I’m wrestling with PCS details from our vacation condo in Williamsburg, VA, here’s some tips and tricks on making vacation prep and coming home a little easier. this was an article I wrote in May as Army Wife Network’s Household 6
With the weather warming up and kids getting out of school, many families are preparing for some kind of a trip. Whether you are going home to visit family, hitting up a theme park, road tripping, or going camping, there are some simple steps you can take to eliminate the stress of leaving home.
A couple weeks out:
- Find a neighbor or friend who can keep an eye on your home while you are gone. Ask that they watch for any packages and bring them in, and put the trash out if you’ll be gone on trash day. I always offer this friend a gift card for dinner on me when I drop off a key- the price of dinner is well worth the peace of mind.
- Put a couple lights on timers. Light timers make it less obvious that everyone is gone. They are a good idea even when you are home but arriving after dark.
- Leave your contact information (how to get a hold of you while you’re away) and an emergency contact (a parent or sibling in case you can’t be reached) with the friend watching the house.
- Pet Care- if your pets aren’t accompanying you, do some research on options for boarding or a pet sitter. Boarding facilities will require your pets to be up to date on vaccines so check that they are current and the records readily accessible. Make sure you have enough food and supplies to last through your trip and immediately after.
Plan for your return:
- Check on your bills. Determine what is due while you are gone, pay online or set up an automatic payment so you don’t have to think about it during your time off.
- Plan your first meal or two after you get back and have those ingredients on hand.
- Make a post-trip to do list. Check your calendar to see what is going on the week after your return. Leave yourself some notes on the fridge- it will cut down on “vacation hangover” and help you step right back into the swing of things.
The day before you leave:
- Clear your kitchen of any fresh fruit, vegetables, and any food that will expire during your vacation.
- Empty all the trash cans- even the bath and bedrooms.
- Put away the everyday things around the house that won’t be used while you’re gone. While it may seem like one more thing to do in the busy time just before you leave, a few minutes of picking up now will make arriving back home that much easier.
A little planning can go a long way towards making your vacation the rejuvenating event it should be!