Pre-Vacation Apartment Checklist – What You Need to Do Before Going on a Trip

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It’s finally time to take a well-deserved vacation and enjoy the beautiful summer season! But, whether you’re taking a week off work to go to an exotic paradise or are a student and have the summer months to travel and enjoy exciting places, be sure to check a few things before your leave your rental.

To ensure that your vacation is stress-free and you won’t be randomly haunted by the thought of not having closed the front door, we put together a pre-vacation apartment checklist of important things to do before you go on your adventure.

Notify the Landlord

While this is not always mandatory, it is always advised: before leaving your place — even for just a week — it helps to notify your landlord in case anything happens while you’re away. While we all hope it’s not necessary, it’s better to be safe than sorry. In particular, make sure to leave a valid phone number where you can be reached and/or the contact information of the person who will be checking on your place, watering your plants, walking your dog, etc.

Make a Plan for Your Plants and/or Pets

 

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On the topic of plants and pets: if you have either one (or both), make sure to plan ahead and find a reliable person who can cover your “shifts” when you’re on vacation. Of course, some plants don’t require a lot of care. For example, if you have a cactus, you can probably get away with leaving it on its own for a week or two. However, if you’re a plant lover or have a furry friend, you’ll need someone to care for them so that everything and everyone will be safe, healthy and happy when you return. Additionally, if you get a pet-sitter, make sure to leave all the emergency numbers (like the vet) on display, as well as clear instructions regarding the feeding and walking schedule.

Turn Off the Thermostat and the Water

 

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 It’s rare, but it happens: water pipes can malfunction and you can wake up with your apartment semi-flooded in a matter of hours. Slightly less dramatic, leaving the thermostat on full blast while you’re away means that you’re simply wasting energy — and the bill will reflect that. So, before you officially begin your vacation, take a few minutes to turn off the water valve and adjust the thermostat so that you won’t come home to any disasters. It’s a small detail that can save you a lot of trouble, energy and money.

Unplug Your Small Appliances

Also a security measure, unplugging the small appliances around your home is another way to avoid costly and potentially dangerous accidents. So, take a little tour and check each room of your apartment to see what appliances you have and which you can unplug easily and safely. This will only take a few minutes and you’ll begin your vacation with your mind at ease — and without the stress of anything going wrong.

Use/Throw Away Any Perishable Food in Your Fridge

 

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 We’ve all heard those horror stories about food that festers in a forgotten fridge and actually grows fur by the time the owner gets back. It’s not a sight (or a smell) that you want to experience once you get back from a relaxing vacation. So, before you leave, make sure to use, eat or throw away any perishable food that you might have in your fridge or pantry and leave only the goods that will still be edible (and non-furry) when you come back.

Take out the Trash

Similar to the food, it’s important not to forget the trash. Nothing – and I mean nothing – is worse than a decaying garbage can in the summer. Whatever waste you’ve collected in the days before your vacation, make sure to take it out and away from your apartment before you take off. And, because we’re all constantly using and disposing of things around the house (sometimes without giving them a second thought), it’s advisable to take any last bit of trash out right before you leave the apartment.

Pause Your Mail

If you have someone to house-sit while you’re away, this might not be necessary. But, if you’re leaving your home alone (and especially if you’re going to be gone for a longer period of time, such as weeks or even months), make sure to check on your subscriptions and/or forward your mail so you don’t miss anything important. While bills aren’t fun, they’re definitely not something you want to worry about while on vacation. As such, it’s better not to let them pile up and risk losing access to any utilities.

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Laura Pop-Badiu is a creative writer at CoworkingCafe and CoworkingMag, with a degree in Journalism and a background in both hospitality and real estate. Laura is a certified bookworm with a genuine passion for the written word and a keen interest in the coworking sector. Her work has been featured in major publications like Forbes, NBC News, The Business Journals, Chicago Tribune, MSN and Yahoo! Finance, among others.

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