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Festive holiday planning: your essential checklist before heading home

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Mixed Photos: classic  by Plantation Shutters Ltd, Classic
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Santa may be coming to town but you are probably leaving. As it happens with most holidays, when offices and business close, people make the most of the free time by going on a trip. But before taking that much earned vacation or pay a visit to your family, you will need to make preparations to help ensure your return is as pleasant as it can be.

You wouldn't want to return back to a home that smells suspect, would you? Or, even worse, to find you've been the victim of opportunist thieves. Hence, we decided to help you make an essential checklist before heading home for your holiday. The list will include simple cleaning, making sure that you have turned off all your electronics and having a few contingency plans in case something goes wrong.

Let’s check it out!

Turn off and unplug appliances

A common misconception is that simply turning off appliances will stop the energy flow. Well, plugged in electronics will still use energy, hence before leaving for vacation unplug all of them. Whether it is the oven, the microwave, the stove, lamps or your hairdryer, disconnect them from their power source.

It's wasteful to be charged on your electricity bill for a period you weren't even at home and, furthermore, if you make this practice a habit you will be able to cut down the electricity bills at the end of each month.

Close all the windows

Cafe Style Shutters for Bay Windows: classic  by Plantation Shutters Ltd, Classic
Plantation Shutters Ltd

Cafe Style Shutters for Bay Windows

Plantation Shutters Ltd

It is best if you have security on your list before living for holiday. Closing the windows is the first line of security you can adopt. This security measure will be even more applicable if your flat or house is on the ground floor.  If you have any curtains or blinds, make sure to close them as well, leaving nothing for the naked eye to see. 

There is also an added benefit to closing your windows, which is protection from the winter elements. The UK is usually battered by wind and rain during December and January so you want to take precautions against returning home to find your flat or house flooded, while you only had in mind was a hot shower and some much needed sleep!

Turn down/off the heating

It is important to remember turning off the heating before leaving. The obvious reason is the mountainous amount of energy it will consume and its subsequent reflection on your heating bills. Even though you might return to an uncomfortably chilly home, it is a small price to pay! Literally.

If you use electric heaters it's also imperative that these are switched off and unplugged as they pose a very serious fire risk when left on for extended periods of time.

Clean out the fridge

Edenbridge: eclectic  by Johnny Grey, Eclectic
Johnny Grey


Johnny Grey

If your trip takes more than a week it is very likely that your fridge will be consumed with expired products, which will cause unpleasant odours. Thus, clean your fridge before your leave. Any leftovers should be thrown out.

Organic material, such as fruits and vegetable, should be put into airtight containers and placed in the freezer. Another idea for organic material that's about to expire is to use them for composting. Ideally, when you are leaving for long vacation the fridge should be completely emptied out, turned off and unplugged. Doing so will give it much needed rest and help you save on your electricity bills.

If you'd like more information, you should check out: A Simple Guide To Composting At Home.

Give the bathroom a quick clean

Your essential pre-travel checklist should include the bathroom. Give your toilet, bathtub or shower a quick clean so upon return they will be ready for use. Throw away any empty shampoo bottles and take out the rubbish from the toilet bin.

Also, since most travel coincides with mini toiletry sets, make the necessary purchases beforehand. It will help you avoid the last minute anxiety of snooping around your bathroom to find the products you need and creating unnecessary chaos.

Do laundry

Doing your laundry is a must! Most pressingly, you will need clean clothes for the trip. Second, it will be nice to return back home and find an empty laundry basket to fill with the dirty clothes from your travels. In the off-chance you are not travelling with your entire wardrobe, doing laundry beforehand will ensure that you have some clean clothes to wear upon return.

Notify your neighbours you'll be away

Single Storey Extension and Loft Conversion, Lance Rd Modern houses by London Building Renovation Modern
London Building Renovation

Single Storey Extension and Loft Conversion, Lance Rd

London Building Renovation

Finally, you will need to have a contingency plan. Find someone trustworthy to keep an eye on your house. If you find that your neighbours are people to be trusted, notify them you’ll be away and ask them politely if they can check once in a while that your house is ok.

In case you don't know your neighbours, assign guard duty to someone in your close circle. They can pay a visit to your home at least once to make sure everything is still standing soundly.

By making a pre-holiday checklist with essential preparations you will avoid the anxiety of doing everything at the last minute and will ensure that you will return without apprehention. 

Did we forget any important holiday preparations? Share your tips with us in the comments!
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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